I was a bit of a rude boy, back in 1980. I have fond memories of strutting around North London in my Harrington jacket, Fred Perry shirt, white socks, braces and tassled loafers. I wasn't a skinhead then but I am now! When CDs came out, I stupidly gave away all my vinyl to charity shops, including More Specials.
Making a welcome return to my music collection, More Specials is such an overlooked gem. I notice it did make it into "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die" but you are unlikely to find it in a top 50 or 100 list.
It's difficult to put into words why this album is such a treat. It's somehow timeless, borrowing from the '60s and '70s, rooted in the '80s but not out of place in the '90s and '00s. In fact, it doesn't sound at all dated. I recommend playing along side the likes of Massive Attack, Gorillaz and Lilly Allen, all clearly inspired and influenced by The Specials.
Finally, a word to the wise. Check the small print on the back of the CD and buy the enhanced CD which includes original videos of Ghost Town and Rat Race - two very special singles.