Tuesday, December 22, 2009


The Specials (originally known as The Coventry Automatics, then later named The Special AKA) were the first band of the 2-Tone era in the late 70's and early 80's in Britain and remain THE best band to have emerged from the 2-Tone era of ska. Led musically by the toothless keyboardist Jerry Dammers, the band also contained Terry Hall (lead vox), Neville Staples (vox/percussion), Lynval Golding (Rhythm Gtr/Vox), Roddy "Radiation" Byers (lead gtr), Sir Horace Gentleman (b. Horace Panter; bass) & John Bradbury (drums). From 1979 to 1981, they released 7 singles, 2 of which ("Too Much Too Young" & "Ghost Town") got to #1. By the time "Ghost Town" reached UK#1 on July 11, 1981 amidst massive street violence in the UK's major cities, The Specials had split. Jerry Dammers & John Bradbury continued under the name The Special AKA until 1985, as did Horace Panter to a certain extent. Roddy Byers left but made a guest appearance on one single, and Terry Hall, Neville Staples and Lynval Golding formed Fun Boy Three.


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