The Specialized 2 - Beat Teenage Cancer 7" series is now available! The brainchild of Paul Williams, author of "You're Wondering Now The Specials from Conception to Reunion" and admin of The Specials fan website, the limited edition 7" series (in conjunction with Jump Up Records) is a follow-up to the recently released double CD collection Specialized 2 Beat Teenage Cancer which features 44 unique and diverse covers of The Beat's entire song catalog. Sales of the compilation and proceeds from 7"series are all slated for the Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) in the U.K.
The Specialized project, was conceived by Williams in September 2011 after he watched a TV program about young people with cancer in the UK. At that point, The Specials had just played a prestigious gig at The Royal Albert Hall in aid of the TCT charity. This inspired Williams to come up with the idea of an album of cover versions of songs by The Specials recorded by modern day artists. Thus was born "Specialized- A Modern take on Specials Classics."
The 7" series has the full support of members of The Beat. Both Dave Wakeling (listen to an interview Wakeling did with the BBC about the project) and Ranking Roger have contributed singles in the series --Wakeling has re-recorded "Mirror In The Bathroom" and Ranking Roger appears with Hunt Emerson's band The Spritely Allstars (Emerson is the designer of the Beat girl logo) on the track "Two Swords (Majestic Mix)." They have been joined by other 2-Tone era stars including Neol Davies of The Selecter, Lee Thompson of Madness and Rhoda Dakar of The Bodysnatchers who have also contributed songs. The 7" series also includes my band Bigger Thomas who have contributed our version of "Sole Salvation" on the B-side of the re-recording of "Mirror In The Bathroom.
The entire Specialized 7" series includes:
#1: The English Beat “Mirror In The Bathroom” (new Dave Wakeling version!) b/w Bigger Thomas “Sole Salvation” 7″ (Red Vinyl)
#2: The Spritely All Stars featuring/Ranking Roger “Two Swords” (Majestic Mix) b/w Stiff Joints “Ackee 123″ 7″
#3: The Values featuring/Neol Davies “All Out To Get You” / Lee Thompson “Madness (Acoustically Speaking) b/w Nick Welsh featuring BJ Cole “Save It For Later” / Rhoda Dakar “Too Nice To Talk To”
U.S. residents can order the singles from Jump Up Records and U.K./Europe residents can order through Specialized.