Giddy up Lorraine!
Lorraine- Bad Manners Lorraine
Wrong Side Of 25- The Connection Let It Rock
No. 1 Boy- The Rezillos Zero
It's Alright, It's OK- Hawks Hawks
Just Listen- Adam Schmitt Illiterature
^It Must Be Love- Madness The Business
Lovers- The Runaways The Runaways
The October Paradigm- The Effection Soundtrack To A Moment
*Stupid Marriage- The Specials The Specials
*Missing Words- The Selecter Missing Words
*Ranking Full Stop- English Beat Ranking Full Stop
*Easy Life- The Bodysnatchers Dance Craze
Rainbow Quartz- The Grip Weeds How I Won The War
I Love You Better- David Grahame Yellow Pills Vol 4 The Best of American Pop!
Girlfriend- The Leftovers Eager to Please
**Yes Yes Yes- The Ska-Dows Yes Yes Yes
**Ska Trekkin'- The Tigers Ska Trekkin'
**Smart Boy- The Akrylykz Smart Boy
I Love A Mystery- Hoodoo Gurus Gravy Train
Make Believe- Lisa Mychols Above, Beyond and In Between
Hook, Line And Sink Her- Just Boys Hook, Line And Sink Her
***Rudie Can't Fail- The Clash London Calling
***Romance- The Members 1980- The Choice Is Yours
***Tom Hark- The Piranhas Play Kwela
Weather Advisory- Legendary Wings Do You See
Do Ya, Do Ya, Do Ya- The Yum Yums ...Play Good Music
Skinhead Love Affair [as Buster's All Stars]- Bad Manners Christmas Time Again
>My Boy Lollipop- Millie Small My Boy Lollipop
Twist and Crawl- English Beat Keep the Beat - Very Best of
Doesn’t Make It Alright- The Specials The Specials
^Power Pop Peak: #33 Billboard Hot 100 8/20/83
*SacroSet 1: 2 Tone Records
**SacroSet 2: Lesser Known UK Ska Bands
***SacroSet 3: Punk Bands Go Ska
>Power Pop Prototype: 1964
One the great things about being a music fan in the late 70's and early 80's is that there were always great new records to listen to. Punk Rock, Power Pop, Boston Rock, Paisley Underground, Jangle Pop, New Wave, Post Punk, Hardcore- every time Cousin Rich and I came off the escalator at the Harvard Coop there was some new treasure to discover. And there were no geographic limitations- we'd buy records from bands all across the USA, from England, Ireland and Scotland as well by groups from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, France and more. There was one consistent element to all this music, however: it was 100% white.
Of course I never thought about it back then, but in 1980 don't think I owned one record by a black artist. I didn't get into Hendrix and Funkadelic until college and the Bad Brains were still a few years away. That all changed when I bought The Specials first album. In a rare event, it was not Cousin Rich who hipped me to the band but my friend Ted. He and I were in the same homeroom in Intermediate School (what they called Jr. High in Duxbury) and I thought he was hilarious but in high school home room I was grouped alphabetically with the "L's" while he was with the "M's" so we lost touch.
A few years later I heard that Ted and his group of friends were all into the same music as Cousin Rich and I. Thanks to his job at the Chart House restaurant, Ted had money to buy records and, something I'd never thought of before, cool clothes, sunglasses, etc. He wore this blue jacket with these patches on it of bands called The Specials, The English Beat and Madness. I didn't know those groups but I thought the graphics were cool. How can you not love the references to early 60's Madmen-era magazine advertising. I bought The Specials album along with The Beat's I Just Can't Stop It and was blown away by both records. What I learned was that this music was called "Ska," and is now known as "2nd Wave" or "2 Tone Ska" (after The Specials' record label). This music had some of the same social messages as punk rock but was upbeat and fun. Songs about racism, poverty and the working class with a catchy, catchy beat! What's more, my record collection had just broken the color barrier- though at the time I was barely aware of this fact.
2 Tone Ska didn't last long but for a few years was a huge phenomenon in England. Along with the 2 Tone bands I played tonight there's Madness, the most successful 2nd Wave group, and Bad Manners along with a goodly number of also-rans/bandwagon jumpers. My favorite in the latter category is The Tigers. Not only did they put out novelty song "Ska
|To boldly go....|
|RIP 2 Tone Ska 1979-1982|
It wasn't until the mid-80's that I found out out about Ska's first wave in early-60's Jamaica. (Give me a break- this was before the Internet.) The film Legends of Ska from this year's Sonoma International Film Festival is all about that era. It's clear to see how much of an influence this music had on 2 Tone Ska- The Specials' "Gangsters" is a re-working of the 1964 song "Al Capone" by Prince Buster, whose song "Madness" is where the 2nd Wave group got their name. Bad Manners' "My Girl Lollipop" is a cover of tonight's Power Pop Prototype "My Boy Lollipop" by Millie Small, which was the first international Ska hit in 1964. Even the 2 Tone Logo is an homage to Peter Tosh on the cover of The Wailers 1965 debut:
|Bunny Wailer, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh|
|Early 1960's Mutt and Jeff Sound System|
While the 1st Wave of Ska was mostly black Jamaican guys and the 2nd Wave was racially mixed Brits, including women like Pauline Black of The Selecter and all-female group The Bodysnatchers, 3rd Wave Ska consisted mostly of white dudes, a lot of whom came out of the punk rock scene.
|Less Than Reel Big Goldfish|
I'm past all that now and while I still change stations every time Sublime comes on the radio, I will always appreciate the artistry, genius and personal cultural awakening I experienced through 2 Tone Ska.
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ALL KINDSA GIRLS #133