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Neville Staple

Neville Staple
Neville Staple – Dundee Doghouse – 2007
Background information
Birth name Neville Eugenton Staple
Born (1955-04-11) 11 April 1955
Manchester, Jamaica
Origin Coventry, England
Genres 2 Tone, ska, new wave
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Vocalist
Years active 1977–present
Labels 2 Tone, Chrysalis
Associated acts The Specials
Fun Boy Three
The Neville Staple Band
Special Beat

Neville Eugenton Staple (born 11 April 1955) is a Jamaican born English singer for the two-tone ska band, The Specials as well as his own combo, The Neville Staple Band. He also sang with Ranking Roger in Special Beat.[1]


  • Early life 1
  • The Specials 2
  • Fun Boy Three 3
  • Third wave 4
  • Solo career 5
  • Original Rude Boy 6
  • Solo discography 7
    • Albums 7.1
    • Compilations and guest appearances 7.2
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Early life

Staple was born in Manchester, Jamaica. Neville left Jamaica to live in the English town of Rugby, Warwickshire at the age of five but later moved to Coventry. He was initially active in the sound system scene, forming his own crew called "Jah Baddis". Neville was a regular fixture at the Locarno ballroom in Coventry where he met the resident DJ there, Pete Waterman. Pete wrote the foreword to Neville's biography – "Original Rude Boy" – and briefly managed The Specials.[2]

The Specials

Neville's first involvement with The Specials was when they were still called The Coventry Automatics, prior to Terry Hall and John Bradbury's entrance. He initially joined as their roadie but at a gig supporting The Clash, Neville took to the stage and never looked back. For a while, The Specials were managed by The Clash's manager Bernard Rhodes of whom Neville used to toast "Bernie Rhodes knows don't argue" at the beginning of the Specials hit single "Gangsters".[3]

Neville's vocal style is toasting or chanting over a rhythm. A forerunner of rapping which was brought to Britain in the 1960s by musicians from Jamaica. Neville honed his toasting skills on the sound system scene in Coventry during the 1970s. Later in his solo career and with the reunited Specials, he would sing as well as toast. When he joined the Coventry Automatics, the line up already included Jerry Dammers, Horace Panter and Silverton Hutchinson on drums. Terry Hall subsequently came in as vocalist, replacing Tim Strickland, and Roddy Radiation on lead guitar. John Bradbury would later take over on drums from Silverton.[4] Neville participated in a reunion line up of The Specials from 1993 to 2001, and again from 2009 to 2012, when he left the band due to health concerns.[5]

Fun Boy Three

When The Specials split up, Neville departed with Terry Hall and Lynval Golding, to form Fun Boy Three. They had a string of chart hits, some in collaboration with the all-female trio Bananarama.[6]

Third wave

In 1990, Staple joined Ranking Roger from The Beat to form Special Beat, a revival group playing hits from both former two-tone bands. This was in response to the huge explosion of interest in ska in the United States, the so-called "Third Wave" of ska. Neville moved to California in the 1990s to work with many of these new American ska acts. Bands he collaborated with included No Doubt, Rancid and Unwritten Law. Neville also featured on the song "Explosive" by the Canadian ska band, The Planet Smashers.[7]

In 2000, Staple's re-recordings of hits by The Specials and Fun Boy Three were released as The Very Best of the Specials and Fun Boy Three, though without being prominently labelled as a solo work by Staple.

Solo career

Neville worked for many years in the US with various bands and also with The Hitmen, including providing a soundtrack for the movie, 'Vampires Anonymous' and extensive touring.

In 2004, Neville returned to the UK and formed "The Neville Staple Band", releasing the critically acclaimed[8] album The Rude Boy Returns, with contributions from Bad Manners with Warren Middleton (trombone), Andy Perriss (guitar), Stephen Armstrong (bass) Joe Atkinson (from Flipron, keyboards) and Patrick Pretorius (from The Talks)/Matty Bane (drums).[9]

Since 2004, Neville has relentlessly toured the UK, Europe, The Middle East, Australia & New Zealand with his own band, as well as several successful tours and shows alongside Ranking Roger of The Beat and Pauline Black of The Selecter as Special Beat and Legends of Ska. He also helped to launch the career of Johnny Zee (aka Taz Nation) of Bollywood music fame, after managing and producing for him early on.

He has a daughter Sheena Staple, who lived in the US, and who worked on a solo album, and a son Darren Simms, who is the lead singer in various US reggae / rock bands including "DreadStarr" and is a male model and motorbike racing champion.

In 2013 Neville produced a new album called 'Ska Crazy' with his band for release May 2014, which includes old ska classic covers and brand new material. His wife Christine Staple and long time friend Daddy Woody, a Jamaican DJ/Artist, also provide vocals on the album.

Neville has also worked on various collaborations with 'The Mutants' (Rhythm and Punk Review) including co-writing 4 tracks on the album – (one of them co-written with his wife Christine), 'The Talks'[10] and Flipron as well as tracks with 'The Dub Pistols' (release 2014) and 'Duplex'.

In 2015 Neville produced 'Rudegirl Sounds' by Christine 'Sugary Staple' as well as began more production projects including a new album with his band other other musician friends.

Original Rude Boy

In April 2009, Neville Staple set out on a reunion tour with The Specials.[11][12][13] The same month also saw the launch of his biography Original Rude Boy published by Aurum Press. The book covers Neville's involvement with the 1970s sound system scene and childhood in Jamaica. Then how a chance encounter with Jerry Dammers and The Specials led to his involvement in that band and Fun Boy Three. Neville collaborated with former BBC journalist Tony McMahon on the book and both are registered with the Blake Friedmann literary agency.[14]

Solo discography


  • 1998 – Skanktastic (Six-song EP) (Moon Records)
  • 2000 – Ghost Town: 13 Hits of the Specials and Fun Boy Three (Anagram – Cherry Red Records)
  • 2001 – Neville Staple from the Specials (525 Music Production)
  • 2002 – Ska Au Go-Go (as "Special Skank Ft. Neville Staple") (Cleopatra)
  • 2004 – The Rude Boy Returns (Rude Boy Records)
  • 2005 – The Rude Boy Returns: Neville Staple Live (DVD) (Asian Man Records)
  • 2014 – Ska Crazy (Cleopatra)

Compilations and guest appearances

Artist Title Release
Label Details
Various Artists The Sound of Ska 1989 Music Factory Toasting on "The Sound of Ska Medley"
Various Artists The Shack 1993 BiB Records "Rude Boy De Ponporbation (007)" credited to "Neville Staple aka Judge Roughneck"; "Why?" and "Wear You to the Ball" credited to Neville Staple and Lynval Golding (both tracks actually Specials/Fun Boy Three demos[15])
The Soup Dragons Hydrophonic 1994 polygram Toasting on "Rest in Peace", joined by Lynval Golding on guitar.
Desorden Publico Diablo 2000 Guerra Sound Records Appears on "Black Market man"
Various Artists Off the Wall, Volume IV - A Collection Of Vans' Music 2001 Vans Records "Mess With Me" credited to Neville Staple & The Hitmen
Unwritten Law Elva 2002 Interscope Records DJ vocal on "Evolution"
Various Artists Vampires Anonymous (Soundtrack) 2003 Soundtrack unreleased "Working Hard", "What Can I Do", "Take A Look at Me", "Pressure Drop" credited to Neville Staple & The Hitmen (all songs written by Neville Staple and Miles Woodroffe except "Pressure Drop"). Neville also cameos in the film.
Planet Smashers Mighty 2003 Golf/Stomp Records Appears on & co-wrote the track "Explosive"
Various Artists The Dawning of a New Era (Mojo May 2008) 2008 Mojo Magazine "Gangsters" credited to Neville Staple
The Talks West Sinister 2012 AOO Records Vocal on "Can Stand The Rain"
Flipron Firework Shoes 2012 Tiny Dog Records Vocal on "The Comet Returns"
Dub Pistols Return of the Pistoleros 2015 Sunday Best


  1. ^
  2. ^ [4]
  3. ^ [5] Archived 29 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ [6] Archived 16 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Grapevine". The Specials. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "Bananarama – The Official Website". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "The Ultimate Punk Music Store!". Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  8. ^ Jo-Ann Greene. "The Rude Boy Returns – Neville Staple : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "6 Music – The Specials reunion". BBC. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  12. ^ "UK | England | Coventry/Warwickshire | Ska band confirms reunion plans". BBC News. 7 April 2008. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  13. ^ "The Specials reunite for 2009 tour | News". Nme.Com. 2 December 2008. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  14. ^ "Book Clients: Neville Staple". Blake Friedmann. Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2009. 
  15. ^ Paul Williams; You're Wondering Now: The Specials from Conception To Reunion – Part Two "Neville Staple" and "Lynval Golding" chapters

External links

  • Neville Staple at the Internet Movie Database
  • The Specials
  • Rolling Stone article on Neville and Third Wave
  • Neville Staple book signing in Birmingham – May, 2009
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