PV 41274 Too Much Pressure
Produced by Errol Ross/The Selecter
Released on February 1980
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
PV 41274 back cover


    US track listing
  1. ON MY RADIO    (Neol Davies)    3:10
  2. TIME HARD    (George Agard/Sidney Crooks/Jackie Robinson, arr. by The Selecter)    3:10
  3. MISSING WORDS    (Neol Davies)    3:22
  4. DANGER    (Selecter)    2:38
  5. STREET FEELING    (Neol Davies)    3:11
  6. MY COLLIE (NOT A DOG)    (R.Spencer/J.Roberts, arr. by The Selecter)    2:45
  7. THREE MINUTE HERO    (Neol Davies)    3:00
  8. TOO MUCH PRESSURE    (Neol Davies)    3:48
  9. MURDER    (Leon and Owen, arr. by The Selecter)    2:39
  10. THEY MAKE ME MAD    (Pauline Black/L.Brown)    2:47
  11. OUT ON THE STREETS    (Neol Davies)    4:26
  12. CARRY GO BRING COME    (Justin Hinds, arr. by The Selecter)    2:52
  13. BLACK AND BLUE    (Pauline Black)    3:17
  14. JAMES BOND    (Monty Norman, arr. by The Selecter)    2:16


COMPTON AMANOR -- rhythm/lead guitar
DESMOND BROWN -- Hammond keyboard
NEOL DAVIES -- rhythm/lead guitar
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

UK February 1980 2-Tone LP TT 5002  
US/CAN 1980 Chrysalis LP CHR 1274  
GER/POR 1980 Chrysalis LP 6307 693  
NZ 1980 Chrysalis LP L37170  
US   Chrysalis LP PV 41274  
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.)


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