Coventry 2 Tone heroes, The Specials, have pushed back the release of their upcoming covers album of protest songs by a week. Entitled, Protest Songs 1924 -2012, it was originally scheduled to hit shelves on September 24, but it has now been pushed back to October 1, allowing fans to have the choice between the digital or vinyl format on the same day.
The band confirmed the announcement on their Twitter account. The statement read: “In order to get everyone their vinyl on (the) release date we’ve had to move the release of Protest Songs 1924-2012 back a week to October 1st.”
Earlier this month, the ska troupe got fans excited when they shared the first track from the project, ‘Freedom Highway’. The song was originally written by the R&B/gospel group, the Staple Singers for the iconic civil rights marches across the US state of Alabama from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. Famously, the march featured cameos from some of the era’s premier civil rights campaigners, including Martin Luther King Jr.
Protest Songs 1924-2012 will be made up of 12 songs. The Specials will also cover tracks by Bob Marley, Leonard Cohen and Talking Heads. Meanwhile, Specials frontman, Terry Hall, told Uncut that he got the idea for the album whilst in lockdown. He explained: “Protest has been such a key word in the last two years”.
In terms of the ethos behind the album, Hall revealed: “I wanted to see what kind of impact they had. What you can achieve, what they mean. Do these songs change things? I’m not sure they do, but they do have a role in making people aware of issues. We didn’t really see it as an album, it was more like an interim project where we could talk to teach other and throw around songs. Then we thought we’d record some songs and see what happens.”
In an exciting time for the band, they kicked off a UK tour yesterday (August 31) at Bristol’s O2 Academy. It will be followed by a month of shows before finishing at London’s Troxy on September 25.
Listen to Terry Hall speak on British politics, below.