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ALBUM REVIEW: STARING AT THE RUDE BOYS

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★★★★☆

This three CD set illuminates the golden era of The British Ska Revival 1979-1989. ‘Staring At The Rudeboys’ brings 2-Tone bands like The Specials, Madness and The Selecter under the same roof as ska originals like Judge Dred and mods like The Lambrettas. This compilations even verges into the psychedelic with Teenage Filmstars. Sax Maniax make an appearance with ‘Never Gonna Lose Me’ and Rude Boys ‘Rude Boy Shuffle’ ends the party as the final track. The inner booklet has been built for hardcore fans, featuring a paragraph on each song written next to it’s original artwork. Daryl Smith and Viki Vortex have done a stellar job on the bright, iconic artwork.

Interestingly, Graduate feature on the album. They later morphed into the mighty Tears For Fears and Wayne Hussey. Likewise, The Mission pops up in The Ded Byrds. With 69 tracks, its fair to say that the energy is kept high, if not for the odd dodgy recording. Mark Brenna who compiled the collection chooses Madness – ‘Bed And Breakfast Man’ to follow up The Specials – ‘Little Bitch’. It’s the band’s closest call with indie, mainly due to the guitar riff. A classic nonetheless. The Beat and Bad Manners join on, alongside one offs The RB’s, The Thrillers and The Gangsters.

A hearty and ebullient album itching for chequered dance floors to reopen.

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