This ska-influenced band from Coventry, England, was formed in the summer of 1977 as the Special AKA, with a line-up comprising Jerry Dammers (Gerald Dankin, 22 May 1954, India; keyboards), Terry Hall (b. 19 March 1959, Coventry, England; vocals), Neville Staple(s) (vocals/percussion), Lynval Golding (b. 24 July 1951, Coventry, England; guitar), Roddy Radiation (b. Rodney Byers; guitar), Sir Horace Gentleman (b. Horace Panter; bass) and John Bradbury (drums). After touring with the Clash, they set up their own multiracial 2-Tone label and issued the Prince Buster -inspired Gangsters, which reached the UK Top 10. After signing their label over to Chrysalis Records, the band abbreviated their name to the Specials. Their Elvis Costello -produced debut album was a refreshing, exuberant effort which included the Top 10 single A Message To You, Rudi. The band spearheaded what became the 2-Tone movement and their label enjoyed an array of sparkling...
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