Monday, August 4, 2008

Dance Craze - Joe Massot Documentary Captures 2-Tone At Its Peak

I may have assumed incorrectly that most fans of 2-Tone either own a copy of Dance Craze or had a chance to see the movie when it was released in 1981. I was lucky enough to see it at college in the late 1980's. As a result I have not bothered to post about it or share a download. However I stand corrected as I've noticed comments from several visitors lamenting the fact that they have never seen the documentary or have trouble finding a copy.

As quick background, Dance Craze is a 1981 American documentary film about 2 Tone. The film was directed by Joe Massot, who originally wanted to do a film only about the band Madness, who he met during their first US tour. Massot later changed his plans to include the whole 2 Tone movement. The film, shot in 1980, followed Madness, The Specials, The Selecter, The Bodysnatchers, The Beat and Bad Manners on tour throughout the United Kingdom. A soundtrack album of the same name was released the same year (and reached #5 in the UK album charts), featuring fifteen of the songs that were featured in the film. The performances were shot entirely on location in Aylesbury, Bradford, Hemel Hempstead, London, Cherry Hill, NJ (The Beat were on tour in the U.S.), Leicester, Liverpool, Portsmouth and Sunderland. Dance Craze appears to be utterly lost to the annals of time. When 2-Tone was purchased by Chrysalis, a lot of people weren’t happy with the quality of the film, and the original film stock appears to have been “lost” in the transfer of property. While many of the artists here still active in one form or another, there has been no indication by anyone involved that there is any chance of this ever being re-released. Like Urgh!, this one will likely remain a memory forever.

If you are new to 2-Tone ska and want to know where it all came from, or if you are a veteran and you just want to re-live these exciting moments, check out the film. Your 2-Tone bona fides compel you to watch! The venerable New York Times reveiwed the file when it was released to theatres here. You can read Janet Maslin's review here.

For those of you looking for a quick hit here is a performances from the film:

English Beat - Mirror In The Bathroom from Dance Craze

Here are bands and songs as performed in order in the film:

Nite Klub – The Specials
The Prince – Madness
Ne-Ne-Na-Na-Na-Na-Nu-Nu – Bad Manners
007 (Shanty Town) – The Bodysnatchers
Three Minute Hero – The Selecter
Ranking Full Stop – The Beat
Big Shot – The Beat
Concrete Jungle – The Specials
Swan Lake – Madness
Razor Blade Alley – Madness
Missing Words – The Selecter
Let's Do the Rock Steady – The Bodysnatchers
Lip Up Fatty – Bad Manners
Madness – Madness
Too Much Too Young – The Specials
On My Radio – The Selecter
Easy Life – The Bodysnatchers
Rough Rider – The Beat
Man at C&A – The Specials
Inner London Violence – Bad Manners
Night Boat to Cairo – Madness
Twist and Crawl – The Beat
Wooly Bully – Bad Manners
Too Much Pressure – The Selecter
Mirror in the Bathroom – The Beat
One Step Beyond – Madness
Nite Klub – The Specials

Here is the download of the film in 8 parts:


soulska said...

wonder if this is the version that i uploaded?

Edouard (from France) said...

I really want to thank you. I'm searching for this movie since a long time.