Wednesday, March 22, 2017

It Probably Helped: The Specials (The Special AKA) and "Nelson Mandela"

An 80's dance tune by The Specials is our random tune for today. The song Nelson Mandela had political significance, as it called for the South African government to free the political icon who founded the African National Congress. The Specials, also known as The Special AKA, are an English 2-Tone and ska band with political and social themes in their songs and characterized by their mod rude boy outfits. They had 7 consecutive UK Top 10 hits 1979 and 1981, but split up after three original members left the band to form Fun Boy Three. In 1982 remaining members of the band renamed it The Special AKA but the band had numerous lineup changes. In 1993, the original lineup reunited, and the band has come together for various events since then, and even released a live album in 2013 - though a studio album has not been released since 2001. Nelson Mandela can be found on The Specials (The Special AKA)' 1984 release In the Studio. The song is upbeat and draws on South African musical influences, and has been listed by The New Statesman as one of the top 20 political songs ever recorded.