Friday, April 17, 2009

Video Diary: The Specials "Rat Race"

1 comment:

  1. The Specials have reunited for a three week sold out tour of the UK. Though there was a lineup calling themselves the Specials in the mid-90s, that consisted of only three original members, and crucially, no Terry Hall or Lynval Golding.

    This formation is six of the seven original members, with the significant exclusion of founder, leader,keyboardist and songwriter,Jerry Dammers. It seems Jerry wanted to make this reunion also be about new music and not just an exercise in nostalgia. He certainly has a point,but the others I believe would just like to cash in on their past glories, which is fine by me. Dammers is also known as a bit of a control freak and perhaps the group just didn't want him to be leading them anymore.

    In the 28 years since their break-up, the Specials stature has grown exponentially, with succeeding generations discovering them (and their classic first album in particular)and spawning everything from ska-punk to third wave ska revivals to dance samples and even live covers from UK pop starlets like Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen. They are as UK "classic rock" as the likes of the Stones,Beatles,Who or Clash.

    I was a big fan of theirs circa 1982. Of course I was just behind the curve: the band breaking up a few months before I discovered them. Just a couple years previous they actually played the UC Davis Coffee House. That's one I would like another shot at. Nevertheless, they and the other Two-Tone bands were as much the soundtrack to my high school years as any other artists.

    I have seen Madness twice, Dave Wakeling's English Beat twice and Bad Manners several times. Now I am praying for a US tour to finally see the Specials. Stay tuned.