The Specials’ two albums are being reissued on March 30, alongside The Special AKA’s album In The Studio.
The expanded editions are the first time that founder songwriter and keyboardist Jerry Dammers has given his approval to anything surrounding the band since the rest of the line-up reformed without Dammers’ involvement in 2007.
Each remastered album features all of The Specials’ B-sides, EPs and non-album singles as well as assorted BBC live sessions as well as sleevenotes by music journalist Lois Wilson and previously unseen pictures by photographer Chalkie Davies.
1979’s self-titled debut adds the three-song "Too Much Too Young" EP, plus an 11-song gig recorded in Paris in December 1979 originally aired for the BBC In Concert series.
The following year’s "More Specials" album adds non-album singles Rat Race and Ghost Town, the single version of Do Nothing, and the B-sides of those three singles as well as Stereotypes’ flip side – Rude Boys Outa Jail, Maggie’s Farm, Racquel, Friday Night Saturday Morning and the extended version of Why. Rounding off the release are Radio 1 session versions of Stereotypes, Sea Cruise and You’re Wondering Now plus a Rude Boys Outa Jail remix featuring guitarist Neville Staple in his guise as Judge Roughneck.
Dammers, drummer John Bradbury and bassist Horace Panter formed The Special AKA after The Specials split in 1981, recruiting singer Stan Campbell, guitarist John Shipley and former Bodysnatchers vocalist Rhoda Dakar. Their 1984 album "In The Studio" adds the B-sides The Boiler, You Just Can’t Get A Break and Jungle Music, plus a three-song John Peel session and six instrumental versions.