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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And in the end...
By the mid-Eighties we'd grown out our hair a bit and traded Prince Buster for Astrid Gilberto. 2-Tone was long gone so we looked to The Style Council, Animal Night Life and Working Week for the new sounds. Dammers too was peddling the New Jazz movement with his re-vamped Special A.K.A . Hall, Staples and Golding were replaced with the always reliable Rhoda Dakar and a...
Published on 6 April 2002 by Stephen Jenkins

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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
not special enough - I felt; did not offer anything I had not heard before. Would not have bought it if I had heard it
Published on 15 Sep 2011 by Mr. Charles P. Ross


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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And in the end..., 6 April 2002
This review is from: In The Studio (Audio CD)
By the mid-Eighties we'd grown out our hair a bit and traded Prince Buster for Astrid Gilberto. 2-Tone was long gone so we looked to The Style Council, Animal Night Life and Working Week for the new sounds. Dammers too was peddling the New Jazz movement with his re-vamped Special A.K.A . Hall, Staples and Golding were replaced with the always reliable Rhoda Dakar and a prissy soul singer named Stan Campbell. Jerry's new group were hard-Left and musically more progressive than their former incarnation.
Despite the presence of top-ten single Nelson Mandella, In The Studio was deemed a disappointment upon it's release in '84. It has actually aged quite well. Dammers as usual was miles ahead with his use of lounge, afro-beat, northern soul and bohemian jazz. That trademark Dammers black humour is also there to alienate anyone who may have come to the album via the hit-single.
Brilliant stuff.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overdue a rerelease, 26 Jan 2006
By 
Andy Millward (Tiptree, Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: In the Studio (Audio CD)
High time this album was rereleased by the record company. It might be a footnote in the history of music, the dying embers of the ska phenomenon of the early 80s, but in its own way In The Studio is a minor classic. It was well received in most quarters, but only scored 3/5 in NME; sales were also disappointing, but to music lovers this was a treat.
First thing to note is that, Jerry Dammers apart, this is not the original Specials. However, many of the musicians and singers Dammers brought in had been on the periphery of the 2-Tone revolution, and all were talented performers in their own right. Vocalists Rhoda Dakar and Egidio Newton emerge with particular credit.
Then, the material. The songs Dammers wrote for this album are less raw and more mature than much of the Specials early material - no less politically charged, but they express a wider palette of emotions and greater musical depth than anything that came before. None more so than the joyful Nelson Mandela, written when the great statesman was incarcerated by the South African government and still 7 years from a triumphant return. Despite the urgent, pleading message, the song conveys a message of hope that was rewarded in Mandela's subsequent release.
While not all songs are that powerful, they are all worth listening to: the quirky What I Like Most About You Is Your Girlfriend, for example; the raw power of Break Down The Door; the poignant Alcohol, written perhaps from personal experience; and the challenging Racist Friend, urging listeners to ditch friends with racist attitudes. In fact, there is not a bad track in sight - Dammers went out into other projects on a glorious high.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Specials Kick Da Bucket, 1 May 2008
This review is from: In The Studio (Audio CD)
When The Specials hit the number one spot for the second time in their short career with `Ghost Town' no one realised it was to be their swan song but within two months Terry Hall, Neville Staples and Lynval Golding quit to form Fun Boy Three leaving Jerry Dammers, John Bradbury, Horace Panter and Roddy Radiation to continue without them.

Reverting to the earlier name Special AKA their first project was to Back ex-Bodysnatchers Rhoda Dakar on her anti-rape song `The Boiler' which due to it's content was never going to sit easily at Radio One. Next up they recorded the single `Jungle Music' with ex-Skatalite trombonist Rico and acted as his backing band on his European tour.

On returning home they returned to the studio recruiting soul vocalist Stan Campbell to compliment Rhoda to record this album. It had a very difficult birth and by the time it was finished. Horace and Roddy had left the group to be replaced by Gary McManus and John Shipley respectively. By the time it was released Stan had also left and promoted hit single `Nelson Mandela' as a favour to the band.

As well as the classic anti-apartied single the album contained some great material notably `War Crimes', `Racist Friend' and `Alcohol'. The themes of most of these songs prevented air play and limited the success of the album. `Nelson Mandela' transcended the opposition to serious pop music by having a theme all descent people could relate to and consequently was the big hit it deserved to be.

The band couldn't capitalise on there own success and after follow up single `Girlfriend' failed to chart The Special AKA closed for business. Now some twenty four years later The Specials are coming out of retirement and we can only hope they too will venture into the studio.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Special Album, 2 July 2010
This review is from: In The Studio (Audio CD)
following the beak of the specials, Jerry Dammers shows he was the real genius behind it all with this astonishingly good album.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE Nelson Mandela song, 2 Feb 2014
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This review is from: In The Studio (Audio CD)
A CD with a nice variety of songs. Outstanding is the superb song about Nelson Mandela.
It is ever lasting and became a classic.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, 15 Sep 2011
By 
Mr. Charles P. Ross (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: In The Studio (Audio CD)
not special enough - I felt; did not offer anything I had not heard before. Would not have bought it if I had heard it
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In The Studio by The Specials (Audio CD - 2002)
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