Fronted by Buster Bloodvessel, the band was formed in 1976 while the members were at school together. None of the members had any formal musical training, not even the ability to play any instruments.They were popular during the late 1970s and early 1980s, a period when lots of similar ska bands filled the charts. Some of their hits include "My Girl Lollipop", "Lip Up Fatty", "Special Brew" and "Ne-Ne-Na-Na-Na-Na-Nu-Nu". One of the main reasons for their notoriety was because of their outlandish, shaven headed, front man. Buster's exploits got them banned from the British TV chart show Top of the Pops (which included dressing as Henry VIII for the song "Lorraine", plus dressing in a can-can dancer's dress to promote their single "Can-Can"). They were also banned from Italian TV when Buster had decided after a particularly successful concert that he should moon the crowd, having been told that the Pope was watching on TV.
Despite having scored many hits and featuring prominently in the UK charts of the early 1980s, Bad Manners is perhaps most renowned for their song "Special Brew". The song is ambiguous in meaning, but the most common interpretation of the song is that it is a love song to the famous alcoholic drink after which it appears to be named.