The Specials

Blue Plate Specials Live

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There are two distinct recordings here. The first eight tracks present a live set from early in the career of the Specials, during which they perform such songs as their debut single "Gangsters" in their typically energetic ska style. The remaining seven tracks come from even earlier in the band's career, when it was known as Coventry Automatics or the Special A.K.A. and played in a more conventional rock style that nevertheless already contained elements of reggae and ska. This material is less accomplished, but still interesting as an indication of where the group came from and where it was going. With a mastering job by Steve Hoffman for this release, the sound is good, and while the release does not rank with the Specials' studio albums on 2-Tone, it is worthwhile juvenilia.

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