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2 Tone

2 Tone

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2 Tone is a music genre
Music genre
A music genre is a categorical and typological construct that identifies musical sounds as belonging to a particular category and type of music that can be distinguished from other types of music...

 created in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 in the late 1970s by fusing elements of ska
Ska |Jamaican]] ) is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s, and was the precursor to rocksteady and reggae. Ska combined elements of Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rhythm and blues...

, punk rock
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

, rocksteady
Rocksteady is a music genre that originated in Jamaica around 1966. A successor to ska and a precursor to reggae, rocksteady was performed by Jamaican vocal harmony groups such as The Gaylads, The Maytals and The Paragons. The term rocksteady comes from a dance style that was mentioned in the Alton...

, reggae
Reggae is a music genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady.Reggae is based...

, and New Wave
New Wave music
New Wave is a subgenre of :rock music that emerged in the mid to late 1970s alongside punk rock. The term at first generally was synonymous with punk rock before being considered a genre in its own right that incorporated aspects of electronic and experimental music, mod subculture, disco and 1960s...

. It was called 2 Tone because most of the bands were signed to 2 Tone Records
2 Tone Records
2 Tone Records was an English record label that mostly released ska and reggae-influenced music with a punk rock and pop music overtone.-History:...

 at some point. Other labels associated with the 2 Tone sound were Stiff Records
Stiff Records
Stiff Records is a record label created in London in 1976, by entrepreneurs Dave Robinson and Andrew Jakeman , and active until 1985. It was reactivated in 2007....

 and Go Feet Records
Go Feet Records
Go Feet Records was an English record label founded by, and predominantly used to release recordings by, the ska revival band The Beat . The band had some chart success in the United Kingdom in the 1980s. The label also released a few recordings by other bands...

. Within the history of ska, 2 Tone is classified as its second wave, the product of an early 1980s nostalgia for vintage music. It is the precursor of the third wave ska scene of the 1990s.

The 2 Tone sound was developed by young musicians (mostly in Coventry
Coventry is a city and metropolitan borough in the county of West Midlands in England. Coventry is the 9th largest city in England and the 11th largest in the United Kingdom. It is also the second largest city in the English Midlands, after Birmingham, with a population of 300,848, although...

, West Midlands
West Midlands (county)
The West Midlands is a metropolitan county in western central England with a 2009 estimated population of 2,638,700. It came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972, formed from parts of Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire. The...

) who grew up hearing 1960s Jamaican music. They combined 1960s ska with contemporary punk and pop music. Bands considered part of the genre include: The Specials
The Specials
The Specials are an English 2 Tone ska revival band formed in 1977 in Coventry, England. Their music combines a "danceable ska and rocksteady beat with punk's energy and attitude", and had a "more focused and informed political and social stance" than other ska groups...

, The Selecter
The Selecter
The Selecter are a 2 Tone ska revival band from Coventry, England, formed in mid 1979.Like many other bands in the ska revival movement, The Selecter featured a racially diverse line-up. Their lyrics featured themes connected to politics and marijuana, set to strong melodies and a danceable beat...

, The Beat
The Beat (band)
The Beat are a 2 Tone ska revival band founded in England in 1978. Their songs fuse ska, pop, soul, reggae and punk rock, and their lyrics deal with themes of love, unity and sociopolitical topics....

, Madness
Madness (band)
In 1979, the band recorded the Lee Thompson composition "The Prince". The song, like the band's name, paid homage to their idol, Prince Buster. The song was released through 2 Tone Records, the label of The Specials founder Jerry Dammers. The song was a surprise hit, peaking in the UK music charts...

, Bad Manners
Bad Manners
Bad Manners are an English 2 Tone ska band. They quickly became the novelty favourites of the UK pop scene through their bald outsized frontman's on-stage antics, earning early exposure through their Top of The Pops exploits and an appearance in the live film documentary, Dance Craze.They were at...

, and The Bodysnatchers
The Bodysnatchers (band)
The Bodysnatchers were a seven-piece all-female band involved in the British 2 Tone ska revival of the late 1970s and early 1980s.-Career:Formed in London by Nicky Summers in 1979, in the aftermath of the punk rock scene, The Bodysnatchers released two ska/rocksteady singles on 2 Tone Records...


The term was coined by The Specials' keyboardist Jerry Dammers
Jerry Dammers
Jeremy David Hounsell "Jerry" Dammers is a British musician who is a founder and keyboard player of the Coventry, England based ska revival band The Specials, The Special A.K.A...

, who, with the assistance of Horace Panter
Horace Panter
Horace Panter also known as Sir Horace Gentleman, is the bassist for the Coventry 2 Tone, ska revival band The Specials....

, also created the fictional Walt Jabsco logo (portraying a man in a black suit, white shirt, black tie, pork pie hat, white socks and black loafers) to represent the 2 Tone movement. It was based on an early album cover photo of Peter Tosh
Peter Tosh
Peter Tosh, born Winston Hubert McIntosh , was a Jamaican reggae musician who was a core member of the band The Wailers , and who afterward had a successful solo career as well as being a promoter of Rastafari.Peter Tosh was born in Grange Hill, Jamaica, an illegitimate child to a mother too young...

, and included an added black-and-white check pattern.

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