Being that this year marks the 40th anniversary of both The Specials and 2Tone Records, Working Hard Everyday is a perfectly timed release. But more than that, with Neville and his band considered to be some of the hardest working musicians on the live circuit today, the theme of the song is also spot on. Not in a self-aggrandising way, but as a celebration of the work ethic, a reminder that the best things in life come by putting the hours in, by doing the work and staying true to the course that you set for yourself. What better role models could you possibly need?
And a celebration it is in every sense of the word. Musically it is a brilliant collection of the ska, reggae and 2Tone sound that he has championed throughout his career, not for nothing is he known as The Original Rude Boy. Lyrically it is fun and funky, a joyous and jaunty look at life. But one Rude Boy does not a summer make and of course right next to him is his wife, Sugary Staple, herself an important player in the story of roots music in this country.
Working Hard Everyday also comes as a lighter contrast to their recent single, Put Away Your Knives, a plea to the youth of today to turn away from knife crime, a punky, ska laden piece of 2Tone born of first hand experience and personal tragedy.
But Working Hard Everyday gets to the heart of the sound and ethic that has served Neville Staple well over the years, as a member of The Specials, Fun Boy Three and the collaboration with recently departed Ranking Roger Special Beat. A uniquely British take on the Jamaican ska sound and a serious message wrapped up in infectious music. It’s what he does!