23min of Ska : Too Much 2Tone

I’ve never really thought about centering a whole show around a single label before, but if any record label deserves the honor of being the first, it has got to be the UK’s 2 Tone Records run by the Specials’ Jerry Dammers. This episode is also heavily influenced by a book my wife recently got for me for my birthday, “the Two Tone Story” by George Marshall. This book is a history of the label and the bands on the label. As I was reading it, it made me more and more want to go back and listen to those band and their early songs. I won’t lie, I don’t too much experience with a few of these bands, like the Bodysnatchers and the Selecter so it was nice to hear a little more from each of them. Also, the Swinging Cats are totally new to me and I can’t believe I hadn’t even heard of them before! Rico was a honorary member of the Specials and had studied under Don Drummond before moving to England. He is on a host of ska & rocksteady records from Jamaica and England from ’60s through the to the ’90s (playing with pretty much EVERYONE) and even played on both Dandy Livingstone & the Specials’ versions of “A Message to You, Rudy”. If that isn’t enough awesome we have some classics from the (English) Beat and Madness from their debut singles on 2 Tone. I couldn’t leave out a track from the Dance Craze comp so I went with one of the Bad Manners tracks. Even Bad Manners looks back and says it was a mistake for them to turn down a chance to do a 2 Tone single in their early years. I would be remiss if I didn’t include at least one track from the Specials/the Special AKA, so I went with my all time favorite, “Too Much Too Young” and went out and found a live version of it that I hadn’t heard before! I hope everyone enjoys this trip down memory lane/education type episode. I had a ball putting this together, so I hope it is also great for everyone to listen to.

the Bodysnatchers – Ruder Than You (Let’s Do Rock Steady / Ruder Than You ’80)
the Special AKA – Too Much Too Young (Live) (Too Much Too Young ’80)
Bad Manners – Lip Up Fatty (Live) (Dance Craze compilation ’81)
the Beat – Tears of a Clown (Tears of a Clown / Ranking Full Stop ’79)
Madness – the Prince (the Prince / Madness ’79)
Rico – Carolina (Sea Cruise / Carolina ’80)
the Swinging Cats – Away (Mantovani / Away ’80)
the Selecter – Too Much Pressure (On My Radio / Too Much Pressure ’79)

Also be sure to check out the 2 Tone Records site!

If you’re in a ska band and would like to be interviewed or have a song featured, please email me at radjose[at]gmail[dot]com.

This episode and all episodes can always be found here. You can also subscribe to the podcast by going to your advanced tab on iTunes, then select “subscribe to podcast…” and entering this address: http://23minofska.podomatic.com/rss2.xml into the box that opens. Also if you’d like, find & like us on facebook. Feel the love and download this episode!

Also, hit up www.BigSkaGamble.com for some awesome ska 7″ records.

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