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Many years later Dammers stated, "Music gets political when there are new ideas in music, ..was innovative, so was ska, and that was why bands such as the Specials and the Clash could be political".
In 1979, shortly after drummer Hutchinson left the band to be replaced by John Bradbury, Dammers formed the 2 Tone Records label and released the band's debut single "Gangsters", a reworking of Prince Buster's "Al Capone". The band had begun wearing mod/rude boy/skinhead-style two-tone tonic suits, along with other elements of late 1960s teen fashions.
Rodriguez and the three newcomers were all dropped for the next single, "War Crimes", which brought back Dakar and added new co-vocalists Edgio Newton and Stan Campbell, as well as violinist Nick Parker.
Afterwards, founder and songwriter Jerry Dammers dissolved the band and pursued political activism.
After Fun Boy Three, Staple and Golding joined Pauline Black of the Selecter in the short-lived band Sunday Best, releasing the single "Pirates on the Airwaves".
In 1990, Bradbury, Golding, Panter and Staple teamed up with members of the Beat to form Special Beat, performing the music of the two bands and other ska and Two Tone classics.
The group was formed in 1977 by songwriter/keyboardist Dammers, vocalist Tim Strickland, guitarist/vocalist Lynval Golding, drummer Silverton Hutchinson and bassist Horace Panter (a.k.a. Strickland was replaced by Terry Hall shortly after the band's formation.
The band was first called the Automatics, then the Coventry Automatics.