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‘Dance Craze - The Best of British Ska Live!’ ft Madness, The Specials, The Beat & more

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There’s no need to explain why this film is such a corker. Joe Massot’s Dance Craze is 84 minutes of absolutely mint performances from the best British ska acts of the early 80s, featuring 27 tracks from Madness, The Specials, The Beat, The Selecter, Bad Manners and The Bodysnatchers.

All the bands were signed to the iconic 2 Tone label, who also put out a soundtrack album featuring some of the best cuts from the film. I have that record and it’s excellent, but seeing the footage for the first time in full really puts it in perspective.

The energy, the passion, the clothes, the diversity and yet the sense of community, it’s no wonder ska was the biggest youth movement in the UK after punk. These gigs look great, and it’s a pity more modern live experiences aren’t as communal and just such goddam fun.

I mean, how could you possibly go wrong with a tracklist like this:

“Nite Klub” – The Specials
“The Prince” – Madness
“Ne-Ne-Na-Na-Na-Na-Nu-Nu” – Bad Manners
“007 (Shanty Town)” – The Bodysnatchers
“Three Minute Hero” – The Selecter
“Ranking Full Stop” – The Beat
“Big Shot” – The Beat
“Concrete Jungle” – The Specials
“Swan Lake” – Madness
“Razor Blade Alley” – Madness
“Missing Words” – The Selecter
“Let’s Do the Rock Steady” – The Bodysnatchers
“Lip Up Fatty” – Bad Manners
“Madness” – Madness
“Too Much Too Young” – The Specials
“On My Radio” – The Selecter
“Easy Life” – The Bodysnatchers
“Rough Rider” – The Beat
“Man at C&A” – The Specials
“Inner London Violence” – Bad Manners
“Night Boat to Cairo” – Madness
“Twist and Crawl” – The Beat
“Wooly Bully” – Bad Manners
“Too Much Pressure” – The Selecter
“Mirror in the Bathroom” – The Beat
“One Step Beyond” – Madness
“Nite Klub” – The Specials
 

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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04.24.2012
09:27 pm
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The Specials live in Japan, 1980
05.26.2011
03:50 am
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As a long time reggae fan and an early acolyte of punk rock, I was thrilled when 2 Tone Records appeared on the scene in the late 1970s with its roster of British interracial ska bands that included The Specials, The English Beat, The Selector and Madness (who were all white but alright). Adding a bit of Brit punk into a ska mix, the 2 Tone bands brought the party to the revolution that revivified rock and roll.

Enjoy this document of The Specials in great form at the height of their popularity. Japan, 1980.
 

 
Parts two and three after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Marc Campbell
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05.26.2011
03:50 am
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