With the vinyl reissue of the 2-Tone live album ‘Dance Craze’ and the 8CD 2-Tone box set hitting the shelves in the autumn of 2020, it seemed like a good time to be a ska fan. While there seems to be no news regarding a much needed reissue of the ‘Dance Craze’ film as we move into 2021, The Selecter’s fans are given another cause for celebration.
On April 23rd, the classic Selecter debut ‘Too Much Pressure’ will be reissued on vinyl (in clear and black varieties) and a vastly expanded 3CD set.
In the summer of 1979, several young bands with a political conscience and an ear for the Jamaican sounds of the late 60s began to storm the UK charts. The British music scene subsequently experienced one of its most exciting post-punk movements when bands like The Specials and The Selecter became the “new cool” with their brand of energetic ska music. By October, the new movement had reached fever pitch when no fewer than three bands associated with the 2-Tone label appeared on a single edition of Top of The Pops. Decades on, it’s still possible to understand the incendiary effect these bands had when revisiting that footage. Much has been said about Madness’ abilities to give the studio a party atmosphere, but it’s The Selecter’s first appearance playing ‘On My Radio’ which, perhaps, best sums up the pure energy of ska’s second wave in a little over two minutes, with Pauline Black, Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson and Charley Anderson giving it the full on skank throughout.
Love it or hate it, Record Store Day has become an important fixture on the music-related calendar. From humble beginnings with a few bits and bobs to entice people into independent record shops, it’s now become a huge business tool, giving major labels an excuse to reissue all kinds of stuff. While it now seems more about a money making venture than to highlight small business, there’s still some cool stuff to be found. Never more so than for the 2020 event, where there are a truckload of artificially created rarities that look like lovely items for the keener fan.
Over the past few years, The Selecter have gone from strength to strength. The 2-Tone legends have released two critically acclaimed albums in 2015’s ‘Subculture’ and 2017’s ‘Daylight’, but in addition, founding members Pauline Black and Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson have been permanently on the road.
They’ve toured the UK several times and even taken their show across the Atlantic. Moving into 2019, things show no sign of slowing down.
Following the massive success of a lengthy European tour, ska legends The Selecter and The Beat will be taking their show across to North America.
Both bands have recorded new material in recent years. The Selecter’s ‘Daylight’ was released in 2017 and with their essential ‘Subculture’ LP hitting the shelves just a couple of years previously, Pauline Black and company are as busy as they’ve ever been. The Beat, meanwhile, are the version of the band featuring Ranking Roger and his son Ranking Jnr. Their 2016 LP ‘Bounce’ is a fine return for the band and their current live show is absolutely incendiary. If you’re a fan of second wave ska, seeing them is an absolute must.