As its title implies, the 12-track record will dive deep into Staple’s tenure with The Specials, breathing new life into some of his most treasured efforts with the Two-Tone pioneers (including smash-hits ‘Ghost Town’ and ‘Monkey Man’).
The album will feature a suite of collaborators, including – alongside Staple’s wife and co-vocalist Sugary Staple – modern-day reggae icon Clint Eastwood, Quadrophenia’s Gary Shail, Jamaican R&B legend Derrick Morgan and founding Selector member Neol Davies.
“This has been one of my favourite albums to work on,” Staple said in a press release. “Each song has a special and personal meaning to me. I wanted to celebrate the roots of my own music journey, with Two-Tone being at the forefront of each song, in the sound and in the lyrics.
“Stomping music, with sometimes serious commentary, but all presented in a fun, danceable, singalong spirit. That’s the Two-Tone way. Our way. And the special guests were amazing to work with too, especially Derrick Morgan, one of my early inspirations.
“With superb contributions from Sugary and the band, plus other star guests, this album is set to be a real ‘stand out’ one, that makes me proud of my career to date.”
Take a look at the cover art and tracklisting for ‘From The Specials & Beyond’ below:
1. Right From Wrong
2. Celebrate With You
3. Can’t Take No More
4. Don’t Let It Pass You By
5. Stand By Me
6. Something’s Wrong
7. Housewives Choice (featuring Derrick Morgan)
8. Please Don’t Leave Me Lonely
9. What’s Really Going On (featuring Gary Shail)
10. Miss Dis N Dat (DJ Mix) (featuring Clint Eastwood)
11. Way of Life (Pandemic Mix) (featuring Neol Davies)
12. World Turned Upside Down
Back in September, The Specials – sans Staple – released an album of cover songs titled ‘Protest Songs 1924-2012’. In a four-star review, NME’s Mark Beaumont called it “an album of thoughtful and considered dissent rather than the righteous rage of old”.
The group’s most recent album of original work, ‘Encore’, landed back in 2019. That too scored a four-star review, with Beaumont writing: “These are tracks cutting deep into the malignant tumours of society, out to heal them by brutal, frank exposure.”