Yes, its hard to believe, but Dance Craze was released in theatres across the U.K. 30 years ago today -- February 14, 1981! The movie finally opened in the U.S. in New York City more than a year later. By then most of the bands had broken up or were in the process of doing so. Read Janet Maslin's review in the New York Times from April of 1982.
A few interesting pieces of trivia about the film:
- The American film director Joe Massot originally planned to do a live documentary about Madness who he met during their very first U.S. tour. He later changed direction to include all the bands signed to 2-Tone
- Bad Manners appear in the film even though they were never signed to 2-Tone
- All the footage of the bands was filmed during live performances in the U.K. during 1980 except one -- The Beat were filmed during a gig in Cherry Hill, New Jersey
- The film features 27 live tracks but only 15 were included on the soundtrack album of the same name
- Massot was tapped by Rob 'Bucket' Hingley of The Toasters and Moon Records to direct 'NYC SKA CRAZE' which was to be an American follow-up focused on the vibrant New York City ska scene of the later 80's. For reasons still unclear, Massot skipped out the day of filming and the project was scrapped
If you haven't seen it, a long out-of-print version of the film is floating around the Internet and can be found quite easily. It is essential viewing. For those of you who never tire of watching the film here in all their glory are The Specials, The Selecter and The Beat. Happy Valentines Day!