Hey You Rude Boy! It's the Two Tone and related thread (release by release).

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Colocally, May 14, 2018.

  1. Colocally

    Colocally One Of The New Wave Boys Thread Starter

    Location:
    Surrey BC.
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    It is almost 40 years since Walt Jabsco first made an appearance on a record sleeve, for those who don't know, that is the name of the Two Tone Man that was a huge part of the image of the Two Tone Label. Based on a photograph of Peter Tosh, this simplistic but iconic image was drawn on thousands of school bags in the UK in 79/80.
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    The Two Tone label was started by Jerry Dammers to release the first single by The Specials (The Special AKA). The label then went on to launch the careers of The Beat, Madness, The Selecter among others, it created a perfect soundtrack to the troubled times in the UK for a brief period of time in the late 70s and early 80s.
    After the punk explosion, new wave music took on lots of different sub-genres and for a time, this mix of punk, ska, rocksteady was the music to enjoy yourself with.

    This thread will explore each release from the Two Tone label, and also related releases. It will start with Gangsters and go up to the end of 1981 by which time the initial euphoria of the rude boy movement had changed. If the thread is popular, maybe we will move past that time, but at least the era from Gangsters to Ghost Town will be explored. Every single, every album, the groups that started on Two Tone and moved on, some groups that never even released a record on Two Tone but were linked.

    First thing you see when you open this thread, is the two pages of badges, badges (pins) were a big part of this movement, the images they showed are iconic, Walt Jabsco, Beat Girl, checkerboard images, scooters, two tone suits, pork pie hats, harrington jackets, white socks, Doc Martins, Loafers. It was all about style, at the beginning there was a huge crossover between Two Tone and the Mod revival, most of the mods I knew, loved Two Tone as much as The Jam and Secret Affair. A lot of the fashion was the same. We aren't going to focus on the Mod revival, that is another subject for another thread.

    This is Ska,
    This is Rocksteady,
    This Are Two Tone!
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  2. Colocally

    Colocally One Of The New Wave Boys Thread Starter

    Location:
    Surrey BC.
    [​IMG]

    TT1/TT2 The SPECIAL A.K.A VS. The Selecter was released on May 4 1979. The A side was based on Prince Buster's Al Capone, sharing the same basic rhythm, and even sampling the cars sounds at the beginning and the shouted "Don't call me scarface" refrain, however Jerry Dammers expanded the song to include lyrics relating to corruption in the music business. Although the song was heavily indebted to Al Capone, it received a "Jerry Dammers" writing credit, but nevertheless, he sent royalties to Price Buster from the very beginning to credit his contribution to the song.
    The Specials



    The single was release in May on the Two Tone label and at that time was an independent release distributed by Rough Trade, only 5,000 copies were made and the covers were printed up by the band members. Later on in 1979, Jerry Dammers was able to use the success of this limited release to get a deal with Chrysalis records which not only meant the signing of The Specials, but also the set up of Two Tone records to release other artists of a similar nature. The rerelease of Gangsters on Two Tone, distributed by Chrysalis entered the charts on 28 July 1979 and got to no 6 and stayed in the charts for 12wks. Two Tone and The Specials had arrived.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  3. Colocally

    Colocally One Of The New Wave Boys Thread Starter

    Location:
    Surrey BC.
    Prince Buster's Al Capone
     
  4. Colocally

    Colocally One Of The New Wave Boys Thread Starter

    Location:
    Surrey BC.
    The Specials had only recorded the A side, so the B side was recorded by Noel Davis (who went onto form The Selector) with John Bradbury (of The Specials)
     
  5. motownmaniac

    motownmaniac Forum Resident

    2 Tone was my high school soundtrack . Whole gang of mates into the Mod scene , fun times .
     
  6. Colocally

    Colocally One Of The New Wave Boys Thread Starter

    Location:
    Surrey BC.
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    The Specials;
    Jerry Dammers, Horace Panter, Neville Staples, Terry Hall, Roddy Byers, Lynval Golding and John Bradbury.
     
  7. Black Thumb

    Black Thumb Yah Mo B There

    Location:
    Reno, NV
    "Gangsters" was the first exposure most of us in the US had to the 2 Tone experience, with The Specials appearing on Saturday Night Live in April '80. It was the first song they performed, and in their second spot "Too Much Too Young".

    I was 15 at the time and obsessively taped music from the telly on cheap cassettes and a crap tape deck - I played those two songs into the ground that summer and eventually had the hippie at the local record shop special order the Specials debut when Chrysalis issued it here.

    It blew my mind but didn't quite change my fashion sense from Ramones wannabe. :cool:
     
  8. jfire

    jfire Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    awesome thread. I had some of those buttons!
     
  9. Colocally

    Colocally One Of The New Wave Boys Thread Starter

    Location:
    Surrey BC.
    Just to keep some momentum going I will post the second release on the Two Tone label, but feel free to still talk about Gangsters as well as your initial thoughts to the Two Tone label, fashions, memorabilia etc.

    In the summer of 1979, Gerry Dammers managed to do something quite unique, not only did he get The Specials are recording contract with Chrysalis Records, but also got them to agree to a custom label imprint, and A&R control so that not only The Specials were going to be released on the label. Even more surprisingly, the second release on the Two Tone label wasn't even The Specials at all, nor even another Coventry group, but Madness, from London. A group that had been together for a few years in a number of guises, originally called The Invaders.

    Madness only released one record on Two Tone before being signed to Stiff Records, but their début did exceptionally well, released on September 1, 1979 it got to 16 in the UK charts and stayed in the charts for 11 weeks.
    The A Side was an original song called The Prince on Two Tone Records TT3.


    A tribute to Prince Buster and a really great debut. The B Side was the Prince Buster track which gave the Group their Name, Madness. Both songs were later rerecorded for the One Step Beyond album, but I don't think they really needed to, as both tracks were perfect in this form.

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    Lee Thompson, Chris Foreman, Daniel Woodgate, Mark Bedford, Chas Smash, Suggs and Mike Barson.
    At this time, Chas wasn't an official member.
     
  10. Colocally

    Colocally One Of The New Wave Boys Thread Starter

    Location:
    Surrey BC.
  11. Colocally

    Colocally One Of The New Wave Boys Thread Starter

    Location:
    Surrey BC.
    Prince Buster's original version of Madness.
     
  12. sunspot

    sunspot Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Brilliant thread for a brilliant, timeless and powerful movement.
     
  13. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    While I might have nothing to add to this thread, I'll be on it on a ruler basis!
    LOVE IT!!!
     
  14. OneStepBeyond

    OneStepBeyond "Hey - let's be careful out there!"

    DEEP BREATH... AND... where to start?!?!? :D :cool: :agree: :righton:

    Well, first of all - thank you to @Colocally for kicking all this off. :cheers:


    I suppose all I can do to begin with, is start with my recollections of how I got into the Two Tone thing and what happened following it. So here goes. But before that, there will be things that I repeat here that I've said many times already on the forum. So please bear with me, for some of it, if it starts to get a bit 'familiar'...

    MY first exposure to Two Tone was indeed the very first single by the Specials. I was only 9 but already had a lot of 45s... The Clash, Buzzcocks, Generation X, Boomtown Rats, The Stranglers etc etc - you're getting the picture! So I was already... ready... to hear this new 'tough' and very adult-sounding group. I was delighted that BBC1 television had some sort of strike on that week (probably a pay dispute) and so the previous week's Top Of The Pops had to be repeated. The Specials appeared on it with this first single and there was little to no chance of being on, two weeks running unless you hit the #1 chart spot! It was ths, that I saw - two glorious weeks in a row and I was ecstatic!!



    THIS IMO, is one of the best singles - ever. The whole construction, the sound... lyrics, musicianship, production is just perfect.

    It was an elder brother who had that single and he'd play anything what wasn't brand new, far far less than what he'd just bought in the last month or so, say. Which meant I knew I could trade something for this, before long. A quick polish of his Doc Martin boots was a good one! :D


    I think it would be best to tackle the releases and different aspects of the whole 'scene' in individual posts, so shall leave this here for now. Of course I would be more than happy to converse about anything I've said here with fellow fans and/or newbies. I have a lot to say, naturally and I've not even mentioned the name of the band in my avatar and WHY I chose the username/avatar that I did. I nearly didn't in fact - I almost went for one of another two, before I went for this one. :cool:
     
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  15. OneStepBeyond

    OneStepBeyond "Hey - let's be careful out there!"

    And that is a great way to start - give the impression of a 'cover' page. :) It wasn't many years ago (maybe 10) that I used to go to a record shop that had 100s of badges stuck to a wall... reminded me of my youth so much, I went and bought what I thought would look the 'coolest' to stick on my various guitar straps - from Hendrix to Cash to Beefheart! And of course a few Two Tone related ones as well! Those, I have kept as a little display in front of my TV though. :D And the artwork for the single sleeves (and on the labels, where available) remains as striking looking as it ever was. All this was a big part of the whole and why should that change? Hasn't for me...
     
  16. OneStepBeyond

    OneStepBeyond "Hey - let's be careful out there!"

    KILLER bass on this - I did think it odd for years that they released an instrumental as a first 'song' and on the back of a Specials one too. But I assumed it was to 'promote' this new movement... or something along those lines. Then in recent years, I heard it was something to do with them wanted to get Gangsters as perfect as possible - certainly paid off - and it left little time or money to do anything else. That might not be the full story but if anyone knows better, I'd be happy to hear on this. :)
     
  17. OneStepBeyond

    OneStepBeyond "Hey - let's be careful out there!"

    Oh yes... The Specials and Selecter both are from Coventry... which is a half hour drive from me. It has a wonderful music museum there - it's small but packed with a LOT of memorabilia from these bands, plus others that came from the city.

    THE COVENTRY MUSIC MUSEUM – The Sound Place to See

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    Looking for an appropriate picture of the place, I didn't expect to see this pop up (looks like the restaurant downstairs.) He seems familiar... :laugh:

    I've visited twice and and am planning another trip there, in about two months. They regularly add new items in so it's worth going every so often. I did a thread on it but it's no use now due to all the photos vanishing! But I'll find a few, reupload them and share them here. And anything that is new and worth a look, I will also add here when I next go.


    *Ok, to be fair, not everyone would know this is one Graham McPherson... aka Madness frontman/singer Suggs!
     
  18. Splungeworthy

    Splungeworthy Forum Rezidentura

    My favorite Ska collection. These shows must have been great fun to attend.
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  19. Splungeworthy

    Splungeworthy Forum Rezidentura

    And of course one of my favorite albums of any genre from the eighties:
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  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road

    i liked a lot of the two tone stuff, but i "absolutely" loved madness
     
    giantleech and OneStepBeyond like this.
  21. Cereal Killer

    Cereal Killer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Singapore
    I love 2 Tone! Back in 79, on a radio show known as The British Top 20 in Singapore, the DJ did not play it, claiming it was banned! Thankfully, another DJ Chris Ho aka the John Peel of Singapore, played it on another programme. The Specials first LP was played to death on my turntable in those days!
     
  22. OneStepBeyond

    OneStepBeyond "Hey - let's be careful out there!"

    LOVE that album... it came out on LP of course (I'm on my third or fourth copy...) and cassette and VHS video cassette - maybe Betamax and even Video 2000? No CD or DVD sadly. I had a pair of shoes just like on the sleeve when I was about 11. :D It was very cool to see all the band logos like that on the sleeve, together.
     
  23. OneStepBeyond

    OneStepBeyond "Hey - let's be careful out there!"

    Probably goes without saying that this is one of my very favourite albums from this whole scene... wonderful follow-up to OSB! I have a few different copies of it on CD and LP but first owned the cassette back in the day...
     
  24. OneStepBeyond

    OneStepBeyond "Hey - let's be careful out there!"

    If I had to choose between Madness and The Specials... I don't think I could. I probably felt the same way about The Beat circa 1981 and they still rank very, very highly with me. As do The Selecter, who are not far behind the first two I mention.
     
  25. OneStepBeyond

    OneStepBeyond "Hey - let's be careful out there!"

    Respectfully, I think that the original intention to do this release-by-release (note the thread title!) really should be adhered to as best as possible...

    I've seen a few potentially excellent album-by-album threads go off the rails and then people unfortunately lose interest. Which is a big shame.

    Enthusiasm is great, yes, but I'm sure people would get much more out of this and it could become a handy reference tool were it to have a proper order. And the 'done thing' seems to be that people can refer back to things that have already been discussed... that is working fantastically in the Jimi Hendrix Experience Electric Ladyland thread, for example.

    What say you, @Colocally? :)
     
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