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The Specials Biography


Home > Music > S > Specials, The > Biography


Birth Place: Coventry, England
Years Active: 1977-1984, 1996-2001, 2008-present
Genres: 2 Tone, Ska, New Wave


The Specials (sometimes called The Special AKA) are an English 2 Tone ska revival band formed in 1977 in Coventry, England. Their music combined 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 group was formed by songwriter/keyboardist Jerry Dammers, with Terry Hall (vocals), Lynval Golding (guitar, vocals) and a rhythm section. The band wore mod-style "1960s period rude boy outfits (pork pie hats, tonic and mohair suits, and loafers)." In 1979, 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" single also hit number one in the UK Singles Chart. Their music is featured in film and television soundtracks. After seven consecutive UK Top 10 singles between 1979 and 1981, the band broke up. In 2008, it was announced that the band would reform and embark on a 30th anniversary tour in 2009. As of 2010, they are touring America and Europe.