The Specials' Catalogue Treated to Remastered and Expanded Reissues

The Specials' Catalogue Treated to Remastered and Expanded Reissues
It's never too much, too late to start building up your Specials collection, with the UK two-tone band now making things easier via a trio of upcoming re-releases homing in on their early days.

Warner/2 Tone Records will deliver double-CD editions of the group's 1979 debut Specials, 1980's More Specials and the 1984 LP In the Studio. All of the albums have been remastered and repackaged under the watch of founder and keyboardist Jerry Dammers and hit retailers March 31.

The first disc of Specials features the debut LP in full, including hit single "A Message to You, Rudy," but the tracklisting actually gets kicked off by their first single, "Gangsters," which had been delivered under the name the Specials AKA. Disc two includes the Too Much Too Young EP, whose title track is one of the only live recordings to hit No. 1 on the UK charts, and a BBC-recorded concert from 1979.

Follow-up, 1980's More Specials, is complemented with a second disc featuring prime B-sides and rarities, including a cover of Rod Byers' "Rat Race," a full version of "Ghost Town," "Friday Night, Saturday Morning" and John Peel session leftover "Sea Cruise."

The departure of vocalists Terry Hall and Neville Staples and guitarist Lynval Golding, who all left the Specials to form Fun Boy Three, had Dammers re-arranging the roster for 1984's In the Studio. The modified lineup, which included vocalist Stan Campbell, reverted to the Specials AKA for the release. It's noted in a press release that the set wasn't a commercial success, but possesses "a strong political, social and moral conscience" via tracks like "Nelson Mandela." The re-release contains the original LP, as well instrumental tracks, more Peel sessions and a few rarities.

Each release will also feature extensive liner notes from author Lois Wilson, previously unseen photos of the band from Chalkie Davies. You'll find the tracklisting info down below.


Disc one:

1. Gangsters
2.  A Message To You, Rudy
3. Do The Dog
4. It's Up To You
5. Nite Klub
6. Doesn't Make It Alright
7. Concrete Jungle
8. Too Hot
9. Monkey Man
10. (Dawning Of A) New Era
11. Blank Expression
12. Stupid Marriage
13. Too Much Too Young
14. Little Bitch
15. You're Wondering Now

Disc two:

1. Too Much Too Young
2. Guns Of Navarone
3. Skinhead Symphony
4. (Dawning Of A) New Era
5. Do The Dog
6. Rat Race
7. Blank Expression
8. Rude Buoys Outa Jail
9. Concrete Jungle
10. Too Much Too Young
11. Guns Of Navarone
12. Nite Klub
13. Gangsters
14. Medley: a) Long Shot Kick The Bucket b) Skinhead Moonstomp

More Specials:

Disc one:

1. Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think)
2. Man At C&A
3. Hey, Little Rich Girl
4. Do Nothing
5. Pearl's Café
6. Sock It To 'Em J.B.
7. Stereotypes/Stereotypes - Pt. 2
8. Holiday Fortnight
9. I Can't Stand It
10.International Jet Set
11.Enjoy Yourself (Reprise)

Disc two:

1. Rat Race
2. Rude Buoys Outa Jail
3. Stereotypes Pts.1 & 2 (John Peel session)
4. International Jet Set (single version)
5. Rude Boys Outa Jail (version) (ft. Neville Staples aka Judge Roughneck)
6. Do Nothing (single version) (ft. Rico with the Ice Rink String Sounds)
7. Maggie's Farm
8. Raquel
9. Why? (extended version)
10. Friday Night, Saturday Morning
11. Ghost Town (full version)
12. Sea Cruise (John Peel session) (ft. Rico)
13. You're Wondering Now (Kid Jensen session)

In the Studio:

1. Bright Lights
2. Lonely Crowd
3. What I Like Most About You Is Your Girlfriend
4. House Bound
5. Night On The Tiles
6. Nelson Mandela
7. War Crimes
8. Racist Friend
9. Alcohol
10. Break Down The Door

Disc two:

1. The Boiler ( Rhoda and The Special AKA )
2. You Just Can't Get A Break
3. Jungle Music ( Rico and The Special AKA )
4. Lonely Crowd (John Peel Session)
5. Alcohol (John Peel Session)
6. Bright Lights (John Peel Session)
7. Break Down The Door (Instrumental)
8. Racist Friend(Instrumental)
9. War Crimes(Instrumental)
10. Theme From The Boiler(Instrumental)
11. Bright Lights(Instrumental)
12. Nelson Mandela(Instrumental)