An Eight Part History of The Specials - Part Six - FB3 vs. The Special AKA.

FB3 vs. The Special AKA

Neville, Terry and Lynval - Fun Boy Three (1981)
Neville, Terry and Lynval - Fun Boy Three (1981)

The change in direction and sound made by the Fun Boy Three was well received by the public, sending 'The Lunatics...' up to number 20 in the charts.

Meanwhile the remaining Specials - Jerry, Horace and Brad - spent some time in Germany touring as part of Rico's band to get away from it all.

On their return they decided to continue with The Specials, reverting back to the 'The Special AKA' for future releases. The first single, released in January 1982, was 'The Boiler' which featured former Bodysnatchers singer, Rhoda Dakar on lead vocals, and told the harrowing tale of a rape victim.
Rhoda with the Special AKA
Rhoda with the Special AKA

Despite being banned by most radio stations for it's uneasy subject matter and graphic imagery, it managed to reach number 35 in the chart.
Fun Boy Three were next up in February 1982, this time releasing 'It Aint What You Do' featuring then unknown all-girl group Bananarama. The single was a smash hit, reaching number 4 in the UK singles chart, and launching Bananarama into the spotlight. This was followed in March by their debut album entitled simply 'Fun Boy Three', which was well rated by the press and public alike, reaching number 7 in the UK album charts.

Appallingly, after a night out to promote the album, Lynval Golding was savagely attacked in Coventry City centre, his assailants leaving him for dead after stabbing him several times. Thankfully Lynval was strong enough to recover, but not before spending time in hospital intensive care.

The Special AKA released 'Jungle Music' in March. Credited to Rico and the Special AKA, it was a fine track which saw Horace retuning on the bass, having been absent on 'The Boiler'. Jerry spent the next several months trying to find a stable line-up for the band, as well as signing a few new acts to 2 Tone.

April and May not only saw Lynval, but also Neville recuperating, having had an operation on his vocal chords. In May the Fun Boy Three released 'The Telephone Always Rings', which reached a respectable 17 in the singles chart, followed in July by a version of George Gershwin's 'Summertime', which also charted at 18.

In December the Special AKA came back with the haunting 'War Crimes'. By now Jerry had built a solid line-up, adding 'Chanel A' singer Stan Campbell and Egidio Newton on vocals, former Swinging Cat John Shipley on guitar and Gary McManus on bass, to the already enlisted Rhoda Dakar and John Bradbury. Again the subject matter of the single was most likely the reason it didn't get much airplay, and for that reason it failed to chart.
The Special AKA - 1982 (Back from left: Jerry Dammers, John Bradbury, Gary McManus, John Shipley, Front: Rhoda Dakar, Stan Campbell, Egidio Newton)
The Special AKA - 1982 (Back from left: Jerry Dammers, John Bradbury, Gary McManus, John Shipley, Front: Rhoda Dakar, Stan Campbell, Egidio Newton)

January 1983 and the Fun Boy Three released another single 'The More I See', a comment on the troubles in Northern Ireland. They too experienced the the wrath of radio playlisters deeming a single unsuitable, and despite lack of support the single reached 68 in the charts.

Fun Boy Three - Waiting

Late in January 1983, their second album 'Waiting' was released. Produced by Talking Head David Byrne, the album received wide critical acclaim and peaked at 12 on the album chart.

While the Special AKA were still holed up in the studio, the Fun Boy Three released another single in February. 'The Tunnel Of Love', taken from the 'Waiting' album, revived their singles chart success reaching number 10 on the chart. At this time the band also prepared for their first tour.
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