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Old 03-25-2010, 07:08 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackhammer View Post
Specials ARE 2nd wave Ska without a doubt and a band that had lost the plot by then? They only made 2 albums and although the first is superior they are still absolute classics and indeed templates for the Ska that followed. Just a shame that most of it was two bit Ska Punk bands who think that a bit of fast skanking on a track constitutes as Ska whilst playing generic Pop Punk riffs.
The Specials made 3 albums in their first incarnation: Specials, More Specials, In The Studio.
There are at least 5 albums in their second incarnation: Todays Specials, Guilty Til Proved Innocent (possibly the best of these), Skinhead Girl and Conquering Ruler and Kings Of Ska (Featuring Desmond Dekker on lead vocals).
On top of these there are several live (usually bootleg) releases including Live At The Moonlight Club, Live At The Palace and The Peel Sessions

I'd not disagree that a lot of the bands that followed used the 2-Tone sound as a template, but I'd suggest that most followed in the footsteps of The Selecter or Madness than the Specials, although there are one or two notable exceptions, such as The Toasters. I'd disagree with you saying that ska/punk bands used the sound though, that is a later development that owes as much to punk itself as ska.

FTR I've been collecting ska since 1979, have over 1000 albums and know a little about the music now.....
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:06 PM   #22 (permalink)
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The Specials made two albums with the band being dissatisfied with the direction of the sound lead to Jerry Dammers splitting from Terry Hall, Neville Staples and Lynval Golding who formed the Fun Boy Three. Main guitarist Roddy Radiation also quit which left Dammers to complete the third album with many session musicians which lead to the outfit being renamed as Special A.K.A. The album took over 2 years to complete and is not classed as an official Specials album.

Many bands used the Specials template for their sound as the social commentary used within the lyrics on the first two albums fitted perfectly within the original ethos of many Ska bands who utilised music and lyrics for their own ends,

The scene was drastically distorted with many Punk bands appreciating the ethos of the socio-political ethos of Ska and applying it to their own needs.

Unfortunately this lead to a proliferation of bands that copied the musical stylings of Ska but didn't adhere to the essence of the music and we saw a slew of bands who played fast skanking sounds because it sounded good with scant regard for it's roots.

Putting a Big D and the Kids Table track up as a shining example of Ska and saying that the Specials had lost it is folly regardless whether one track is better than another.

Kudos to you for mentioning The Toasters but there are a ton of bands that adhere to the Ska ethos both musically and asthectically that are far more pertinent than Big D namely Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Capdown, Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, New York ska jazz ensemble and Pama International.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:54 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Whether it was the full original line up or not, the band was still The Specials - the logical extension of that argument is that The Specials didn't tour last year, just six blokes who were once in the band and a keyboard player. Yes, quite. Much the same argument that says that The Rolling Stones no longer exist etc. Fair point on the rename of the band for the third album, except The Special AKA name featured on both their first single and their first number one. I appreciate the distinction you're trying to make, but I feel its non existant, any more than it is with either The Selecter or Bad Manners - or for that matter third wave band The Riffs, none of which keep many members of their original line up but have kept the name?
I wouldn't argue about the social ethos of The Specials being carried forward while the rhythm was neglected by a lot of bands, but its a hugely innaccurate generalisation to suggest that the beat was left behind by most... The ones that lost the rhythm were punk bands, not ska or even skapunk ones by definition. True enough that many got dragged into the ska/skapunk scenes (generally by lazy journos with no understanding of what ska actually is) but they don't belong there. Sticking a brass section on a Sex Pistols track wouldn't make it any more of a ska tune than it was previously, would it?


The Big D track is an example of ska played by them. I'm well aware that a lot of their material falls on the 'wrong' side of the ska/punk divide, but I'm offering that up as a favourite tune, not band. Having said that, I see them as more of a ska band than Capdown, but I can't argue with the rest of your list, some talent in there, but Capdown? Erm... I think we can beg to differ on that one!
Looking at your list, I'm assuming that (Capdown and MMB apart) your interest is more towards the roots sound? Some good calls there, would add in The Splitters and Westbound Train among the better known bands, and maybe Rebelation too?

Shall we agree to disagree on this though? The scene is complicated enough with its subdivisions without needless pickyness - if its a good ska tune then its a good ska tune, and that to me is all that needs to be considered.
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:40 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I do prefer the more rootsier side of Ska with bands like See Spot, Japonicas, The Aggrolites, Woogle and the Radio and The Pinstripes some of my faves but there is stull huge merit in the Ska Punk sound and I really like Flaming Tsunamis, Evil Empire and Adequate Seven amongst others but there has been a whole slew of Ska Punk band that sound virtually the same with no identity and very similar sounds.

I mentioned Capdown because I feel that their Punk sound is spot on and actually sounds like Punk and the Saxophone work of the lead singer adds a certain individualness to their sound and they are instantly recognisable when I hear them apart from their last album Wind Up Toys which had no Ska on at all and they completely changed their sound and split up not long after.

I meant 2 albums for the original line up only for Specials and forgot to mention that. I checked out a live disc and concert footage of Specials reunion gigs recently (even though mainman Jerry Dammers wasn't on board) and found them lacking unfortunately

It seems that you know your stuff though even if you do like Big D
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Old 03-26-2010, 10:04 PM   #25 (permalink)
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You're soooooo right about The Specials lacking something now, I wouldn't put it down to the lack of Dammers though, just down to a loss of the youthful enthusiasm and perhaps an element of world weariness.
Having said that, I've seen a lot of worse bands.....


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Old 03-31-2010, 07:48 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Old 03-31-2010, 07:50 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:05 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Bet the pope would appreciate that sentiment.
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Old 04-26-2010, 06:09 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:00 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I'd say the most popular specials song would be Ghost Town or A Message To You Rudy instead of Gangsters.

I'd have to say that the most popular or widely recognized ska song would sadly have to go to Reel Big Fish's Beer.
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