Thursday, September 4, 2014
It Doesn't Make It Alright...
The first album I owned was the debut album from The Specials, a Christmas present in 1979. As I have mentioned previously my choice of attire when in late primary school consisted of a pork pie hat, sta press trousers and skinny tie. I recall going on holiday to Scarborough when I was about 10 and being in awe of all the Madness and Specials fans and wanting to be part of their gang. I fell in love with the whole image that they had, and the music just struck a chord with me. Being a bit too young to see them live or join the gang, my best option was to start buying the music instead.
Pretty much every penny of my pocket money would be spent on purchasing these new sounds that I was hearing, starting off with "The Specials". Even now, it is an album that I never tire of hearing. From the opening track right through to the end of track 14, there is not a dull moment. Exciting, energetic, bursting with youthful enthusiasm it is just a great album. I'm not a huge fan of live albums but it almost feels in places like a live album and is all the better for it. I never saw them live in their prime so this album is the nearest I will get to that experience. I did see them a couple of times many years later and they were still a terrific live act.
Mostly made up of original material with some great covers thrown in, "The Specials" is that rarest of beasts, an album that manged to blend all the anger, disillusionment and bitterness of the day straight into their music. Produced by Elvis Costello who managed to capture their live sound perfectly it is an album I still enjoy as much now as I did back in '79. Perfectly encapsulates Britain in '79 just as we were about to enter eighteen years of Tory rule. Few, if any, other bands have captured a moment in time as well as The Specials did on their debut album and that is just one of the many reasons why it is the fifth choice on my Top 10 rundown...
Doesn't Make It Alright