The Selecter biography
The Selecter are a 2 Tone ska revival band from Coventry, England, formed in mid 1979.
Like many other bands in the ska revival movement, The Selecter featured a racially diverse line-up. Their lyrics featured themes connected to politics and a positive message of multicultural inclusivity, set to strong melodies and a danceable beat. What set The Selecter apart from the other 2 Tone bands at the time, were the songs of Neol Davies, the voice and unique rude-girl style of Pauline Black and the pumping rhythms of Desmond Brown on the Hammond organ. The band's name is based on the term "selector", which is a Jamaican word for disc jockey. The band were one of the most successful ska bands of the 2 Tone era, notching up a handful of hit singles in the British charts.
The Selecter reformed in 1991 and vocalist, Pauline Black, continued to perform and release music under The Selecter name until 2006. Some confusion emerged over two competing lineups for the Selecter in 2011, between that featuring Neol Davies and that featuring Pauline Black and Arthur 'Gaps' Hendrickson, In June 2011 Pauline Black applied for the trademark to The Selecter and has since secured it.
HistoryIn 1977, Neol Davies and John Bradbury (who later became a member of The Specials) with the trombone player Barry Jones, recorded a track in a recording session in 1977/8 that resulted in "Kingston Affair". The band name also became the new title, The Selecter, of the debut instrumental single, released as one side of the double A sided first 2 Tone Records single, "Gangsters vs.The Selecter", released in March 1979, getting to 6 in the national chart. The track was originally written as a possible theme tune to an ITV series. Neol Davies was solo as The Selecter at the time of the single being released but wanted a band with long time friends Desmond Brown and Charley Anderson. The line-up for the original band was completed when Pauline Black was spotted by Neol Davies. Davies offered Pauline an audition with The Selecter - she joined along with 3 other members in July 1979, and the new resultant band released the singles "On My Radio", "Three Minute Hero" and "Missing Words", written by Neol Davies. The Selecter's debut album,Too Much Pressure, was recorded at the end of 1979 and beginning of the new year, and was released in February 1980 by 2 Tone Records and Chrysalis Records. Charley Anderson and Desmond Brown then left The Selecter later that year to form The People. Their replacements were James Mackie and Adam Williams. Their second album, Celebrate the Bullet was issued in February 1981, before Pauline Black left the band to pursue a solo career. A short time after, unsuccessfully having tried Stan Campbell as the singer, the rest of the members disbanded. The Selecter were featured in the 2 Tone film documentary and on the live compilation album, Dance Craze.
The first actual band called 'The Selecter' came to an end and the members moved all over the world and on to their own careers in music, film and TV as well as book writing.
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