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
Monkey Man


  1. Listening to these songs, it reminds me of just how good the songwriting was. Great great record.

  2. Great song. SLF did a more than passable version as well. But you knew that already

  3. It hasn't really aged at all, still a great record. I hadn't listened to the SLF version for a while so gave it a spin today and it does sound good. Not on a par with The Specials version but a decent version.

  4. Really important album from my youth as well. I still pull it out with regularity. Nice choices of so-called deeper cuts, but we know this is an LP that doesn't really have any of those. Well done. Can't wait to see what's next.

  5. Thanks Brian, I think for a lot of guys in their 40's this album had a huge significance for them. Similiar to yourself I play the album on a regular basis which I don't do with most of the albums that I grew up with.