The Specials - Encore - 2x LP Colored Vinyl

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Artist, Album, Batch, Format,


The Specials
12" Vinyl


Limited Edition on red vinyl. Includes download voucher. Comes with a 4 pages 12" foldout including lyrics, photos and credits.

Brexit chaos. A near-decade of Tory austerity. Poverty, racism and inequality on the rise. A country irreparably divided. Time to send out the Two-Tone Bat-Signal and call in The Specials.

Their numbers have dwindled due to death, ill health and dissent – Jerry Dammers, Neville Staple and Roddy ‘Radiation’ Byers have all quit since their 2009 reunion, and drummer John Bradbury died in 2015 – but their relevance as commentators on our broken nation is as strong today as it was when ‘Ghost Town’ sneered darkly at Thatcher’s riot-rattled Britain in 1981. In troubled times, thank god The Specials are on hand to slap some sense into a babbling world.

You wouldn’t expect the ’70s’ premier ska-punk band to return after 20 years out of the studio having transformed themselves into a cutting edge psych grime act – ‘Encore’ essentially mingles mellowed ska and reggae with funk disco, Latin hints and spoken-word pieces – but initially you might fear their socio-political edge has dulled. The record opens with a Chic-disco-style cover of The Equals’ 1973 track ‘Black Skinned Blue Eyed Boys’, presenting an idealistic vision of a peaceful “half-breed” melting pot world where race has been globally mixed into irrelevance; a lovely Blue Mink sort of idea, but one that feels date-stamped to its post-hippy era, a million miles from tackling the issues of a 2019 increasingly scarred with the poxes of racism, division and intolerance. Have The Specials grown up into dislocated dreamers, sitting back waiting for love to heal the world? Have they watched a Question Time recently?

Thankfully, their own tunes are far more pertinent. ‘B.L.M.’ (an acronym for Black Lives Matter) finds Lynval Golding telling the story of his father arriving in the UK on the Windrush to help rebuild a war-torn Britain, and his own experiences of racism in the UK and America; the infectious pop reggae of ‘Embarrassed By You’ is its sister-piece, the older generation berating the knife-carrying, hoodie-hidden “nasty little brutes” as a shame to their country.
A1Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys
A3Vote For Me
A4The Lunatics
A5Breaking Point
B1Blam Blam Fever
B210 Commandments
B3Embarrassed By You
B4The Life And Times (Of A Man Called Depression)
B5We Sell Hope
C2A Message To You, Rudy
C3Nite Klub
C4Friday Night, Saturday Morning
C6Redemption Song
D1Monkey Man
D2Too Much Too Young
D3Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think)
D4Ghost Town
D5All The Time In The World

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