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The Specials, also known as The Special AKA, are a 2 Tone and ska revival band formed in 1977 in Coventry, England. Their music combines 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 band wore mod-style "1960s period rude boy outfits (pork pie hats, tonic and mohair suits, and loafers)." In 1980, 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" also hit number one in the UK Singles Chart.After seven consecutive UK Top 10 singles between 1979 and 1981, several members of the group abruptly left to form the Fun Boy Three. Continuing on as "The Special AKA" (a name they used frequently on earlier Specials releases), a substantially revised Specials lineup issued new material through 1984, including the top 10 UK hit single "(Free) Nelson Mandela". Afterwards, founder and songwriter Jerry Dammers dissolved the band and pursued political activism.The group reformed in 1993, and have continued to perform and record with varying lineups (but without Dammers).
The Selecter are a 2 Tone ska revival band from Coventry, England, formed in mid 1979.The Selecter featured a racially diverse line-up. Their lyrics featured themes connected to politics Reinforcing the songs of Neol Davies were the voice and rude girl style of Pauline Black and the rhythms of Desmond Brown on the Hammond organ. The band's name is based on the term "selector", which is a Jamaican word for disc jockey. The band were one of the most successful ska bands of the 2 Tone era, notching up a handful of hit singles in the British charts.The Selecter reformed in 1991 and vocalist, Black, continued to perform and release music under The Selecter name until 2006. Some confusion emerged over two competing lineups for the Selecter in 2011, between that featuring Davies and that featuring Black and Arthur 'Gaps' Hendrickson, In June 2011 Black applied for, and won, The Selecter trademark and the right to use the name herself.