The Specials were a British band formed in 1977 in Coventry (see 1977 in music). They fused elements of punk rock and ska to create a new sound that became known as Two Tone. They were best known for singles including "Ghost Town", "Too Much Too Young" and their debut, "Gangsters" . Originally known as the Coventry Automatics and the Special A.K.A. the band members were Jerry Dammers, Terry Hall, Roddy Radiation, John Bradbury, Sir Horace Gentleman, Lynval Golding and Neville Staples.
After performing for a time, including with the Clash, Dammers founded his own label, 2-Tone Records, and released "Gangsters", a Top Ten hit in 1979 (See 1979 in music). The band had begun wearing two-toned mod-style tonic suits, along with other late 60s teen fashion. Their debut LP was The Specials, produced by Elvis Costello). "Too Much Too Young" was a #1 hit in spite of a ban by the BBC due to the song's lyrics, which promoted contraception. More Specials was not as popular as previous recordings, and 2-Tone was having trouble as well. In 1981, they released "Ghost Town", another #1 hit (see 1981 in music). Staples, Golding and Hall departed, and Dammers added Stan Campbell and began working under the name Special A.K.A. The result, In the Studio, was regarded by many as a failure, though "Racist Friend" and "Free Nelson Mandela" were hits. Dammers then dissolved the group and pursued activism.