NEWS: Chrysalis Records announce the release of 2 Tone: The Albums box set Released 4th September 2020

NEWS: Chrysalis Records announce the release of 2 Tone: The Albums box set Released 4th September 2020

Featuring eight Two Tone albums with new, extensive sleevenotes 

Art directed by Jerry Dammers

Plus three Record Store Day releases 

Including previously unreleased Specials Dub Mixes on 10” vinyl

Continuing the acclaimed 40 years of 2 Tone Records 

Following the huge acclaim and success of last year’s 2 Tone 7” Treasures box set, on 4th September Chrysalis Records will release a 2 Tone albums box set. Following this, over two different Record Store Days, the label will release two half-speed mastered LPs: Dance Craze, and This Are Two Tone (both on 26th September), and a 10” single: a 10” dubplate featuring never-before-heard dub mixes of classic Specials tracks (24th October). 

The Two Tone: The Albums box set features the first eight album releases on the label, including the currently out of print albums by Rico and the sought-after Dance Craze and This Are Two Tone collections: 

CD1      The Specials ‘Specials’

CD2      The Selecter ‘Too Much Pressure’

CD3      The Specials ‘More Specials’

CD4      Various Artists ‘Dance Craze’

CD5      Rico ‘That Man Is Forward’

CD6      Rico ‘Jama Rico’

CD7      Various Artists ‘This Are Two Tone’

CD8      The Special A.K.A. ‘In The Studio’

It’s the first time all these incredible Two Tone releases have been housed together in one collection. Recorded over a five-year period, they chronicle the history of one of the UK’s most important record labels. 

All albums are housed in mini LP style sleeves and a two-part rigid box.  The box features new, extensive sleevenotes for each album, collected together in a 24-page booklet. 

The first Record Store Day releases, Dance Craze and This Are Two Tone, have both been mastered and cut as half-speed masters on 180gm limited edition black vinyl.  Dance Craze is a first time repress of the Two Tone 1981 soundtrack to the movie of the same name, featuring 14 tracks culled from various concerts of 2 Tone signed and associated artists, The Specials, Madness, The Selecter, The Beat, Bad Manners and The Bodysnatchers.

The This Are Two Tone half-speed master is a first time repress of the 1983 2 Tone compilation featuring non-album tracks from the label including Gangsters (The Specials), Madness (Madness), On My Radio (The Selecter), Tears of A Clown (The Beat) and Mantovani (The Swinging Cats).

The three tracks on the Specials Dub 10” were mixed at the same time as the master recordings but lay unreleased in the archive. ‘Gangsters [‘Clangsters’ Dub]’ was mixed at Horizon Studios, Coventry in 1979  – although slower in tempo than the Gangsters single this is the tempo at which the dub was originally made. ‘Why [Dub]’ mixed at Woodbine Studios, Leamington Spa in 1981 – featuring the haunting horns of the late Rico Rodriguez on trombone and trumpeter Dick Cuthell. ‘Too Much Too Young [Piano Instrumental]’ was recorded and mixed at The Who’s Ramport Studios in Battersea in 1979.

All of these releases are produced in artistic consultation with label founder Jerry Dammers, as part of the 40thanniversary year releases, which include rare and unreleased material, much of which has not been available for several decades, or in some cases never before. 

The recently resurrected Chrysalis Records became, and continues to be, the home of the 2 Tone label (following an original independent pressing of a few thousand of the first 2 Tone single, distributed through Rough Trade in plain white sleeves, rubber stamped by the band themselves). Conceived by The Specials’ founder, main songwriter and keyboardist Jerry Dammers, whose vision for the label took its blueprint from such disparate elements as Jamaican ska labels, Berry Gordy’s Motown label, and the Buzzcocks’ independently pressed Spiral Scratch EP…. the label achieved the rare feat of being highly principled, incorporating some pertinent socio-political comments, whilst also having great popularity and commercial success. Bringing together a collection of disparate, yet like-minded artists,many of whom were from the West Midlands, the label launched the careers of the truly iconic Specials, TheSelecter, The Beat, and of one of the most successful British bands ever, London-based Madness. In the post-punk era, many of these artists fused a love of ska and reggae, with the attitude and energy of punk, and an acute pop sensibility which saw 2 Tone have many chart hits, whilst maintaining its much admired integrity. 

The box set can be purchased via the 2 Tone store

Matt Mead

Matt Mead

Freelance writer who likes anything with heart and soul
Matt Mead

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