The Specials versus Busted. Not a match up you’d normally predict. Two bands from different generations, two bands with very different sets of fans, two bands who could be described as being past their best. Yet this week these two bands are going head to head in the UK album chart, to see which one can achieve their first UK number one album. As of right now The Specials are narrowly in the lead, by the small margin of 689 combined sales, but all this will change between now and tomorrow’s chart. Results will be Announced at 5pm on The Official Chart website and on The Official Chart Show on Radio 1 with Scott Mills.
This will go to the wire! Busted and The Specials have been neck-and-neck for this week’s Number 1 album all week – but can either of them clinch the top spot? The latest sales flash: https://t.co/SIauBCWvO8pic.twitter.com/Et0MqJg5HB
— Official Charts (@officialcharts) February 7, 2019
This week The Specials released their 8th studio album ‘Encore’, 40 years after their self titled and now iconic debut album, which featured such classics as ‘Concrete Jungle’ and ‘A Message To You Rudy’. The Specials then continued to develop an incredible career as one of the most important bands of the 1980s, both sonically and politically. Their 1981 anthem ‘Ghost Town’ has left a legacy as one of the most important political and era defining records ever produced. And maybe that’s why, in Brexit looming Britain, and Donald Trump’s America, their music still sounds so relevant today.
Unlike most 1980s comebacks Encore has received great reviews from fans and journalists alike. Writing for ‘Gods In The TV’ Loz Etheridge describes the album as “an absolute blast” with ‘Embarrassed By You‘ skating the closest to the sound of ska that made their eponymous debut so irresistible, while recent single ‘Vote For Me‘ managed to successfully weld together the ideas behind ‘Ghost Town‘ and ‘What I Like Most About You Is Your Girlfriend'”. Most importantly however she says “It didn’t make my heart sink; it made my heart SING.” Fans on Twitter seem to have been equally as positive about the new material.
— Terry Hall Fanpage (@TTYears) February 4, 2019
— CLASH (@ClashMagazine) 1 February 2019
“It’s a celebration of what The Specials is, and what it’s about. That’s why I still do it.” Terry Hall. Our new album, Encore, is out now. We’re delighted to be able to share it with you all, and we hope you enjoy it. Get it here: https://t.co/U9Vm0CMffV — thespecials (@thespecials) 1 February 2019
Earlier in the year the band released the video for a reworking of the Princess Buster song “The 10 Commandments”. Only The Specials’ version features Birmingham based activist Saffiyah Khan and works to challenge sexism by tackleing issues such as rape culture and abuse. Saffiyah Khan rose to prominence when a photo of her went viral as she stood in the face of an EDL march in Birmingham. Encore is available to buy and stream right now, and it up against Busted’s fourth album “Half Way There”, which has been seen as return to the band’s “punk pop-sound”. It was said that chart battles were dead, that debates of Oasis vs Blur would be combined to the scrapheap of nostalgia, but maybe, as with quite a lot of things in 2019, they are making a comeback.
Just 2,000 combined sales separated the Top 4 albums in our latest sales flash – find out who’s now in the driver’s seat for this week’s Number 1 https://t.co/SIauBCWvO8 pic.twitter.com/wEQwiHzsEV — Official Charts (@officialcharts) February 7, 2019