TWO TONE - [2 TONE]
Despite the fact that it relied on pre-existing ska songs, the sound of the Two Tone era was fresh and new. The punk rock era had set new musical rules and second wave ska incorporated this energy. Two Tone recordings are characterised by faster tempos, fuller instrumentation and a harder edge than original 60’s ska. All the Two Tone bands were young and from working class backgrounds and so the lyrics reflect their concerns: school, work, politics, crime, racism and having fun.
It will be very hard to find an artist above Laurel Aitken that did more to establish Ska in Europe. In a recording career that spanned over 45 years. Laurel Aitken was one of the founding fathers of Ska. He had only # 1 Top one Hundred record in the UK.
However his influence far out-strips his commercial success (or lack of it) Laurel enjoyed prolonged and renewed success following the resurgence of interest bought on about by the upsurge in interest in the 2 Tone sub genre of Ska.
His career spanned the development of Jamaica’s music from Mento and Negro Spirituals through to DanceHall. Laurel Aitken was still playing Gigs well into his 70s.
THE THIRD WAVE
Although enjoying a massive revival in Britain, Europe and, too a lesser extent, Australia, Two Tone ska did not make an impact in America. Bands such as Madness and The Specials were considered ‘too English’ probably due to their lyrics reflecting their own political and social concerns and the English dance hall type antics of the live shows that was far removed from the demur American stadium rock popular at the same time