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The Selecter

Idioma disponível: inglês
One of the key bands of the U.K. ska revival of the late '70s and early '80s, the Selecter were also one of the few racially and sexually integrated acts on the scene, and vocalist Pauline Black often tackled sexism along with racism and other social ills focused upon by groups that were part of the 2-Tone movement. The Selecter's music was rooted in high-energy ska, but they also incorporated a healthy portion of roots reggae influences, which were most audible in the thick basslines and the space the rhythm section put into their performances. The Selecter's best and most enduring release was their debut album, 1980's Too Much Pressure, through after reuniting in 2010, they demonstrated they were still one of the best U.K. ska acts extant with energetic and thoughtful releases like 2015's Subculture and 2023's Human Algebra. The Selecter originally began as a studio project: when the Specials released their debut single, "Gangsters," in 1979, they needed a second song for a B-side, and they decided to use a track that Specials drummer John Bradbury had previously recorded with guitarist Neol Davies and trombone player Barry Jones in 1977; the tune, "Kingston Affair," was credited to the Selecter. When "Gangsters" became a hit and "Kingston Affair" began gaining its share of attention, Davies opted to assemble a proper band using the name. Recruiting his friends Charley Anderson on bass and Desmond Brown on keyboards, Davies filled out the lineup with guitarist Compton Amanor, Charley "H" Bembridge on drums, and vocalist Arthur "Gaps" Hendrickson; when Davies met Pauline Black, he promptly gave her an audition and she was added to the lineup as lead singer. The Selecter were soon added to the 2-Tone Records roster and scaled the U.K. singles charts with "Three Minute Hero," "On My Radio," and "Missing Words." The Selecter's debut album, Too Much Pressure, was released in early 1980, and rose to number five on the U.K. album chart, eventually going gold. At the peak of their success, the Selecter were filmed on tour for Dance Craze, 2-Tone's documentary about the British ska revival, but the first proper lineup began to crumble when Charley Anderson and Desmond Brown left to form their own band, the People. With the addition of keyboard player James Mackie and Adam Williams on bass, the Selecter began work on their second album, but 1981's Celebrate the Bullet was welcomed with tepid reviews and poor sales, and Black left to pursue a solo career, with the band soon breaking up after a new vocalist didn't work out. Black worked in music and as an actress before the enduring popularity of the 2-Tone sound led her to assemble a new lineup of the Selecter with Davies in 1991. The new Selecter released an album, 1992's Out on the Streets, but not long after its release, Davies had left the group, and "Gaps" Hendrickson came aboard in 1993, in time to help cut 1994's The Happy Album. In 1997, No Doubt, serious fans of the 2-Tone era, invited the Selecter to open their American tour, and a steady stream of live and studio releases appeared from the group, most featuring Black and a rotating cast of musicians. In 2006, Black left the Selecter, and for a while Davies toured with his own edition of the group. Black and Hendrickson began performing again as the Selecter in 2010, and in 2015 they released a new album, Subculture, a commanding fusion of reggae and ska that rose to number five on the U.K. indie album chart. The Selecter returned in October 2017 with the album Daylight, with the band once again anchored by Black and Hendrickson. The group supported the release with an extensive tour of the U.K., Europe, and Australia. The band showed off their prowess on stage with 2018's concert album Live at the Roundhouse, and in 2021, the classic debut Too Much Pressure was given a deluxe reissue on both CD and LP. The CD edition included two bonus discs featuring a selection of singles and rarities as well as a live concert recorded in 1979. In 2022, Pauline Black was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of her contribution to British entertainment, and later the same year, she was declared a Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands. In 2023, the Selecter issued a fresh studio album, Human Algebra, which combined songs of political and social significance with musings on personal relationships. The album also included a song honoring the passing of their friend and fellow ska star Ranking Roger, "Parade the Crown." The lineup included Black, original members Arthur "Gaps" Hendrickson and Charley "H" Bembridge, and guitarist John Robertson, Andy Pearson on bass, Lee Horsley on keyboards, and producer Neil Pyzer on saxophone, keyboards, and guitar.
© Mark Deming /TiVo
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