The Specials, one of the most electrifying, influential and important British bands of all time, have unveiled details of Encore, their first new album in 37 years. The album will be released on February 1st, 2019. Today sees the release of the album’s first single “Vote For Me” via Island Records (below).
“Vote For Me”, the first new Specials single since the band’s era-defining 1981 UK #1 “Ghost Town”, was written and produced by founding members Terry Hall, Lynval Golding,Horace Panter together with long-time collaborator Torp Larsen and addresses the same social and political issues which were prevalent when the band formed in the late 70s.
2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the formation of The Specials and the legendary Two-Tone label in Coventry, England in 1979, and also marks 10 years since the band reformed to play some of the most vital and joyous live shows in recent memory.
Spearheading the British ska revival in the late 70s, The Specials embraced a multi-racial melting-pot that embodied more than just their black-and-white-checked 2-Tone label logos.
Hailing from the grim industrial midlands of England, and dressed in pork-pie hats, mohair suits, Ben Sherman shirts and Doc Martens, they hit the UK music scene hard.In the UK their debut single “Gangsters” went to #6 and every subsequent single was a Top 10, including two further #1s. In April 1980 they played an electrifying version of “Gangsters” on Saturday Night Live – a performance that’s frequently name checked as one of the show’s most memorable music bookings.
In the current turbulent climate, 38 years later, Encore picks up almost exactly, in style and in substance, where “Ghost Town” left off, addressing serious issues head on. The album includes a version of “The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum” – originally a hit for Terry and Lynval’s post-Specials band Fun Boy Three in 1982 – as well as a powerful spoken word track “The Ten Commandments” featuring British anti-racism activist Saffiyah Khan.
The Specials, already a huge favorite on the summer festival circuit, will take to the road throughout 2019 in support of the new album.
The track-listing for Encore is as follows:
1. Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys
3. Vote For Me
4. The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum
5. Breaking Point
6. Blam Blam Fever
7. The Ten Commandments featuring Saffiyah Khan
8. Embarrassed By You
9. The Life And Times Of A Man Called Depression
10. We Sell Hope