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© Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis
Released in 1979, Gangsters was the debut single of The Specials, then known as The Special AKA.
The song opens with a ‘sample’ of the screeching tyres/car wreck intro of Prince Buster’s Al Capone. In place of Buster’s original shoutout of "Al Capone’s guns don’t argue," Neville Staples bellows "Bernie Rhodes knows, don’t argue!", a reference to their former manager who also managed The Clash.
Featuring a blinding solo from Roddy ‘Radiation’ Byers, Gangsters reached number 6 in the UK charts.
G is also for… Guns Of Navarone: Another essential ska track, Guns of Navarone by The Skatalites was a skanking version of the soundtrack of the 1961 movie of the same name. The Specials often played the song live.