The Specials v Madness

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Tituscrow, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. Tituscrow

    Tituscrow Banned

    Feb 14, 2011
    NW England
    Been on a bit of an early 80's ska binge of late and I am paying far more attention to the bass work of Sir Horace Gentleman and Mark Bedford.

    I was about 12 when Ghost Town came out, but grew up more into rock than that whole two-tone stuff (as it was called back then over here), so didn't really dig the bass work at the time.

    Now however, at 43, listening to the old stuff by these two bands I realise what great players Horace and Bedders were.

    I saw the Specials a few times a couple of years back on the reunion tour (minus Jerry Dammers), and they were brilliant. The place was teeming with Coventry skins, but it was a fantastic vibe!

    Choice Specials tunes : The Man At C&A, Gangsters, Nite Klub and Too Much Too Young

    Choice Madness tunes : House Of Fun, Grey Day, Cardiac Arrest and Night Boat To Cairo.

    Any love out there for messrs Gentleman and Bedders?
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Loved them both back in the day. Made me go check early ska, which is even more awesome. Desmond Dekker, Skatellites, Millie Small, etc...
  3. Love them both but give The Specials more legitimacy in my mind, not really sure why. *Doesnt make it alright* slays me, and a couple retro-reminiscing punk bands I diddle in does *Monkey man*
    GREAT stuff. Superb bassmen, both. :)
  4. I'm with JimmyM, loved them both. The Specials are about to embark on a US tour and I'm pretty sure it's with the original line-up, this according to their FB page. There is a great 2 cd ska collection called The 2 Tone Collection - A Checkered Past. Great collection of early 80's ska music. Might be hard to find nowadays though.
  5. Tituscrow

    Tituscrow Banned

    Feb 14, 2011
    NW England
    Horace plays a Gibson TB these days IIRC, but I think they were both Fender players back in the day. Other than that, I've struggled to unearth any juicy tidbits on gear.

    I love the way Too Much Too Young live is about twice the studio speed.

    I also notice that Bedders plays both pick and finger-style, but I've never seen Horace with a pick.
  6. Tituscrow

    Tituscrow Banned

    Feb 14, 2011
    NW England
    Haha, then you should move heaven and earth to see them. They absolutely kill it.

    Don't expect Dammers to be there though.
  7. murphy

    murphy Supporting Member

    May 5, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    saw the Specials many times as a young teen.....The selector and The Beat...all together
    Great gigs
  8. bassfran

    bassfran Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2012
    Endorsing artist: Lakland basses
    Neither. The Selecter, ftw. :smug:
  9. corndog


    Jul 20, 2012
    Ontario, Canada
    The Specials where my absolute favorite ska band but Madness rocked as well.

    If you can find the movie Dance Craze anywhere, its a must see. The Specials, Madness, The Selector, The Bodysnatchers, The Beat and a few other British two-tone bands rocking out on stage. I had the soundtrack on vinyl, but have lost it. awesome stuff.
  10. Intensified! :cool:

    Love it!
  11. Bisounourse


    Jun 21, 2012
    Gent, Belgium
    Yup, both great bands.
  12. Matthijs


    Jul 3, 2006
    I loved them as a kid and have been revisiting them recently too. My band did some skattalites songs, wich triggered me to dig up the ska wave of my youth. The Specials really do it for me. They did so much quirky experimental things with weird harmonies that still work as dance tunes. I'm working on a Specials tribute instrumental arrangement for my bigband and some of the twists and turns surprise me. However two of my favorites are pretty straight forward hard driving ska songs: Monkey Man . That said: I'm having a hard time to get the Brown Sugar citation in Little Bitch to sound good with just horns.
  13. RS66LB


    Dec 29, 2012
    -Night boat to Cario was a great song with a very solid bass tone
  14. pbassnut

    pbassnut Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    Falls Church, VA
    Love that stuff ... gotta killer (and rare as hen's teeth) DVD called "Dance Craze" that has both of them, the English Beat, the Selector and all or most of the Two Tone stable doin' their thing back in the day. I also have a DVD of a much later performance of an outfit called Special Beat which was made up of members of the Specials and the English Beat performing the best material of both bands. I was so happy when they recently came out with the DVD/CD of the original English Beat lineup performing at the Us Festival in '82 and '83. Now if they'd only come out with Oingo Boingo's performance at that same festival, I'll be able to die in peace. :D
  15. JFOC


    Oct 23, 2010
    new hampShire
    The Toasters deserve to be mentioned here, also a killer 2nd wave band
  16. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    I still have the soundtrack on vinyl. Best skapilation there is, imho. At least of that era's sound.
  17. HUGE +1000!!

    Madness is great but The Specials are my favorite by far. My current main band is covering Nite Klub, Little B!tch, and sometimes also Monkey Man (Specials style rather than Toot's, although I love the original too).

    Going to have catch them on tour this time around. And "Doesn't Make It Alright" is an amazing bass performance. That whole first album, "The Specials", is a landmark as far as I am concerned. Every track is great. But I have a ton of affection for all of the Two Tone bands. The English Beat was another fantastic band, ditto for The Selector.
  18. Tituscrow

    Tituscrow Banned

    Feb 14, 2011
    NW England
    Dance Craze? Sounds like I'm going to have to hunt this down :)
  19. Tituscrow

    Tituscrow Banned

    Feb 14, 2011
    NW England
    I think yours is the only profile I've seen in here that lists Horace Panter as an influence :)

    Great player....what do you know about his gear, other than what I mentioned above?
  20. Well, gear nerd failure here, I know nothing about his gear at all. I think he plays mostly fingers but sometimes with a plectrum. He was interviewed in BP within the last couple of years or so, I will see if I can find the issue and shed some light on the gear.

    He gets a huge sound out of the bass, and plays with such energy and vigor. He's one of those guys who's playing sounds so fresh, then you figure it out and it's all pretty straightforward, but it shows one what is capable with a bass. Sometimes the simplest things played just so with the right timing kill like nothing else. Chalk it up to the fact that he's just a good, musical, pumping bass player.