Saturday, May 3, 2008

A 2Tone Universe

For a short time in 1979-80 a few popular recording stars we know under different names all took a shot at playing ska music. It's true. Really.

Anyone ever heard of Graduate? What about Akrylykz? How about The Executive. In fact there are a number of unsung bands of the 2Tone era that should be celebrated. I'll get to all of them in another post.

While Graduate was not a ska band they wrote and recorded this single in 1979 in response to Elvis Costello complaining about how everybody seemed to be hopping on the ska bandwagon and nobody cared much for his sound at that time. Both tracks appeared on their debut album, Acting My Age. The Bath, England new wave band lasted five singles and two albums before disbanding in 1981. Two of the members made a name for themselves later. Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith formed Tears For Fears.

Many thanks to Tone and Wave for the link to the 7" download

The Akrylykz were a band from the 2Tone era from Yorkshire. Their vocalist and tenor sax player Roland Gift who was chosen by Andy Cox and David Steele (of The English Beat) to be the lead singer of their new band Fine Young Cannibals. This vinyl from 1980 is inscribed with the words "Eat your heart out 2Tone"

Many thanks to Tone and Wave for the link to the 7" download

Finally there was The Executives. In 1979, Georgios Panayiotou (known to me and you as George Michael), Andrew Ridgely and a few friends under the spell of such dance artists as Chic and Sylvester, began writing songs together. Soon fascinated by the music of the U.K.'s ska revival, the pair formed their own ska group, The Executives; by 1982, the duo had signed a deal with the CBS-distributed Innervision label as Wham! Sorry but I have not been able to find any pictures of a young George Michael as a rude boy.

No comments: