Sunday, August 15, 2021

The Specials to Release "Protest Songs 1924-2012" on September 24, 2021

The CD cover is solid red with the band's name and album title printed over it.
The Specials (Terry Hall, Lynval Golding, and Horace Panter, plus collaborators) have announced that they are releasing their follow-up to 2019's Encore (read my review) on September 24. The album is called Protest Songs 1924-2012 (Island Records/UMG) and, as its title indicates, it consists entirely of covers of powerful and still relevant folk, blues, spiritual, soul, rock, reggae, and new wave/post punk protest songs. Unless you're well-versed in this genre of music, particularly anti-war and civil rights songs, you may not recognize many of these amazing tracks apart from Bob Marley's "Get Up, Stand Up," and Talking Heads' "Listening Wind" (for a great overview of this history of protest music, check out Dorian Lynskey's 33 Revolutions Per Minute). 

The tracklist for Protest Songs 1924-2012 is as follows (with links to the original songwriter/performer's recording in parentheses):

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" (The Freedom Singers)
6. "Fuck All The Perfect People" (Chip Taylor & the New Ukrainians)
7. "My Next Door Neighbour" (Jerry McCain)
8. "Trouble Every Day" (Frank Zappa with the 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 have a short snippet of their cover of The Staple Singers' "Freedom Highway" up on their Facebook page (and it sounds quite good). 

And you can pre-order the CD now from the Universal Music store (no word on when the LP can be ordered). 

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