Ten years into their current reunion, The Specials have announced they’ll release a new album titled Encore next year, the band’s first collection of original material in two decades and its first recordings with original lead singer Terry Hall since the 1981 single “Ghost Town.”
The 2 Tone ska legends will release the 10-song album on Feb. 1, and physical formats will include a vinyl pressing and a 2CD release that will include a second disc entitled The Best of The Specials Live.
In addition to Hall, the album features original Specials members Horace Panter (bass) and Lynval Golding (guitar), but not Jerry Dammers, who never participated in the reunion, or Roddy Radiation and Neville Staple, who both left the reunited group in recent years. Drummer John Bradbury died in 2015.
The new record is produced by Hall, Panter, Golding and Nikolaj Torp Larsen, a keyboardist who joined The Specials as a touring member in 2008. In addition to Larsen, the album features drummer Kenrick Rowe and Ocean Colour Scene guitarist Steve Craddock, who has been touring with the band since 2014.
Following the release of 1979’s The Specials and 1980’s More Specials, and the recording of “Ghost Town,” Hall left the band — which continued for one more album, In the Studio, under the Special AKA moniker. Between 1996 and 2001, reunited versions of the group — sans Hall — released three covers albums (Today’s Specials, Skinhead Girl and Conquering Ruler), plus 1998’s Guilty ’til Proved Innocent!, which featured new songs by original and new members of the band.
The Specials are expected to announce new tour dates this week.
Below, check out the tracklisting for the new album.
Tracklist: The Specials, Encore
1. “Black Skinned Blue-Eyed Boys”
3. “Vote For Me”
4. “The Lunatics”
5. “Breaking Point”
6. “Blam Blam Fever”
7. “10 Commandments”
8. “Embarrassed By You”
9. “The Life And Times (Of A Man Called Depression)”
10. “We Sell Hope”
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS:
- The Specials announce 12-date tour of Canada and the U.S. coasts in June
- The Specials to reissue 3 original studio albums in expanded 2CD deluxe editions
- The Specials returning to North America this summer for second leg of tour
- The Specials begin rolling out dates for first leg of North American tour this March