The Beat ‎– Wha’ppen (1981)

Wha’ppen is the second album by English ska-pop/reggae sextet The Beat, released in 1981 on Go Feet/I.R.S. Tracklist: A1. “Doors of Your Heart” (3:46) A2. “All Out to Get You” (2:44) A3. “Monkey Murders” (3:10) A4. “I Am Your Flag” (2:53) A5. “French Toast (Soleil Trop Chaud)” (3:31) A6. “Drowning” (3:53) B1. “Dream Home in […]

The Specials ‎– The Specials (1979)

The Specials is the debut album by the namesake Coventry Two Tone/ska band, produced by Elvis Costello and released in 1979 on 2 Tone/Chrysalis. Tracklist: A1. “A Message to You Rudy” (2:54) A2. “Do the Dog” (2:12) A3. “It’s Up to You” (3:25) A4. “Nite Klub” (3:24) A5. “Doesn’t Make It Alright” (3:26) A6. “Concrete […]

Madness ‎– One Step Beyond… (1979)

One Step Beyond… is the debut album by English two-tone/ska sextet Madness, released in October 1979 on Stiff Records. Tracklist: A1. “One Step Beyond…” (2:17) A2. “My Girl” (2:44) A3. “Night Boat to Cairo” (3:28) A4. “Believe Me” (2:28) A5. “Land of Hope & Glory” (2:56) A6. “The Prince” (3:17) A7. “Tarzan’s Nuts” (2:23) B1. […]

Dexys Midnight Runners

Dexys Midnight Runners were an English New Wave/soul-pop band from Birmingham that released the album Searching for the Young Soul Rebels on EMI/Parlophone in 1980, followed by two albums on Mercury between 1982 and 1985. Initially inspired by Stax/Volt and two-tone, Dexys reinvented itself for each album, from the ragamuffin Celt-pop of the second lineup […]

The Bureau

The Bureau were an English New Wave/ska band from Birmingham that released a self-titled album on WEA in 1981. Four of the band’s initial seven members were in the original lineup of Dexys Midnight Runners. Members: Archie Brown (vocals), Pete Williams (bass), Rob Jones (guitar, 1980-81), ‘Stoker’ [aka Andy Growcott] (drums), Mick Talbot, Geoff Blythe […]

The Piranhas

The Piranhas were an English ska band from Brighton that released six singles on Virgin, Attrix, Ariola/Hansa, and Dakota between 1978 and 1983. In 1980, the band released a self-titled album on Sire/Hansa with cover-art by vocalist/guitarist Johnny Helmer, who later became a novelist and lyricist for other acts. Members: Johnny Helmer (vocals, lead guitar), […]


UB40 are an English reggae-pop band from Birmingham that debuted with the LP+EP release Signing Off on local small-press Graduate Records in 1980. After setting up their own DEP International imprint through a distribution deal with Virgin, the band released their second proper full-length, Present Arms, concurrent with a dub-version of the album in 1981. […]

The Selecter ‎– Too Much Pressure (1980)

Too Much Pressure is the first of two albums by English Two Tone/ska septet The Selecter, released in 1980 on 2 Tone/Chrysalis. The American issue shuffles the track order and adds the 1979 single a-side “On My Radio.” Tracklist: A1. “Three Minute Hero” (3:00) A2. “Everyday” (3:10) A3. “They Make Me Mad” (2:47) A4. “Missing […]

The Specials

The Specials were an English two-tone/ska band from Coventry that released two albums and several non-album sides between 1979 and 1981 on 2 Tone, a specialty imprint that keyboardist Jerry Dammers established in cooperation with Chrysalis. After the departure of guitarist Lynval Golding and vocalists Terry Hall and Neville Staple to Fun Boy Three, Dammers […]


Madness are an English ska-pop/new wave band that was initially active as a recording unit between 1979 and 1986. Comprised of between six and seven members during various iterations, the band emerged amidst the two-tone/ska craze that swept the UK at the turn of the 1980s. Formed circa 1976/77 in the North London borough of […]

Bad Manners

Bad Manners were an English ska band from Stoke Newington that released four albums on Magnet between 1980 and 1982, followed by a string of titles on assorted labels from 1985 onward. Members: Buster Bloodvessel [Doug Trendle] (vocals), Louis “Alphonso” Cook (guitar), David Farren (bass), Brian Tuitt (drums), Winston Bazoomies [Alan Sayagg] (harmonica), Paul Hyman […]

Reluctant Stereotypes

The Reluctant Stereotypes were an English New Wave/ska band from Coventry that issued a three-song EP on A&M-subsidiary Oval Music in 1979, followed by the album The Label with three accompanying singles/b-sides on WEA in 1980. Vocalist Paul King, who joined just prior to the WEA releases, later recorded two albums with his own surname-sake […]