The Selecter

On My Radio

Song Review by

Although The Selecter had debuted on disc back in April, 1979, when their eponymous song had appeared with The Specials' "Gangsters" on a Top 10 double A-sided single, in reality "On My Radio" was their first true release, for "The Selecter" itself had boasted guitarist Neol Davies alone, backed by The Specials.

By the summer, Davies's virtual band was a reality, and like their 2 Tone labelmates, The Selecter offered up an intriguing amalgamation of Jamaican styles - the forceful riffing and insistent rhythms of reggae delivered up at a rocksteady pace, and with all the enthusiasm of early ska. However, the group just sounded more authentically island than the rest.

The only thing they lacked was the brass, but here Desmond Brown made up for that, riffing vivaciously away, while the rest of The Selecter pummeled their way across the rhythm. Meanwhile, Pauline Black, deftly backed by Arthur "Gappa" Henderson, bemoans that her beau prefers the beats to her, leaving her radio in hand listener in the same old shows. Written by Davies, it's a clever blend of an affairs of the heart theme and a swipe at the woefully limited state of Britain's airwaves. The stations played it anyway, and the single soared into the Top 10 that autumn.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Too Much Pressure 1980 Captain Oi! Records
This Are Two Tone 1983
Various Artists
Chrysalis Records 3:15
Selected Selections 1989 2-Tone 3:18
No Image 1991
Various Artists
Connoisseur
Out on the Streets 1992 Receiver 3:43
The Two Tone Compilation: A Checkered Past 1993
Various Artists
Chrysalis Records 3:16
Prime Cuts, Vol. 2 1995 Magnum America 5:16
Ska Mania 1995
Various Artists
Dino Entertainment
On My Radio 1996 Recall (UK) 2:57
Ska [Fontana] 1996
Various Artists
Trojan / Rialto / Sanctuary 3:11
Best of the Selecter 1996 Disky 3:15
Greatest Hits 1996 EMI Music Distribution 3:08
Sweet Sweet Ska 1997
Various Artists
Triple X Entertainment 5:21
Very Best of Selecter 1997 Triple X Entertainment 3:05
Ska Giants 1997
Various Artists
Cleopatra 3:26
No. 1 Ska Album 1997
Various Artists
Polygram 3:08
Ska Giants [Disc #1] 1997
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 3:26
Kings of Ska 1998
Various Artists
Receiver 3:43
Ska!: The Album 1998
Various Artists
Cleopatra 5:58
Ska Wars 1999
Various Artists
Import 3:28
Ska'd for Life 1999
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 3:26
SKA! The Ultimate Collection 1999 Cleopatra 5:58
Millennium Box Set 1999
Various Artists
Disky 3:15
Wow That Was the 70's 1999
Various Artists
Disky Communications 3:10
In the Mood for Ska 2000
Various Artists
Harry May 3:04
Greatest Hits of the 70's [Disky Box] 2000
Various Artists
Disky 3:08
Complete Collection 2001
Various Artists
Disky 3:08
Rude Boy Revival 2002
Various Artists
Telstar TV Records 3:08
Trojan Box Set: Ska Revival 2004
Various Artists
Sanctuary 3:30
Street Feeling 2005 Trojan / Sanctuary 3:42
Pure: 70s [EMI] 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:06
No Image 2008
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Music Distribution 3:07
Summer Reggae [Caroline World Service] 2008
Various Artists
Caroline World Service / Parlophone / Warner Music 3:12
Ska Mania [Universal] 2009
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:41
The Tiswas Album 2009
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:01
70s Summer Party 2011
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Gold 3:05
Indie Singles Collection 1991-1996 2013 Badfish / Cleopatra 3:57
Get on the Train to Skaville Secret Records 4:01
Massive Hits! Seventies
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:08
The Best of 2 Tone [Chrysalis]
Various Artists
2-Tone / Chrysalis Records 3:11
The Best of 2 Tone [Rhino]
Various Artists
Parlophone / Warner Music 3:05