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Information Encore - the new LP due in February

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Paul Willo
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Pre sale links are live today on 02 Priority.
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Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:26 am
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jodo1979
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Any presale for Dublin ??
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Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:55 pm
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Imani
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MUSIC MATTERS EXCLUSIVE: Review of The Specials' new album celebrating 40 years of 2-Tone

By Pete Chambers

Encore by The Specials

So finally after all the talk, conjecture and rumour, we have a new Specials album to be released next year to celebrate 40 Years of the iconic 2-Tone label.

I was one of the first to hear it, so it feels good to finally be able to talk about it.

Of course, there are those that will not be joining the party, some because Specials founder Jerry Dammers is not involved, some because the band has effectively become a trio (Hall, Golding and Panter). That’s a shame because any new offering should be judged on the music it presents.

Here in my opinion, Coventry’s finest are walking a tightrope that sees them balancing new sounds with the sounds of old, hopefully with no major falls. Did they pull it off? Well lets dive in track by track.

The album opens with a funky tip of the hat to The Equals, Britain’s first multicultural band and a cover of their hit ‘Black Skinned Blue-Eyed Boys’, an anthem to mixed race, very much the theme of this album, no surprise that The Specials are still fighting the fight.

Further in that vein is ‘B.L.M. (Black Lives Matter)’ – Lynval Golding telling his story of arriving in England and the racial abuse he suffered, something that continues in the land of the free where he now lives, “Is that all you see, the colour of my skin, welcome to my world.”

‘Vote for Me’. originally the working title of the album, gets much more into the Ska groove, effectively the bridge from Ghost Town to this new album. I can see this becoming a live favourite. Terry’s vocals sound so strong throughout, and the total second-to-none musicianship from all as you would expect after all these years.

‘The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum’.. If the Specials had continued this was a strong contender to be the next single.

Terry and Lynval recorded it as The Fun Boy Three with Neville Staple (who also does a great version of this). So it’s good that they chose to cover their own song.

The arrangements on this album have been intricately crafted and this track is no exception, Nikolaj Torp Larsen’s keyboard playing reminding me so much of the great Mike Garson Bowie’s one time keyboard player. By the way, Nikolaj Torp Larsen also co-wrote and co-produced this album alongside Hall, Golding and Panter.

More politics as we move to the dangers of the internet with ‘Breaking Point’, with Terry being Terry making a joyous swipe at it all. Then just as you think that this band may have forgotten their Trojan roots, we have ‘Blam Blam Fever’, a clever cover of The Valentines’ ‘Gun Fever’.

So next up, The Specials are legs akimbo musically speaking, one foot in the past, and one very much in the round about now. ‘The Ten Commandments’ is an answer to Prince Buster’s misogynist ‘Ten Commandments of Man’ with the voice from the lady who famously stood up to the EDL, Saffiyah Khan.

Defiant and in your face (of course), it’s so important that this is on here. Yes, The Specials are still relevant.

‘Embarrassed By You’ points an angry finger at the hooded youth (does that make the Specials angry old men?), with the vocals superbly shared by Lynval and Terry, another track guaranteed to be a skanking favourite.

‘The Life And Times (Of A Man Called Depression)’ is a Terry Hall part confessional part swipe at those who would ask a person with depression to ‘Cheer Up’. Yes, its finally good to hear him address this, he refuses to be defined as a human being by the chains of depression, and those who love to say, ‘he doesn’t smile much’, well, this one is for you.

The song is an album highlight and has classic written all over it. ‘We Sell Hope’ is just a great track that finishes this set off perfectly. Like Pandora’s box, in the final shot we are left with hope. Once again Terry Hall shines through, and that is it, this new journey ends.

This album has lot to live up to, it was a long time coming and expectancy is high.

Did they get it right? I believe they did. Each track has its own personality, its own reason to be on here. They are still fighting the fight, still making us dance and still asking questions.

There will be some that won’t buy into this (already some hate it, but have yet to even hear it). But thousands will love it, and to them it’s the dawning of a new era, but like the Specials of old, that was so last century.

Tour dates were announced on Tuesday with tickets going on general sale on Friday November 2.

(The album is on Island Records via Universal Music, released 1/2/19 also on available on download. The CD version comes with a bonus Best of The Specials Live CD).

https://coventryobserver.co.uk/news/music-matters-exclusive-review-of-the-specials-new-album-celebrating-40-years-of-2-tone/
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PostPosted:
Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:39 pm
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Imani
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It's good to see these previews. Yet coming from an era where reviews generally came out a week or so prior to release, or on the date itself, at the same time it's a little odd to have so much information on each track a good four months before it's 'in the shops'.

Can you imagine being told the plot of a forthcoming tv show or film well in advance?

The proof of the pudding is still in the eating, and maybe this is how it is in the fast-moving digital/internet age with so many media outlets, as opposed to a couple of music magazines. Perhaps the band/management deliberately wanted the public to be aware of the type of music it is.
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Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:58 am
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Trojan
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Imani wrote:
It's good to see these previews. Yet coming from an era where reviews generally came out a week or so prior to release, or on the date itself, at the same time it's a little odd to have so much information on each track a good four months before it's 'in the shops'.

Can you imagine being told the plot of a forthcoming tv show or film well in advance?

The proof of the pudding is still in the eating, and maybe this is how it is in the fast-moving digital/internet age with so many media outlets, as opposed to a couple of music magazines. Perhaps the band/management deliberately wanted the public to be aware of the type of music it is.


I would have thought that a track released as a single prior to the album would be the normal order of play. That or some sort of promo of sample clips.
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Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:06 pm
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Imani
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Trojan wrote:
Imani wrote:
It's good to see these previews. Yet coming from an era where reviews generally came out a week or so prior to release, or on the date itself, at the same time it's a little odd to have so much information on each track a good four months before it's 'in the shops'.

Can you imagine being told the plot of a forthcoming tv show or film well in advance?

The proof of the pudding is still in the eating, and maybe this is how it is in the fast-moving digital/internet age with so many media outlets, as opposed to a couple of music magazines. Perhaps the band/management deliberately wanted the public to be aware of the type of music it is.


I would have thought that a track released as a single prior to the album would be the normal order of play. That or some sort of promo of sample clips.


Yes, a single as the preview would be the usual curtain raiser for an album. Yet we've got these reviews without actually hearing a note.
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PostPosted:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:12 pm
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Derry Jammers
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Imani wrote:
Trojan wrote:
Imani wrote:
It's good to see these previews. Yet coming from an era where reviews generally came out a week or so prior to release, or on the date itself, at the same time it's a little odd to have so much information on each track a good four months before it's 'in the shops'.

Can you imagine being told the plot of a forthcoming tv show or film well in advance?

The proof of the pudding is still in the eating, and maybe this is how it is in the fast-moving digital/internet age with so many media outlets, as opposed to a couple of music magazines. Perhaps the band/management deliberately wanted the public to be aware of the type of music it is.


I would have thought that a track released as a single prior to the album would be the normal order of play. That or some sort of promo of sample clips.


Yes, a single as the preview would be the usual curtain raiser for an album. Yet we've got these reviews without actually hearing a note.


They may even be on Jools New Years Eve Hootenanny. Dave Wakeling was last New Years Eve to promote his upcoming offering.
PostPosted:
Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:23 pm
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Ally
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Looking forward to hearing Encore.
It sounds like an interesting album, not been many of them about for a few years.

I hope most people in here will enjoy it. I can’t help getting the feeling that some(very few) on here don’t want to.

Like it/don’t like it, it’s up to you(to you).
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PostPosted:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:40 am
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Imani
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It's understandable if people are a little wary about the album but on the whole, I think they're doing the right thing by putting out new material. It must keep it fresh for them as a band, I'd imagine. Regardless of how much money and applause there is, how long could they have kept playing the same tunes and still feel that creative buzz, the 'spark' that got them started as musicians in the first place?
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PostPosted:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:17 pm
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Huggy
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Looking forwad to hearing it.
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Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:34 pm
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Harry
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Huggy wrote:
Looking forwad to hearing it.

and me.
I've liked some songs on every album Terry Hall has ever released - I'm sure he's got some magic left in him. And I'm excited to hear the new version of Lunatics. I think the album will get good reviews and the new material will improve the next live shows but it is more like a new Fun Boy Three album than a new Specials album - and it's sad coz obviously Jerry, Rod, Nev, Dick Cuthell are all still alive.
Shame they didn't put one of Horace's paintings on the sleeve too
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Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:07 pm
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kennybacon
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Found a track listing for the greatest hits live bonus CD:

1.Gangsters (Recorded live at Le Bataclan, Paris, 30th November 2014)
2. A Message To You, Rudy (Recorded live at Le Bataclan, Paris, 30th November 2014)
3. Nite Klub (Recorded live at The Troxy, London, 16th November 2016)
4.Friday Night, Saturday Morning (Recorded live at Le Bataclan, Paris, 30th November 2014)
5. Stereotype (Recorded live at Le Bataclan, Paris, 30th November 2014)
6. Redemption Song (Recorded live at The Troxy, London, 16th November 2016)
7. Monkey Man (Recorded live at Le Bataclan, Paris, 30th November 2014)
8. Too Much Too Young (Recorded live at The Troxy, London, 16th November 2016)
9. Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think) (Recorded live at Le Bataclan, Paris, 30th November 2014)
10. Ghost Town (Recorded live at Le Bataclan, Paris, 30th November 2014)
11. All The Time In The World (Recorded live at The Troxy, London, 16th November 2016)
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Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:16 pm
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HarryJ185
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I like that Redemption Song and All The Time In The World have made it on to the CD.
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Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:26 pm
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chemode
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kennybacon wrote:
Found a track listing for the greatest hits live bonus CD:

1.Gangsters (Recorded live at Le Bataclan, Paris, 30th November 2014)
2. A Message To You, Rudy (Recorded live at Le Bataclan, Paris, 30th November 2014)
3. Nite Klub (Recorded live at The Troxy, London, 16th November 2016)
4.Friday Night, Saturday Morning (Recorded live at Le Bataclan, Paris, 30th November 2014)
5. Stereotype (Recorded live at Le Bataclan, Paris, 30th November 2014)
6. Redemption Song (Recorded live at The Troxy, London, 16th November 2016)
7. Monkey Man (Recorded live at Le Bataclan, Paris, 30th November 2014)
8. Too Much Too Young (Recorded live at The Troxy, London, 16th November 2016)
9. Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think) (Recorded live at Le Bataclan, Paris, 30th November 2014)
10. Ghost Town (Recorded live at Le Bataclan, Paris, 30th November 2014)
11. All The Time In The World (Recorded live at The Troxy, London, 16th November 2016)



So not ALL Greatest Hits then..... Cool Cool Cool

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Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:31 am
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Nice one the two unreleased tracks are on the bonus cd great Smile
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Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:37 am
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Sugarman
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Regarding the new album Terry was the mastermind behind it just like he was with Fun boy Three. Colourfield, Terry blair, Vegas, Hall & Mushtaq and his solo recordings.

And the new image of the band wouldn't surprise me if it was also Terry's idea?

Love the new song anyway. Can't wait for the album next year >)
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PostPosted:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:54 am
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kennybacon
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chemode wrote:
kennybacon wrote:
Found a track listing for the greatest hits live bonus CD:

1.Gangsters (Recorded live at Le Bataclan, Paris, 30th November 2014)
2. A Message To You, Rudy (Recorded live at Le Bataclan, Paris, 30th November 2014)
3. Nite Klub (Recorded live at The Troxy, London, 16th November 2016)
4.Friday Night, Saturday Morning (Recorded live at Le Bataclan, Paris, 30th November 2014)
5. Stereotype (Recorded live at Le Bataclan, Paris, 30th November 2014)
6. Redemption Song (Recorded live at The Troxy, London, 16th November 2016)
7. Monkey Man (Recorded live at Le Bataclan, Paris, 30th November 2014)
8. Too Much Too Young (Recorded live at The Troxy, London, 16th November 2016)
9. Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think) (Recorded live at Le Bataclan, Paris, 30th November 2014)
10. Ghost Town (Recorded live at Le Bataclan, Paris, 30th November 2014)
11. All The Time In The World (Recorded live at The Troxy, London, 16th November 2016)



So not ALL Greatest Hits then..... Cool Cool Cool



It could be said that some tracks are greatest hits - just not for The Specials Very Happy
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PostPosted:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:05 am
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