|Too Much Pressure|
|Produced by Errol Ross/The Selecter|
|Released on February 1980|
|US CHART POSITION #5 . . . US CHART POSITION #175|
|Find it at GEMM|
|PV 41274 cover
[high resolution photo]
M ention the early ska movement in England and three names inevitably come up: Madness, The Specials and The Selecter. Like The Specials, The (original) Selecter stuck around just long enough to release two albums, though no one talks about Celebrate The Bullet anymore. The story on The Selecter begins and ends with Too Much Pressure and its singles: “On My Radio,” “Three-Minute Hero,” “Missing Words.” Leaner in sound and punkier in intent, The Selecter lacked the music hall charm of Madness and the musicality of The Specials. In their world, everything really was written in black and white. But what set them apart the most was Pauline Black, who usually sang in a terse, husky tone that suggested a punkier version of Bette Bright or Deborah Harry. Arthur Hendrickson, the second vocalist, was a good foil for Black but favored a laidback style that produced fewer memorable moments. Though they didn’t lack for instruments (none of the original ska bands did), The Selecter’s arrangements were drier than their contemporaries, almost workmanlike to a proletarian degree. Some playful moments emerge (“Street Feeling” for example), but serious numbers like “Too Much Pressure” are more the norm. I’ve always felt The Selecter stayed truer to the original ska ideals than labelmates The Specials and Madness, a foolish conceit since I don’t know the first thing about ska’s origins. They were all working off the same manifesto, I told myself, with The Selecter adopting a more militant stance because they believed deeply in the message. Maybe that’s the case, or maybe their militance was the minimalist approach of a band who didn’t have as much to add to the discussion. Too Much Pressure still carries an important musical message, perhaps a purer one than The Specials or Madness. Ska never really caught on, neither did The Selecter, and both are interesting footnotes in a musical detour that ran out of road before it could be finished. You can live without Too Much Pressure I suppose, but you can’t call yourself a ska fan if you haven’t heard it.
|PV 41274 back cover|
COMPTON AMANOR -- rhythm/lead guitar
CHARLEY ANDERSON -- bass
CHARLEY "H" BEMBRIDGE -- drums
PAULINE BLACK -- vocals
DESMOND BROWN -- Hammond keyboard
NEOL DAVIES -- rhythm/lead guitar
ARTHUR "GAPS" HENDRICKSON -- vocals
Dick Cuthell -- trumpet (12)
Hallfield Boys Choir -- vocals (6)
Joe Reynolds -- saxophone (7)
Rico Rodriguez -- trombone (12,13)
Kim Templman-Holmes -- engineer
"Teflon" Sims -- sleeve design
David Storey -- sleeve design
Rick Mann -- all photography
return to THE SELECTER discography
|REGION||RELEASE DATE||LABEL||MEDIA||ID NUMBER||FEATURES|
|UK||February 1980||2-Tone||LP||TT 5002|
|UK||August 23, 2004||Captain Oi!||CDX||201728||w. bonus tracks|
Did you know...
...that Pauline Black's real name is Pauline Vickers? She changed it to because she didn't want her employers to recognize her name. (Source: OC Ska.)
For more discographies visit...
© 2006 Connolly & Company. All rights reserved.