The Selecter are a 2 Tone ska revival band from Coventry, England, formed in the late Seventies by Neol Davies. By mid-1979 the group's lineup was completed with the recruitment of vocalist Pauline Black, who shared vocal duties with Arthur 'Gaps' Hendrickson. The band scored a Top 10 hit in the UK that November with the single "On The Radio". The seven-piece band issued debut LP 'Too Much Pressure' in 1980. Black left the band in 1981 following the release of their second LP, 'Celebrate The Bullet', and the group then disbanded.

The group reformed in 1991, with a lineup that included Black, Davies and Hendrickson. Following a hiatus in 2006, the group reformed again in 2010 and continue to the present. The latter lineup no longer includes founder member Davies, who launched his own short-lived incarnation of the band in 2011.

Links To Peel

"At this very moment, the Selecters are very much go at Peel Acres." (29 October 1979)

Although Peel did play the group's eponymous debut single (a split 7" with the Specials 'Gangsters' on the flip), it was their second single "On The Radio" that made Peel a very enthusiastic supporter of the group. This was the first to feature Pauline Black on vocals. After playing both sides of the 7" on 24 September 1979, he did admit that his preference was for the B-side, "Too Much Pressure", as the documented plays would indicate.

After expressing his desire to see the group play live several times, Peel got his wish when the 2 Tone package tour came to the UEA in Norwich on 26 October 1979, with Madness and the Specials completing the bill. Commenting on the gig on the programme of 29 October 1979, John stated that he had enjoyed the Selecter's set most of all, perhaps because they had most to prove in such heavyweight company. It wasn't just the music that found favour with Peel, as the DJ candidly admitted on the same show: "And if I was given to making sexist remarks, I'd say that Pauline of the band is a cracker."

"On My Radio" moved into the Top 10 in the singles chart in November 1979. On 13 November 1979 Peel noted that the record had risen a place to #8 in that week's Top 40. This happened to become its peak position.

Peel received a copy of their debut LP in early 1980, declaring it "a cracker of an album" [1]. He began working his way through the tracks in late January, noting with approval on 07 February 1980 that Sounds magazine had given it their maximum rating of 5/5 in their review that week. However, Peel wasn't as instantly grabbed by the group's next single, "Three Minute Hero", admitting on 15 January 1980 that it had taken five or six listens for the song to grow on him.

Peel continued to play the group's material before their split in 1981. "Missing Words" was given another spin on the programme in October 1999 as a result of the DJ airing the Selecter tribute track "Pauline" by The 'Tone.

Festive Fifty Entries

  • None.


1. Recorded: 1979-10-09. First broadcast: 22 October 1979. Repeated: 14 November 1979, 27 December 1979, 09 June 1980.

  • They Make Me Mad / Carry Go Bring Come / Street Feeling / Danger

2. Recorded: 1980-11-10. First broadcast: 01 December 1980. Repeated: 01 January 1981.

  • Selling Out Your Future / Deep Water / Tell What's Wrong / Washed Up And Left For Dead
Both sessions released on the LP "BBC Sessions / Live At The Paris Theatre '79" (EMI, 1998).

Other Shows Played

The list below was researched only from the database of this site and Lorcan's Tracklistings Archive and is certainly incomplete. Please add further information if known.

JP: "Chart bound sounds! Well who can say. But I hope so."

External Links

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