The Specials first single gets reviewed in Melody Maker, 19 May, 1979.
Also reviewed that week by Jon Savage were A Certain Ratio, The Skids, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Leyton Buzzards and more.
The Special A.K.A.: “Gangsters Vs, The Selecter” (Two-Tone TT1).
Too enthusiastically championed (as ever) and duly shot down, both sides of the Specials’ 45 imbue charming freshness into the infectious ska format. Unashamedly harking back to 1965 and earlier (think of the Skatalites and smile), the Selecter has the sinuousness, the Gangster has the muscle. (I know which side my bread is buttered.) No reverential copyists – both sides swing – the Specials still run risk of getting entangled with the irritatingly over-hyped and reactionary ‘Nouveau Mod’ mess; still, they should worry. Rude.