Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Ska for the Skeptical

I mentioned the other day that in my youth I was into Ska in a big way - yet amazingly many people have never heard much from this genre. I was at a pub quiz a few months ago with Dogs and our ladies and there was Ska section - I was the only one of our group to have heard of any of the songs which astounded me. Still it gave me a chance to show off as I got them all! ;)

So to put this shocking lack of musical knowledge right here's the perfect page - Ska for the Skeptical. It consists of a potted history of Ska and best of all a superb set of tracks from Ska stars from the 60s to the 90s such as Desmond Dekker, Toots and the Maytals (this one was in the quiz), The Specials, Madness, Skatalites and more.

I was into it in it's second coming in the UK (late 70s to early 80s) and anyone in the UK around that time will recognise the Ska icon I've put on this post - it's the 2Tone man which was the symbol of 2 Tone Records, a major Ska label at that time. Plastic badges of this bloke could be spotted pinned to to skinny ties and two tone shirts. Add your closely cropped but not quite skinhead hair, braces, skin tight, roll up jeans and Dr Marten cut off boots and you were off.

via BoingBoing


hypersloth said...

Sweet find!! Great downloads here. Night Boat to Cairo was always my favorite Madness song - I saw Let's Go Bowling in concert once...
We're going to see Social Distortion play tonight. I know it's not ska, but it's still pretty old and punkish.. can't believe they're still around!

mmChronic said...

I don't know either of the two bands you mention as I haven't heard much of the newer Ska. I hope the gig was good!

One of the newer bands on that list, The Slackers, sound like they are worth checking out some more.

I loved Nightboat and most of the songs by Madness (who I saw at Newcastle City Hall years ago) but of that period the best UK Ska band for me was The Specials - currently the 18th most played band in my playlist. :)