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Too Much Too Young

In Defense of Ska is Daniel Rachel’s take on Britain in 1979-1981 when The Specials, The Clash and The Police all found inspiration in black music.
Too Much Too Young Bookcover

In Defense of Ska recently interviewed Daniel Rachel about his latest book, Too Much Too Young – The 2 Tone Records Story.

It’s Rachel’s take on Britain in 1979-1981 when The Specials, The Clash and The Police all found inspiration in black music.

You can listen to the podcast here and follow @indefenseofska who have great archival photographs.

Author Daniel Rachel on the Important, Contradictory History of 2 Tone Ska: In Defense of Ska

Read the Book

Rachel interviews the key players of 2 Tone, including Jerry Dammers, Pauline Black, Terry Hall, Neville Staple, Ranking Roger, Suggs and Rhoda Dakar.
The story of 2 Tone starts in Coventry in 1979, when Jerry Dammers, the leader of The Specials, began creating an English Motown. Borrowing £700 to release the first 2 Tone single in late July, the record was an instant hit, reaching number six in the UK charts.
Rachel’s book is the definitive history of those times.

Read an extract in The Wire here.

Chapter Three Extract

“As a genre, punk had little if any trace of Black musical influence. Where punk was unrestrained, often rejecting melody and musical proficiency in favour of attitude and spirit, reggae relaxed the heart rate, pumping deep drum and bass grooves to stir the soul and shake down aggression.”

“Punk and reggae appeared to be diametrically opposed to one another. Then, in 1977, everything changed. First The Clash. Then The Ruts, The Members, The Police and a host of white musicians began to incorporate reggae rhythms into straight-laced English grooves.”

“The Clash introduced a cover version of Junior Murvin’s “Police And Thieves” into their set, recorded with the legendary Jamaican producer Lee Perry, and as the ‘(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais’ declared a bluebeat attack, a generation of white youth discovered a hypnotic reggae groove.

All these years later The Specials still have 35 million views for their classic hit.

The Specials – A Message To You Rudy

 

 

 

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