The Specials, one of the most electrifying, influential and important bands of all time, have just released their new album Encore, their first new music in 37 years via Island Records. The album’s arrival has been welcomed with widespread critical acclaim and an acknowledgement that The Specials’ music is every bit as vital and relevant today as it was 40 years ago. This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the formation of The Specials and the legendary Two-Tone label in Coventry 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.
Photo Credit: Josh Cheuse
The 10-song Encore was produced by Specials founding members Terry Hall, Lynval Golding and Horace Panter alongside Danish musician/producer Torp Larsen and indeed is the first time Hall, Golding & Panter have recorded new material together since the band’s 1981 No.1 single Ghost Town.
The Specials will be taking to the road in North America and abroad throughout 2019 in support of the new album. See full list of dates below.
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, 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.
5/22 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
5/23 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
5/24 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
5/25 – Oakland, CA @Fox Theater
5/27 – Las Vegas, NV @ Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival
5/28 – Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
5/30 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
5/31 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
6/01 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Novo
6/03 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren
6/05 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
6/07 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
6/08 – Chicago, IL @ Vic Theatre
6/10 – Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore
6/11 – Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts
6/14 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
6/15- Boston, MA @ House of Blues
6/17 – Montreal, QB @ Corona Theatre
6/18 – Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall
6/19 – Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall
The track-listing for Encore is as follows:
- Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys
- Vote For Me
- The Lunatics
- Breaking Point
- Blam Blam Fever
- 10 Commandments
- Embarrassed By You
- The Life And Times (Of A Man Called Depression)
- We Sell Hope
Limited Edition Deluxe version includes “Greatest Hits” of live recordings.
Order Encore HERE.