Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Various Artists - This Are Two Tone (1983)


NUMBERS WEEK (MARCH 14-20, 2011)

2 Tone Records was a small, indie label in the late '70s/early '80s that mostly released ska music embraced by rude boys ("rudies"). I always think of ska music as reggae music performed by white Englishmen on speed. This is a compilation of music from the label's more popular bands, including The Specials, Madness, The Selecter, and The Beat (known in the US as The English Beat). I like ska music in general, but can't take much of it in large doses. As a result, this is one of the few ska discs I own. A lasting influence of the label was its logo which portrays a man, known as Walt Jabsco, in a black suit, white shirt, black tie, pork pie hat, white socks and black loafers.

Tracks: My favorite cuts are the two from The Beat, especially their cover of Smokey Robinson's Tears Of A Clown. The 6 tracks from The Specials are good as well. The Specials get more tracks than anyone else because the band's keyboard player and founder also started the 2 Tone label. The tracks from The Bodysnatchers, Rhoda Dakar, and The Swinging Cats are forgettable and/or disturbing.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: Back to high school, of course. I had a few albums by the English Beat and one of my favorite band shirts had the female equivalent of Walt Jabsco on it. I wore that shirt throughout my college years until it was threadbare.

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