4 April 2014


There are loads of stats that can be thrown about from today’s offering.

– in February 1981, this became just the second EP ever to reach #1 in the UK singles charts; the first had been back in 1976 when greek crooner Demis Roussos took his Phenomenon EP to the top of the hit parade

Too Much Too Young became the first live track to reach #1 in more than 9 years; the previous occasion had been Chuck Berry with My-Ding-A-Ling

– at 2:04, the lead track was the shortest #1 throughout the 80s

– the five tracks on the EP had ten different composers

Terry Hall‘s dad was in the audience for the Coventry gig at which the b-side was recorded; this was the first time he’s seen The Specials perform in concert (the two songs on the a-side were from a separate gig in London)


The thing was, back in 2014, the mp3s put up were of appalling quality with all sorts of hisses and crackles.  The fact I’ve now picked up a better copy gives me the excuse to re-post the music.

mp3 : The Specials – Too Much Too Young (live)
mp3 : The Specials – Guns Of Navarone (live)
mp3 : The Specials – Skinhead Symphony (live)*

* features Longshot Kick The Bucket, Liquidator and Skinhead Moonstomp

I feel it is only right that I should close with the two comments which were contributed to the original post, as one is smart/witty and the other is educational.

Jacques the Kipper says:
April 4, 2014 at 12:47 pm

I can see Ellen Degeneres at the back on the left…


Stevo Kifaru says:
April 12, 2014 at 9:24 pm

And ironically/coincidentally the three live tracks on the b-side of this E.P. were recorded at Coventry Tiffany’s where the previous (and first-ever live recording to hit the U.K top spot) No1 My Ding-a-ling was also recorded, albeit the venue was called the Locarno then….

That’ll be The Locarno which is namechecked by Terry Hall in this stunning b-side:-

mp3: The Specials – Friday Night, Saturday Morning



  1. No complaints about a repeat posting when the songs are this good. I was much too young at the time to really get all of the references in the lead song, though I was pretty sure the last line (“Try wearing a cap”) wasn’t referring to headgear… 🙂

  2. This e.p. was an absolute cornerstone of what I was listening to at that time, albeit I was listening to someone else’s copy, and to my shame I have never purchased it.

    In my local area there was a palpable gang mentality (not something I’ve ever been fond of) to this e.p. but on this occasion I was part of the gang. My memories of it are nothing but happy – those euphoric live recordings and a much needed sense of belonging.

    Opening the blog this morning, and looking at the cover art, my mind instantly raced to images of some wonderful, kind and incredibly supportive people from that distant past.

    What a superb start to the day.

  3. At the time of release, I could sense that this was something special but, in that weird , early eighties tribalism that seems to have been an almost unique occurrence of the years 1976 to 1986, I couldn’t really express true admiration. Even Ghost Town was only worthy of a “not bad”! Thank God for growing up (ish) and being able to celebrate this fantastic e.p. Play loud and jump around (unless it’s on vinyl and your floorboards are dodgy.

  4. I have been singing The Specials to myself all week. It always seems to the be the faster tunes that come into my mind like Too Much Too Young and Monkey Man The debut album is simply perfect.

  5. Ah, Summer 1981, enjoying the seemingly endless repeat plays of this 7″ in my bedroom til my Mum yelled up the stairs at me to knock it off. Wonderful memories.

    Thinking back to drawing Walt Jabsco/ Madness/ The Beat/ Bad Manners logos on my schoolbooks while tracks like What I like Most About You, Friday Night, On My Radio, Shut Up, A Town With No Name & Mantovani were on heavy rotation, well, there are no words.

    MANY many thanks for these…

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