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199) Specials - More Specials

We have already celebrated the wonderful Terry Hall when we reviewed The Colourfield album Virgins and Philistines (Review 86 if anyone interested https://www.albumsin200words.co.uk/post/the-colourfield-virgins-and-philistines)

 

This is the album that set the seeds of destruction for The Specials as the members pulled in different directions and Dammers struggled with his vision, they were gone a year later after the stunning number one of Ghost Town.

 

The album opens and closes with Enjoy Yourself, which is a cover, but The Specials make it their own, considering their internal problems you could not find a band enjoying themselves more than on this opener and the reprise with the wonderful Go-Go’s is a fine conclusion to the record.

 

Man at C&A has the warnings of nuclear war and Hall does not arrive to well over a minute into the song, wonderful use of the horns on this track.

 

Hey Little Rich Girl is a classic from start to finish a wonderful chugging beat and top marks from guesting Madness sax man Lee Thompson. The lyrics are a sad tale of a young girl who’s ends up in porn. Emotional and exhilarating in equal breaths.

 

Do Nothing has a trombone from Rico (I had to look that up) that is perfection with lyric about a life without meaning, and then we have Terry and Rhoda Dakar singing “It’s all a load of bollocks” this is truly a record of Thatcher’s Britain.

 

The music of Stereotype instantly reminded me of Raw Sex (comedy duo off French & Saunders) which is obviously nonsense as the band deliver a telling portrait of a man working his way through drink, women (possibly) and the grim reality of life, Neville Staples takes over half way through and this is one to hit on repeat.

 

Rhoda is back for I Can’t Stand It and on first listen I do not think her and Terry’s vocals fit together but after several listens (always three) I realise I am wrong (we have heard that before) and they are a perfect match and I enjoy the “Goodnights” at the end.

 

International Jet Set has Dammers on fire with an atmospheric vocal from Hall as we end with the plane coming down.

 

More Specials lyrically is reflecting on the UK of the early 80’s a grim place to live (unlike the wonder of a UK we have now!) but the music and the band are exhilarating.

 

 8.5/10

 

GIVE IT A STREAM: Hey, Little Rich Girl

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