Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Having already highlighted some of Jamaica's ska legends, let's move to another island to explore the Ska revival of the late 70's. Coventry England's Post-Punk rebirth of Ska, better known as the 2 Tone Era, exposed the relatively unknown genre to an entirely new and different audience, utilizing a mix of old and new to punctuate it's rediscovery.

The symbiotic relationship between Punk and Reggae that had blossomed in the late 70's gave rise to the resurgence which followed closely on its heels. This new wave of Ska was perpetuated by several standout bands, and among its stongest proponent was Jerry Dammers. Dammers, a member of The Specials and the founder of
2 Tone Records
was a instrumental, literally and figuratively, in the expansion of the movement.

The original Specials consisted of Dammers, Lynval Golding and Horace Panter. Later joined by Terry Hall and Roddy Byers, they released two LPs prior to changing their lineup and name. The resulting Special AKA was not as successful as the Specials, but did manage the big club hit, Free Nelson Mandela.

The Specials incorporated everything the 2 Tone movement stood for: the resurgence of the mods; racially unified, disenfranchised middle-class youth, fighting the power while having a good time. Not as caustic as the Clash, yet still far more significant than the New Wavers, their music was as much a celebration as it was a revolt, and it packed every ounce of energy they lads to offer.

In April 2008, the band announced it had reformed (minus Dammers) to celebrate it's 30th anniversary. Late that same year, they began playing at festivals around England.

With a little luck and some proper booking, they will skank it over to these shores this year.

I'm just sayin'.

Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think)

Guns Of Navarone
Maggie's Farm
Rude Boy Outta Jail

The Specials- Guns of Navarone (1979 Rock Goes To College)

The Specials- Man at C&A (24th November 1980 )

The Specials- A Message To You Rudy (The Old Grey Whistle Test, Oct 1979)

The Specials- Ghost Town (1980)

The Specials- Rat Race (1980)

1 comment:

Lavinator said...

The Specials make me think about my Sr. year in High School, when I was young and hip...listening to Ska and watching such indie movie classics such as Butt Hole Surfers Must Die, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes and Spike Lee's movie debut, She's Gotta Have it.

My fav Specials songs are Nite Klub and...This ones for the bouncers, big, big, Monkey Man!!