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Monday, May 7, 2018

The Specials - Ska record "A Message To You, Rudy".(information, video, comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part II of a two part pancocojams series about the now classic Rocksteady song "Rudy, A Message To You" by Dandy Livingstone and the now classic Ska/Two Tone cover of that song by the Specials entitled "A Message To You, Rudy".

This post presents information about The Specials and information about Two Tone music. This post also showcases The Specials' cover version of Dandy Livingston's song and includes selected comments from a YouTube example of that song.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2018/05/dandy-livingstones-classic-rocksteady.html for Part I of this series. Part I presents information about singer Dandy Livingstone and showcases his original version of this song.

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The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Dandy Livingstone for writing this song and thanks to The Specials for their musical legacy. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this sound file on YouTube.
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Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2018/05/differences-between-ska-and-rocksteady.html for a pancocojams post that provides information about and examples of Ska & Rocksteady music.

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PANCOCOJAMS EDITOR'S NOTE
In this song, "Rudy" is derived from "rude boys", which originated as a 1960s Jamaican patois referent for street youth who would be called "gangstas" or "thugs" in United States vernacular. The term "rude" (impolite) may have been chosen as a referent for this population because of their anti-social attitudes/behaviors as well as their poor upbringings. In the United Kingdom, "rude boys" took on another meaning as one referent for fans of Ska and Two Tone music. (Information about two tone music is found below.)

However, the words to this song also have a more contemporary application as noted by commenter lastroth who embedded a video of The Specials cover of this Dandy Livingstone song with his or her comment in a TPM discussion thread entitled "Rudy Giuliani Is Our Duke Of The Week" http://forums.talkingpointsmemo.com/t/discussion-rudy-giuliani-is-our-duke-of-the-week/71834/5. Here's information about TMP's "Golden Duke Award":
“In 2018, TPM has began awarding its Golden Duke — usually an annual prize — once a week. The honor, named for the scandal-plagued former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, goes to a public figure in the political realm who has distinguished themselves with a display of corruption or general ridiculousness.”
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I didn't know about Dandy Livingstons' original song "Rudy, A Message To You" and The Specials' cover of that song entitled ""A Message To You, Rudy"). until I read that comment. Thank you, lastroth!

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE SPECIALS
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Specials
"The Specials, also known as The Special AKA, are an English 2 Tone and ska revival band formed in 1977 in Coventry.[1] Their music combines a "danceable ska and rocksteady beat with punk's energy and attitude".[2] Lyrically they present a "more focused and informed political and social stance".

The band wore mod-style "1960s period rude boy outfits (pork pie hats, tonic and mohair suits and loafers)".[3] In 1980, the song "Too Much Too Young", the lead track on their The Special AKA Live! EP, reached No. 1 in the UK.[4] In 1981, the unemployment-themed single "Ghost Town" also hit No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart.[1]

After seven consecutive UK Top 10 singles between 1979 and 1981, three members of the group abruptly left to form Fun Boy Three.[1] Continuing on as "The Special AKA" (a name they used frequently on earlier Specials releases), a substantially revised Specials line-up issued new material through 1984, including the top 10 UK hit single "Free Nelson Mandela". Afterwards, founder and songwriter Jerry Dammers dissolved the band and pursued political activism.[5]

The group reformed in 1993, and have continued to perform and record with varying line-ups (but without Dammers)."...
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Here's some information about Rico Rodriguez who is mentioned in a number of comments about The Specials:
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rico_Rodriguez_(musician)
"Emmanuel "Rico" Rodriguez MBE (17 October 1934[2] – 4 September 2015), also known as simply Rico, Reco or El Reco, was a Cuban-born Jamaican ska and reggae trombonist. He recorded with many producers, including Karl Pitterson, Prince Buster, and Lloyd "Matador" Daley. He was known as one of the first and most distinguished ska artists, and from the early 1960s performed and recorded in Britain, with The Members, the Specials, Jools Holland, Paul Young and others."...

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INFORMATION ABOUT TWO TONE MUSIC
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-tone_(music_genre)
"Two-tone (or 2 tone) is a genre of British music that fuses traditional ska with musical elements of punk rock.[1] Its name comes from 2 Tone Records, a label founded by Jerry Dammers of the Specials,[2] and references a desire to transcend and defuse racial tensions in Thatcher-era Britain. Although two-tone's mainstream commercial appeal was largely limited to the UK, it influenced the North American ska punk movement (also known as third wave ska) in the 1980s and 1990s.[3][4]

History

The two-tone sound was developed by young musicians in Coventry, West Midlands, England who grew up hearing 1960s Jamaican music.[5] They combined influences from ska, reggae and rocksteady with elements of punk rock and new wave. Bands considered part of the genre include the Specials, the Selecter, Madness, the Beat, Bad Manners, the Bodysnatchers and Akrylykz.

The term was coined by the Specials' keyboard player Jerry Dammers, who—with the assistance of Horace Panter and graphic designer John "Teflon" Sims—created the iconic Walt Jabsco logo (a man in a black suit, white shirt, black tie, pork pie hat, white socks and black loafers) to represent the two-tone genre. The logo was based on an early album cover photo of Peter Tosh, and included an added black-and-white check pattern.[6][7][8]

Most of the bands considered to be part of the two-tone genre were signed to 2 Tone Records at some point. Other record labels associated with the two-tone sound were Stiff Records and Go Feet Records. The music was especially popular among skinheads, rudies and some mod revivalists."...

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LYRICS & SONG SUMMARY
From https://genius.com/The-specials-a-message-to-you-rudy-lyrics

A MESSAGE TO YOU, RUDY
(The Specials, Featuring Rico Rodriguez
Produced by Elvis Costello)

"[Instrumental break]
[Hook 1]
Stop your messing around
Better think of your future
Time you straighten right out
Creating problems in town

[Chorus]
Rudy, a message to you
Rudy, a message to you

[Hook 2]
Stop your fooling around
Time you straighten right out
Better think of your future
Else you’ll wind up in jail

[Chorus]
Rudy, a message to you
Rudy, a message to you

[Hook 1]
Stop your messing around
Better think of your future
Time you straighten right out
Creating problems in town

This song has an overall message imploring the audience to get their life in check before they waste it causing trouble. Rudy is slang for RudeBoy a subculture of people who make up a part of the fanbase for ska bands like The Specials."

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SHOWCASE VIDEO: The Specials - A Message to You Rudy (Official Music Video)



Metropolis Touring, Published on Jul 23, 2012
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Selected comments from this sound file's discussion thread (with numbers added for referencing purposes only)
1. Chris W, 2014
"Awesome song....Great version...so much talent came out of Coventry the 70's and 80s"

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2. LONGHORNCROSSING, 2014
"Amazing how many groups got the influence from these guys and Marley age music. Rip to the pioneers"

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3. chogokin666, 2014
"Dandy Livingstone original is the best but Specials look great and are a great band and what a smashing vid."

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4. ROUBA79, 2014
"RUDE BOYS"

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5. RUDI, 2015
"Not sure why, but this song resonates with me."

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6. Rudy G, 2015
"Considering the fact that I am ignoring my homework and procrastinating as usual. This song really is the anthem to my life."

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7. Alex Bluez, 2015
"What 2 tone is actually about? Most 2 tone I know had something involve with 2 colours suit, fedora, doc marten and floating vocal sound.

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REPLY
8. Kathryn Seaborn, 2015
"actually it was about the differences between black and white people, as black people were treated horrible back when two tone came out it was to show equality and to say that we are all equal no matter our colour "

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REPLY
9. Oneida Wolf, 2015
"Exactly what Kathryn said, two tone music was exactly what the title says. Black and white members playing ska music together as brothers, equals."

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10. Solly Khan, 2015
"a real fun song,with the band enjoying playing this track,something modern musicians lack today...evokes happiness and feel good factor,just fab.."

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11. Oier Fano, 2015
"Classy and classic as well. This is music."

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12. John Smith, 2015
"I always loved the specials. Grew up with this music back in the day. But man, they couldn't dress and they couldn't dance!!!"

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REPLY
13. CΓ‘llate, 2015
"What do you mean they dress badass!!!"

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14. Pat Diamond, 2015
"Was into "blue beat" many years ago before we had "Ska" , "Rock Steady" then "Reggae", love them all, this music gets to your soul. Still love to listen to Max Romeo, Derrick Morgan, Harry J and the gang!"

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15. Lady Adelinda, 2015
"Since the people here posting prior to the Bates Motel Airing this song, I really loved this song so i tracked it down..whats another few bands or songs I should look for? Seeking suggestions. Thanks"

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REPLY
16. LcUiFdCi4LiFe, 2015
"Try searching UK Ska and what comes up... If you like this song search for the soundtrack of the film "This is England" its will have loads of ska music on there"

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REPLY
17. Lsoon, 2016
"two tone music."

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18. Juan Leal, 2015
"Rest in Peace top rude bwoy Rico Rodriguez!!"

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19. Naufal Ejaz, 2016
"RIP Rico Rodriguez, thank you for the music."

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20. Guy Dutton, 2016
"Another Brilliant 80s band.
Sadly recently loosing one of my all time favourite Drummers
RIP John Bradbury"

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21. Jahangir Khan, 2016
"If this was America, Rudy would already be in jail on account of being black therefore we would never have got this great song, big up UK."

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22. Peter Yost, 2016
"Pretty good, I still prefer the Dandy Livingstone version."

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23. Epin Hervin, 2016
"Very original and very specials attitude and even today many child in Bandung copying them <3 Coventry rulez" ** 24, Nate 8, 2016 "Were these guys the first Ska band ever? I'm being serious. Does anybody know? Or were they a UB40 biter that made a great tune. Sampled by Sublime and everything." ** REPLY 25. The NEW Nile Ue Ue Fly, 2016 "+Nate 8 They were part of the second wave of Ska music, aka "2 Tone", which arose in Britain at the very end of the 1970s. First wave ska is stuff like The Skatalites and Prince Buster." ** REPLY 26. TheTrueHappy, 2016 "+Nate 8 Ska came about in the 1950's and is the predecessor genre to Rocksteady and Reggae. Rocksteady slowed down a little, and reggae slowed down even more. Ska was fast and upbeat. For instance, this song is a cover of Dandy Livingston and isn't considered a ska song, but rocksteady. The original version came out in 1967. So The Specials were nowhere near the first ska band. But they were influential to the later days of ska." ** REPLY 27. Nate 8, 2016 "Thanks for the info. I now will investigate The Skatalites and Prince Buster." ** 28. Jorge Salazar Monterola, 2016 "I really love this masterpice , make me happy and remember." ** 29.Sulla Felixxx, 2016 "Fidelity Investments commercial brought me here. What a great song !" ** 30. dieselwalter, 2016 "Great song. Thanks fo Fidelity Investments, Google and Spotify for getting it onto my life." -snip- A number of commenters mentioned that this 2016 Fidelity Insurance commercial was what “brought them here” [to this The Specials YouTube video]. Click https://www.ispot.tv/ad/AHhC/fidelity-investments-retirement-score-song-by-the-specials for that commercial.

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31. Babyboy 5star, 2017
"fire πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯"

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32. Rudy Quiroz, 2017
"Im sorry for messing around"

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33. infinitygenealpa, 2017
"Time Rudy Giuliani straightens out! XD"

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34. Eddie Vance, 2017
"the 80's brit sound lord love it"

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35. Ze Germanz, 2017
"What's this genre called? Love the beat and instruments used just makes you want to nod along :)"

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REPLY
36. martin smith, 2017
"Ze Germanz The genre is "rocksteady"."

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37. Rebecca Cawthray, 2017
"Forgot how much I liked this band... this track may be a cover but it's GREAT"

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38. Jack Gilson, 2017
"The days when you could be a skinhead and not be racist"

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39. WhoAreYou !?, 2018
"I Came here from the Netflix serie Bates Motel. This song came in this scene where this girl driving down the street with a old VW full of Mariuhana plants πŸ˜‚ Priceless scene πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚"

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40. Bloop, 2018
"Here in 2018... Anyone else?.. (Brought by the movie Chef - Song was the Reggae Version)"

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This concludes Part II of this two part pancocojams series.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

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