Skindred’s frontman Benji Webb and Bad Sam’s Dean Beddis united for a new take on one of the most renowned No. 1 hits of the 1980s. The duo put a rock twist on “Ebony and Ivory,” a collaboration between Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder.
The “Ebony and Ivory” cover stands in stark contrast to the original. The cover has more rock elements and is faster paced. The music video depicts scenes of Webb and Beddis singing, historical and modern-day protests for racial equality, and racist depictions throughout history showing the KKK and people in blackface.
The higher energy and faster pace compliment the scenes in the video, which come together to say that action for racial justice is necessary, communicating a sense of urgency.
“We had already decided to release it before George Floyd was murdered,” Beddis said in a statement. “But now it feels an even more appropriate time to release it. Virus pandemic, isolation, poverty, loss of income and abuse on top of all of this. Time to change, remove the bigots and racists from public service.”
Webb and Beddis are both Newport natives. They had the idea to collaborate for some time before stepping into the studio in 2019. The result of that was their “Ebony and Ivory” cover.
All proceeds from the song will go to Eden Gate Night Shelter and food banks in Newport.
Earlier this year, Skindred was announced as a scheduled performer at Knotfest at Sea. Skindred formed in 1998 and have released seven studio albums. Their most recent effort, Big Tings, was released in 2018. They canceled the tour for the album in Sept. 2018. Beddis started out in the 1990s with the Cowboy Killers, but he now fronts Bad Sam.
The original “Ebony and Ivory is below.
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat