The Specials Biography

The Specials, also known as The Special AKA, are an English 2 Tone and ska revival band formed in 1977 in Coventry. Their music combines a "danceable ska and rocksteady beat with punk's energy and attitude", and had a "more focused and informed political and social stance" than other ska groups. The band wore mod-style "1960s period rude boy outfits (pork pie hats, tonic and mohair suits, and loafers)." In 1980, the song "Too Much Too Young", the lead track on their The Special AKA Live! EP, reached number one in the UK. In 1981, the unemployment-themed single "Ghost Town" also hit number one in the UK Singles Chart.

After seven consecutive UK Top 10 singles between 1979 and 1981, several members of the group abruptly left to form the Fun Boy Three. Continuing on as "The Special AKA" (a name they used frequently on earlier Specials releases), a substantially revised Specials lineup issued new material through 1984, including the top 10 UK hit single "(Free) Nelson Mandela". Afterwards, founder and songwriter Jerry Dammers dissolved the band and pursued political activism.

The group reformed in 1993, and have continued to perform and record with varying lineups (but without Dammers).

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The Specials News

Graham Coxon and Don Letts to play The Specials' gig in London

The band will host the event, called Friday Night And Saturday Morning, at the Troxy

  • Mar 24, 2014

The Specials announce autumn UK tour – ticket details

The band will play 11 gigs including two shows at London's Roundhouse venue

  • Feb 18, 2014

Jerry Dammers leads special performance of 'Free Nelson Mandela' - watch

The Spatial AKA Orchestra played a one-off version of the track for Channel 4

  • Dec 7, 2013

The Specials announce May 2013 UK tour – ticket details

The ska band will play 10 shows including one night at London's O2 Brixton Academy

  • Dec 3, 2012

The Specials go back on their plans to split up

Band say they'll continue playing together and have no plans to part ways

  • Nov 4, 2011

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The Specials Music Videos

Garrick Davis-Redhouse Play Video

Garrick Davis-Redhouse

Watch the official Garrick Davis-Redhouse video by Garrick Davis/The Fabulous FunkyBand in HD on WWW.MUZU.TV and check out the latest new music releases and playlists for free.

Break Down The Door Play Video

Break Down The Door

Watch the official Break Down The Door video by The Specials in HD on WWW.MUZU.TV and check out the latest new music releases and playlists for free.

What I Like Most About You Is Your Girlfriend Play Video

What I Like Most About You Is Your Girlfriend

Watch the official What I Like Most About You Is Your Girlfriend video by The Specials in HD on WWW.MUZU.TV and check out the latest new music releases and playlists for free.

Nelson Mandela Play Video

Nelson Mandela

Watch the official Nelson Mandela video by The Specials in HD on WWW.MUZU.TV and check out the latest new music releases and playlists for free.

War Crimes (The Crime Remains The Same) Play Video

War Crimes (The Crime Remains The Same)

Watch the official War Crimes (The Crime Remains The Same) video by The Specials in HD on WWW.MUZU.TV and check out the latest new music releases and playlists for free.

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