The Selecter are often considered 2 Tone‘s ‘also ran’s’ behind The Specials. They were a top live draw in their own right, though, and their 1980 album Too Much Pressure was full of sharp, organ-heavy ska pop such as Three Minute Hero and On My Radio (sampled by Basement Jaxx on their track of the same name).
Celebrate The Bullet (1981) was the ambivalent follow-up that tried to get serious (singer Pauline Black even stopped wearing a porkpie hat).
It was patchier by far, but in the doom-laden title track and Washed Up & Left For Dead they made probably the best music of their career.
The band had a geographically diverse background. Guitarist Commie Amanor was originally from South Africa. Bassist Charley Anderson, keyboard player Desmond Brown and drummer Charley ‘H’ Bembridge were all born in Jamaica. Vocalist Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson grew up in the West Indies. Only guitarist and founder Neol Davies and frontwoman Pauline Black were natives of Coventry, where the ska revival began.
Compton “Commie” Amanor
Charley “H” Bembridge
Arthur “Gaps” Hendrickson