“Dance Craze” by Various Artists - album review

TJR says

An LP which is very dear to my heart, being the first that I ever purchased back when I was 12, in 1981. 'The Best Of Brtish Ska…Live!' proclaimed the front cover. They weren't wrong. Released on Valentines day in 1981, this love letter from 2-Tone featured 15 of the 27 tracks which appeared in the concert film of the same name, screening in cinemas from the same time. The original film featured recordings from The Selecter (February 28th 1980, Guildhall, Portsmouth & March 22nd 1980, Pavilion, Hemel Hempstead), Madness (April 27th 1980, Bradford, St George’s Hall & April 30th 1980, Sunderland), Bad Manners (March 27th 1980, Electric Ballroom, London & May 27th 1980, Friars, Aylesbury), The Bodysnatchers (March 22nd 1980, Pavillion, Hemel Hempstead & March 27th 1980, Electric Ballroom, London), The Specials (September 1980, Rotters, Liverpool & October 1980, Rotters, Liverpool), The Beat (American Tour 1980, Emerald City, Cherry Hall, NJ). The 2-Tone website has this to say:

There had been talk a 2 Tone film for some time and it was American director Joe Massot who finally set about the task of capturing the 2 Tone bands on celluloid. He had originally intended to make a film solely about Madness after a witnessing the band live in Los Angeles, but his son Jason persuaded him that there were similar sounding bands and that he should expand the film project to include the entire 2 Tone movement. Massot was no stranger to working with bands, he had previously directed the Led Zeppelin film, The Song Remains The Same, and he set about to try and capture the energy and enthusiasm of 2 Tone on film. For the technically minded among you it was shot on 35 mm and blown up to 70 mm. It also gave Massot an opportunity to try out what was then new technology, the SteadyCam, of which he said "I wanted to try it out with Ska to see if the camera could dance. It positively strutted its' stuff". He filmed what he said was a "countless number of concerts" and tried as best he could to capture the atmosphere at these gigs. The next task was that of selecting footage which would produce the best representation of the live 2 Tone experience.

Jerry Dammers worked exhaustively on the film to the point were it was reported that he nearly had a nervous breakdown. Despite this workload the completed film was previewed in January 1981 at the Midam Music Festival in France and opened in the UK on February 15th of the same year. However, by 1981 2 Tone had lost its appeal and only the most die-hard of fans ventured to their local cinema to witness the nations finest in action. Only The Specials and Rico remained as recording artists on the label and at the time the film and its soundtrack were released The Bodysnatchers had split only for some of them to reappear at a later date as The Belle Stars. The album was a collection of 15 out of 27 tracks which appeared in the film. A double album featuring all the songs in the film may have pleased the fans more but they thought enough of it to put it at number 5 in the charts. The Specials kept a low profile on the album but it did finally see Bad Manners appear on 2 Tone, given the band had previously turned down an offer to sign. Had the album been released a year previously at the peak of the labels' popularity it would have been an even bigger success, but with only one more moment of glory to come (Ghost Town); 2 Tone's days were numbered. The album also features a live version of Man at C&A which is thought to be the only known recording in existence of Terry Hall laughing.

The Jukebox Rebel
03-Feb-2010

A1 [03:08] 7.1.png The Specials - Concrete Jungle [live ’80] (Roddy Byers) Ska / Rocksteady
A2 [03:18] 8.0.png The Beat - Mirror In The Bathroom [live ’80] (Dave Wakeling, Roger Charlery, Andy Cox, David Steele, Everett Morton, Lionel Martin) Ska / Rocksteady
A3 [02:57] 8.3.png Bad Manners - Lip Up Fatty [live ’80] (Doug Trendle, Alan Sayagg, Louis Cook, Andrew Marson, Gus Herman, Chris Kane, David Farren, Brian Tuitt, Martin Stewart) Ska / Rocksteady
A4 [02:35] 7.0.png Madness - Razor Blade Alley [live ’80] (Lee Thompson) Jazz
A5 [02:48] 8.8.png The Selecter - Three Minute Hero [live ’80] (Neol Davies) Ska / Rocksteady
A6 [02:52] 10.0.png The Bodysnatchers - Easy Life [live ’80] (Rhoda Dakar, Sarah Jane Owen, Stella Barker, Nicky Summers, Penny Leyton, Miranda Joyce, Jane Summers) Ska / Rocksteady
A7 [02:42] 7.5.png The Beat - Big Shot [live ’80] (Dave Wakeling, Roger Charlery, Andy Cox, David Steele, Everett Morton, Lionel Martin) Ska / Rocksteady
A8 [03:22] 8.7.png Madness - One Step Beyond [live ’80] (Cecil Campbell) Ska / Rocksteady
B1 [02:48] 9.0.png The Beat - Ranking Full Stop [live ’80] (Dave Wakeling, Roger Charlery, Andy Cox, David Steele, Everett Morton, Lionel Martin) Ska / Rocksteady
B2 [02:55] 9.2.png The Specials - Man At C & A [live ’80] (Terry Hall, Jerry Dammers) Reggae
B3 [03:26] 8.5.png The Selecter - Missing Words [live ’80] (Neol Davies) Ska / Rocksteady
B4 [03:25] 7.2.png Bad Manners - Inner London Violence [live ’80] (Doug Trendle, Alan Sayagg, Louis Cook, Andrew Marson, Gus Herman, Chris Kane, David Farren, Brian Tuitt, Martin Stewart) Ska / Rocksteady
B5 [03:12] 8.1.png Madness - Night Boat To Cairo [live ’80] (Graham McPherson, Mike Barson) Ska / Rocksteady
B6 [02:54] 9.1.png The Selecter - Too Much Pressure [live ’80] (Neol Davies) Ska / Rocksteady
B7 [05:39] 8.1.png The Specials - Nite Klub [live ’80] (Jerry Dammers, Lynval Golding, Stephen Panter, Terry Hall, Neville Staple, Roddy Byers, John Bradbury) Ska / Rocksteady




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