The Special AKA Live!

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The Special AKA Live!
EP by The Specials
Released 18 January 1980
Recorded The Lyceum, London, and Tiffany's, Coventry, 1979
Genre Ska
Length 11:04
Label 2 Tone - CHS TT7[1]
Producer Jerry Dammers and Dave Jordan

The Special AKA Live! was a live EP by The Specials, released in 1980.

Renowned for their live shows, The Specials released a five-track live EP in January 1980 as the third single by the band. The EP featured "Too Much Too Young" (originally recorded on the album The Specials) with "Guns of Navarone" recorded live in London; and "Skinhead Symphony"-a medley of "Long Shot Kick De Bucket", "The Liquidator" and "Skinhead Moonstomp" - which was recorded at Tiffany's in Coventry.[1]

Lead track "Too Much Too Young" is based on the 1969 song "Birth Control" by Lloyd Charmers. It is sometimes wrongly stated that the song was banned by the BBC due to mentions of contraception in the lyrics. This is not true - however, when the song's promotional video was featured on Top of the Pops, it was cut off just before reaching the final line, "try wearing a cap".[2]

The song topped the UK Singles Chart for two weeks in February 1980.[1] It became only the second EP to top the chart after "The Roussos Phenomenon EP" in 1976, and was also the first live recording to top the chart since Chuck Berry's "My Ding-a-Ling" in 1972.[1] It was the shortest song to reach No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart in the 1980s at 2:04.

Rico Rodriguez played trombone on "Guns of Navarone" and "Long Shot Kick De Bucket", and Dick Cuthell played flugelhorn on "Guns of Navarone".[1]

Track listing[edit]

Side A
  1. "Too Much Too Young" (Jerry Dammers, Lloyd Chalmers) - 2:04
  2. "Guns of Navarone" (Dimitri Tiomkin, Webster) - 2:25
Side B - Skinhead Symphony
  1. "Long Shot Kick De Bucket" (George Agard, Sydney Crooks, Jackie Robinson) - 3:10
  2. "The Liquidator" (Harry Johnson) - 1:15
  3. "Skinhead Moonstomp" (Roy Ellis, Monty Naysmith) - 2:11

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Peak
Irish Singles Chart [3] 3
UK Singles Chart [4] 1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 201. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  2. ^ ""Too Much Too Young" release details - "It was also the first 2 Tone release to fall foul of the censors. The final line of "Too Much Too Young", "Try wearing a cap", proved too much for the nations moral guardians and the song was deliberately cut short before the offending word "cap" was broadcast"". Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  3. ^ Jaclyn Ward - Fireball Media Ltd (1962-10-01). "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  4. ^ "ChartArchive - The Chart Archive". Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
Preceded by
"Brass in Pocket" by The Pretenders
UK number one single
2 February 1980
(for two weeks)
Succeeded by
"Coward of the County" by Kenny Rogers