CHR TT 5007
Released: 26 November 1983
The Special AKA - Gangsters
Madness - Madness
The Selecter - On My Radio
The Beat - Tears of a Clown
The Specials - Rudi, A Message to You
The Selecter - Too Much Pressure
The Bodysnatchers - Too Experienced
The Beat - Rankin Full Stop
The Specials - Too Much Too Young
The Selecter - The Selecter
The Specials - Stereotype
The Swinging Cats - Mantovani
The Specials - Do Nothing
Rico & The Special AKA - Jungle Music
Rhoda Dakar & The Special AKA - The Boiler
The Specials - Ghost Town
Released at the end of 1983 this compilation was an obvious attempt by Chrysalis Records to recoup some of the recent loses it had incurred with 2 Tone. The previous 2 albums on the label, That Man is Forward and Jama, had been commercial failures and Dammers venture into Jazz/Funk with the likes of The Higsons had met with limited success to say the least.
A more commercially viable option for the album would have been to simply collect all the hit singles from the labels back catalogue and maybe add a view album tracks, but to the compilers credit some imagination was used during the selection of tracks. As could only be expected The Specials make up the majority of tracks but unusual choices such as The Prince b-side Madness and the b-side of The Bodysnatchers second single do suggest that at least some thought went into the choice of tracks. Regardless of which tracks were selected the days of 2 Tone catching the nations imagination were long gone and this was reflected in a very poor chart placing of 51. Even the free poster which accompanied initial copies failed to push the album any further up the charts. Poor publicity didn't help matters either, although it did get a section of air time with the short lived BBC music programme Eight Days a Week where John Peel heaped praise upon the album and 2 Tone in general.
The rear has sleeve notes by Adrian Thrills who has long been a champion of the 2 Tone cause. He had presented the BBC Arena documentary on the label 3 years previously in 1980 and recently has appeared on various TV programmes about the period speaking favourably of 2 Tone achievements.
The album was issued in 2 slightly different sleeves. One with a blue background and the other with the same design only this time in pink.