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Information Encore - the new LP due in February

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HarryJ185
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Tracklisting is:

Side One
Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys
B.L.M.
Vote For Me
The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum
Breaking Point
Side Two
Blam Blam Fever
The Ten Commandments
Embarrassed By You
The Life And Times Of A Man Called Depression
We Sell Hope
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Fri Oct 26, 2018 2:40 pm
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Radfordred
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Some covers there?
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Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:22 pm
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Trojan
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IF the Ten Commandments is a cover of the Prince Buster classic it will be interesting to see what the take on the lyrics will be.
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Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:02 pm
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HarryJ185
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Willie's review - looks like very interesting takes on the covers:
"Encore - The Specials"
Over this past year, I have been honoured and extremely privileged to be privy to the process and progress of the brand-new Specials album, entitled "Encore".
As in all things, history tells its own story and the Specials’ history is a colourful one. Members have come and gone, and the sad passing of drumming legend John Bradbury could have brought an end to proceedings. But Brad had been a keen advocate of recording new material and had jammed with the rhythm section on embryonic versions of new tunes, with the intention of taking the band to the next step, before his untimely passing. The seeds were already planted and earlier this year, original members, Lynval Golding, Horace Panter, Terry Hall were joined in a quiet London studio with the familiar touring band that have joined them on-stage for the last few years. Artists including Nikolaj Torp Larsen on keyboard, who has been with the band since they first reunited, Steve Cradock on guitar and Kenrick Rowe, the multi experienced ska/reggae drummer on board.
So, set history aside and remove yourself from who is and is not appearing on the album. Remove preconceptions and prejudices and allow “Encore” to speak for itself.
The album intends to pick up where More Specials left off 38 years ago in 1980 and is the first Specials album to feature Terry Hall since then. But don’t expect to step back in time. This album is unashamedly modern, extremely dark, a moody, brooding beast of a collection. If “Specials” was the complete snapshot of 1979, and “Ghost Town” was the anthem of 1981, then “Encore” is the snapshot of the world today – and on a global scale. In typical Specials style the band holds up an unforgiving mirror to contemporary society and asks why things haven’t changed for the better.
If you are expecting an all-out ska album, then expect to be disappointed. But then, The Specials were always so much more than a ska band. Ska was an influence and a layer to the band’s sound which encompassed a broad church of influences from rock, pop, reggae, blues, soul, funk. All these and more modern influences are expertly stirred into the mix of “Encore”.
For the traditionalists, there is a reworking of The Valentines’ “Blam Blam Fever” which harks back to old influences and recalls “Too Hot” in its arrangement. The track addresses current issue of gun crime in America. This is one of three cover tracks on the album. What will prove to be a surprise for some, “The Lunatics”, Fun Boy Three debut release is on the album. Personally speaking, I feel this track was a natural follow up to Ghost Town, and here it is done in Specials 2018 style. With hints and echoes of The Special AKA’s “In the Studio”, the lyrics remain relevant and sit superbly with today’s political climate.
“10 Commandments” is based loosely around the ultimately sexist Prince Buster tune. Cleverly turning this track completely on its head and with more than a nod to the #metoo movement and womens’ rights, vocal duties are given over to Saffiyah Khan, the girl who wore The Specials t-shirt and faced off the EDL in Birmingham with a smile. With biting and unshrinking lyrics, this is an expression of the female experience in 2018, backed by Sir Horace’s stonking reggae bassline! Boom.
In continuation of the hard-hitting themes, track “B.L.M”, is a heart-on-the-sleeve story of Golding’s experiences of casual and aggressive racism. Beginning from his father’s experiences on his Windrush arrival in the UK, to the modern day, the track asks you to consider the realities of Black Lives Matter, and with a sorry trickle of racist events appearing on social media and news to the time of writing, the track is more than timely. Continuing the theme of race and in the tradition of The Specials “Black Skinned Blue-Eyed Boys” is originally a tune by The Equals. This version really opens the eyes and sees nods to many of the musical influences. Reggae and disco? You better believe it! With controversial lyrics- one world one people - it sits well with the other content.
The Life and Times of a Man Called Depression”, is a complete bearing of the soul by Hall, addressing his mental health issues. Cheer up Terry? Here’s why he is who he is. Terry’s spoken, and poignantly honest, lyrics are backed by a bouncing soundtrack. Great brass riff in there also.
The track “Vote for Me” is awesome. A political stab at the leaders of the country. The lyrics are intelligent, and smart wrapped up in a haunting melody and a great trombone from Tim Smart. This is an album highlight for me, what The Specials were conceived for. There is the bouncing oompah (yes oompah) reggae of “Breaking Point”. One thing that’s happened over the years is that Terry Halls voice has matured to great depths and this tune is a fine example of that, and lyrics like “Social media is a trend that’ll send us all around the bend” smothered in a richly dark tune (I can hear bits of Madness in this).
“Embarrassed by You” is a Golding/Hall duet again with great lyrics covering contemporary issues of knife crime and moped gangs. “We never fought for freedom for nasty little brutes like you, to come and undo the work we do – you bring shame on this country for true, embarrassed by you”. Cutting, precise and forceful lyrics, wrapped up in layers of instrumentation.
The final track to discuss is “We Sell Hope” is for me, another album highlight. Grown up Specials. An amazing tune with so many layers of instrumentation. Lyrics to match with more social commentary and everything you’d expect from The Specials. A possible single contender?
This album will prove to be controversial and divisive. Not all original fans will warm to, however, as is always the way they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. I believe they have delivered. This is mature Specials, well and truly with two feet placed squarely in 2018 not 1979. This Are The Specials 2018 - Encore!
PostPosted:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:56 pm
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Imani
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Going by the review, it sounds quite musically diverse and modern-day, which I reckon is a good thing. HarryJ, do you have a link for it?
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Sat Oct 27, 2018 7:21 am
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HarryJ185
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Imani

It is a great review. Really looking forward to it. If I have not done the link properly, search for Specials2 on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/245413985501746/posts/2018287671547693/
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Sat Oct 27, 2018 7:33 am
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kennybacon
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After reading that review, I am looking forward to hearing this album with interest
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Sat Oct 27, 2018 8:42 am
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Imani
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HarryJ185 wrote:
Imani

It is a great review. Really looking forward to it. If I have not done the link properly, search for Specials2 on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/245413985501746/posts/2018287671547693/


Cheers Harry, the link is fine.
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Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:40 am
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Trojan
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I will reserve judgement on it. May be they will pull the rabbit out of the hat and give us an album worthy of the name, but since the person who made the Specials sound they way they did is not involved it's going to be a very big ask.
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Last edited by Trojan on Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sat Oct 27, 2018 5:07 pm
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bluearmy78
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Looking forward to hearing what they come up with. But it will never be The Specials without Jerry.
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Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:25 am
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bluearmy78
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I also here there is going to be a second disc with the album, basically, the best of The Specials Live, anybody know if this is true, or is it part of a deluxe version ?, or have l just heard it all wrong ?
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Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:09 am
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HarryJ185
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On the hmv site, under Product Details it lists 2 discs for the CD, but only 1 for vinyl, so I think the live disc must just come with the standard CD.
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Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:23 am
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chemode
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bluearmy78 wrote:
I also here there is going to be a second disc with the album, basically, the best of The Specials Live, anybody know if this is true, or is it part of a deluxe version ?, or have l just heard it all wrong ?


The only "best of the specials live" is at the moonlight club Cool Cool
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Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:45 pm
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kennybacon
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I assume that the live album will be performed by the current line up?

I'm also a bit surprised that there isn't a pre order for the album, signed copies for a few quid more, maybe there will be
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Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:31 am
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HarryJ185
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kennybacon wrote:
I assume that the live album will be performed by the current line up?

I'm also a bit surprised that there isn't a pre order for the album, signed copies for a few quid more, maybe there will be


Kenny - are you hoping for a pledge campaign? Laughing
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Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:02 am
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Derry Jammers
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I am looking forward to hearing the new songs on record of course but it should be The Fun Boy Three Encore seeing as 2/3 of that band are on board. If you include Rico and Dick (RIP Rico and JB) its 1/3 of The Specials. Or is the band known as ‘The Specials Encore’. See the tour dates have been announced this morning. I will pass on those for now. Good luck to the guys anyway.
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Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:18 pm
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phil wright
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I am excited as it is The Specials. I've followed them for almost 40 years and it's been a brilliant 40 years. But for me it just isn't THE Specials as was. The band is more than just a name and it was those 7 individuals who made the band what it was. I could just about handle there being no Jerry, but no Jerry, Brad, Nev or Roddy? Not really sure what to make of it.
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Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:10 pm
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Trojan
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phil wright wrote:
I am excited as it is The Specials. I've followed them for almost 40 years and it's been a brilliant 40 years. But for me it just isn't THE Specials as was. The band is more than just a name and it was those 7 individuals who made the band what it was. I could just about handle there being no Jerry, but no Jerry, Brad, Nev or Roddy? Not really sure what to make of it.


I agree, Phil. The Specials were the sum of all their parts. Be it Roddy's guitar, Brad's drumming, Neville Staples toasting or Terry's deadpan vocal. And then there was the brains behind the whole set up, a certain Mr Dammers.

This may or may not turn out to be an interesting album, but it certrainly won't qualify as a Specials album.
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Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:24 pm
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kennybacon
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HarryJ185 wrote:
kennybacon wrote:
I assume that the live album will be performed by the current line up?

I'm also a bit surprised that there isn't a pre order for the album, signed copies for a few quid more, maybe there will be


Kenny - are you hoping for a pledge campaign? Laughing


Oh Yes - where do I pay and wait? Very Happy
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Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:44 pm
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Paul Willo
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Its a great album
Also a realisation of Brads wishes.
Lynval is 68 . Terry the youngest next year will be 60.
Its not gonna be a knees up.
Their nite klubbing days finished years ago.
Lifes too short. Just enjoy it.
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PostPosted:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:32 pm
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