Today's Specials

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For the 2009 film, see Today's Special (2009 film). For the Canadian children's TV show (1982-1987), see Today's Special.
Today's Specials
Today's Specials.jpg
Studio album by The Specials
Released May 14, 1996
Genre Ska
Length 47:41
Label Virgin
Producer Tom Lowry, Neville Staple, Stoker
The Specials chronology
Too Much Too Young: The Gold Collection
Today's Specials
Guilty 'Til Proved Innocent!
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[1]

Today's Specials is a cover album by The Specials, released in 1996 (see 1996 in music). It is the first studio album by the group since 1984, although not in the full original line-up. Original members Neville Staple, Roddy Byers, Lynval Golding, and Horace Panter are joined by new members Mark Adams and Adam Birch, along with a number of sessions musicians. Lead vocals are mostly handled by Staple and Golding, with Neville's daughter Sheena Staples contributing backing vocals to the album.

The album did not receive favourable reviews from media or fans, with many reviewers decrying in particular the over-use of synthesizers and pre-programmed drums beats.[2][3] Neville Staple claims that several of the recordings were actually produced demos, and regrets including them on the album.[4]

The track "Hypocrite" was released as a single.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Take Five" Paul Desmond 3:56
2. "Pressure Drop" Toots Hibbert 4:18
3. "Hypocrite" Leroy Sibbles 3:25
4. "Goodbye Girl" Ken Boothe 3:57
5. "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" Neil Diamond 4:32
6. "Time Has Come" Slim Smith 5:09
7. "Dirty Old Town" Ewan MacColl 3:33
8. "Somebody Got Murdered" The Clash 3:06
9. "Shanty Town 007" Desmond Dekker 3:57
10. "Simmer Down" Bob Marley 3:46
11. "Maga Dog" Peter Tosh 2:54
12. "Bad Boys" Beckford Bailey 5:08


  • Neville Staple - vocals, producer
  • Roddy Byers - vocals, guitar
  • Lynval Golding - guitar, vocals, harmonica, mixing
  • Horace Panter - bass guitar
  • Mark Adams - organ, keyboards, backing vocals, programming, mixing
  • Adam Birch - trombone, trumpet, horn, flugelhorn
  • Aitch Hyatt - drums, backing vocals
  • Kendell Smith - DJ Vocals
  • Sheena Staple - backing vocals
  • Stoker - producer, mixing
  • Tom Lowry - producer, programming, engineer
  • Jim Lansberry - programming, mixing, engineer


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Original Rude Boy: From Borstal to The Specials by Neville Staple with Tony McMahon; Chapter 10: The Third Wave - America Revive's Ska