2 Tone (Second Wave of SKA)

2 Tone (or Two Tone) is a music genre created in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s by fusing elements of skapunk rock,rocksteadyreggae, and New Wave. It was called 2 Tone because most of the bands were signed to 2 Tone Records at some point. Other labels associated with the 2 Tone sound were Stiff Records and Go Feet Records. Within the history of ska, 2 Tone is classified as its second wave, the product of an early 1980s nostalgia for vintage music.[1] It is the precursor of the third wave ska scene of the 1990s.

The 2 Tone sound was developed by young musicians (mostly in CoventryWest Midlands) who grew up hearing 1960s Jamaican music.[2] They combined 1960s ska with contemporary punk and pop music. Bands considered part of the genre include: The Specials,[1] The SelecterThe Beat,[1] Madness,[1] Bad Manners, and The Bodysnatchers.
The term was coined by The Specials’ keyboardist Jerry Dammers, who, with the assistance of Horace Panter, also created the fictional Walt Jabsco logo to represent the 2 Tone movement. It was based on an early album cover photo of Peter Tosh, and included an added black-and-white check pattern.[3][4]

2 Tone

The 2 Tone genre, which began in the late 1970s in the areas in and around the city of Coventry in England, was a fusion of Jamaican ska rhythms and melodies with punk rock‘s more aggressive guitar chords and lyrics.[19]Compared to 1960s ska, 2 Tone music had faster tempos, fuller instrumentation and a harder edge. The genre was named after 2 Tone Records, a record label founded by Jerry Dammers of The Specials. In many cases, the reworking of classic ska songs turned the originals into hits again in the United Kingdom.

The 2 Tone movement promoted racial unity at a time when racial tensions were high in the UK. There were many Specials songs that raised awareness of the issues of racism, fighting and friendship issues. Riots in British cities were a feature during the summer that The Specials song “Ghost Town” was a hit, although this work was in a slower, Reggae beat. Most of the 2 Tone bands had multiracial lineups, such as The Beat (known as English Beat in North America and the British Beat in Australia), The Specials, and The Selecter.[1] Although only on the 2 Tone label for one single, Madness was one of the most effective bands at bringing the 2 Tone genre into the mainstream.

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