The Specials announce new album of protest song covers: “Injustice is timeless”

The 12 covers, from between 1924 and 2012, feature Talking Heads, Bob Marley and more

The Specials have announced a new album of covers, sharing versions of 12 protest songs from 1924-2012.

‘Protest Songs – 1924-2012’ will come out on September 24 as the band’s first release through Island, and follows 2019 record ‘Encore’.

“People have been using music as a vehicle for protest since time immemorial,” bassist Horace Panter said of the new album. “Injustice is timeless.”

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Ahead of the release of the album, the band have shared first track ‘Freedom Highway’, a track penned by the Staple Singers and written for the famous civil rights marches from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.

Listen to The Specials’ take on ‘Freedom Highway’ below:

Across the album’s 12 songs, The Specials also take on versions of tracks by Talking Heads, Bob Marley, Leonard Cohen and more.

See the artwork and tracklist for ‘Protest Songs – 1924-2012’ below:

The Specials

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1. ‘Freedom Highway’ (The Staple Singers)
2. ‘Everybody Knows’ (Leonard Cohen)
3. ‘I Don’t Mind Failing In This World’ (Malvina Reynolds)
4. ‘Black, Brown And White’ (Big Bill Broonzy)
5. ‘Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Us Around’ (traditional)
6. ‘Fuck All The Perfect People’ (Chip Taylor & The New Ukrainians)
7. ‘My Next Door Neighbour’
8. ‘Trouble Every Day’ (Frank Zappa & Mothers of Invention)
9. ‘Listening Wind’ (Talking Heads)
10. ‘Soldiers Who Want To Be Heroes’ (Rod McKuen)
11. ‘I Live In A City’ (Malvina Reynolds)
12. ‘Get Up, Stand Up’ (Bob Marley)

The Specials are set to take the new album out on a previously announced UK tour later this year. The run of dates begins in Margate at Dreamland on August 28, travelling through September before finishing with three London shows, two at the Roundhouse and one at Troxy, at the end of the month.

Reviewing the band’s 2019 album ‘Encore’, NME wrote: “We need right-thinking rebel records like ‘Encore’ now more than ever.”

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