Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Man Boys - Soul Rebels Capturing the Beat 7" (1982)

I'm not very familiar with the history of ska and reggae in Tennessee but I'm willing to bet this is one of the first.
The Man Boys were three brothers who captured the 2 Tone sound perfectly. When you first listen to this, try to ignore the juvenile lyrics which, really, aren't that bad, and just listen to the incredible songwriting and appreciate how well these guys captured the ska sound - but went totally unnoticed.

I don't know how many copies of this record were pressed but I'm guessing between 300 to 500, and there is no song on here called "Soul Rebels Capturing the Beat" - that's just the name of the record, but it shows their influence.
I don't know whatever happened to them or whether or not they had any other releases, but this is one of those great records that nobody knows about.

A - Waiting in the Wings
B - You're a Stamp


Monday, October 13, 2014

The Zero Heroes

The Zero Heroes were a Swedish mod-ska band that released a couple of albums and a couple of singles. The two albums included all of their songs with the exception of the b-side from the No Illusions single. All of their releases were on a French label and, so, there is a lot of conjecture that they are a French band but they are, in fact, Swedish.

The band formed out of the ashes of two Swedish punk bands The Bastards and Jack & the Rippers.
Jack & the Rippers experimented with the ska/reggae sound with the song "Endless Peace" but the Zero Heroes were a new direction for both bands. They played very well written power-pop (mod)-ska songs. (with less ska on the second album.)

Crash Boom Bang (1982)
1 Crash Boom Bang
2 Movie Star
3 Straighten Up Your Image
4 Trip Across the Ocean
5 Rebel
6 Little Girl Lost
7 Zero Hero Man
8 Walk, Don't Run
9 Deep in the Jungle
10 Running Dog
11 No Illusion
12 Music Fashion Magic

"Walk, Don't Run"


Radio Free Europe (1983)
 1 Freedom Fighters
2 Playboy Prince
3 Am I Gonna Leave
4 Moonlight
5 Cadillac, Pontiac, Zodiac
6 Love Power
7 Radio Free Europe
8 Tears of Joy
9 No Candy Store
10 Relationships
11 They Lost it All

"Playboy Prince"


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Famous 4 - Hume Tunes 1. 12" (1984)

Rare British ska.

A1 - Sand Dance
A2 - I Want That Girl
A3 - I Want That Girl (Dub)
B1 - Not Just Any Picture
B2 - Never the Policeman

"I Want that Girl"


The Talks - Commoners, Peers, Drunks, and Theives (2014) preview

from their press release:

"The last three years have seen The Talks working relentlessly to bring us a smorgasbord of bouncy, big hitting singles with 'Can Stand The Rain' featuring Neville Staple and 'Friday Night' creating a huge buzz online, replicated by the response of the crowd when the band have performed live.  With main stage performances at globally renowned festivals such as ‘This Is Ska’ (DE), ‘Mighty Sounds’ (CZ) and the UK’s ‘Rebellion’, tweets of appraisal and support from new wave big hitters ‘Less Than Jake’, glowing reviews and cover features from Big Cheese and Vive Le Rock Magazines - not to mention appearing in programmes on various UK TV networks - the bands reputation has surged from strength to strength.

2014’s recent singles 'Don't Look Behind You' and 'Radio' have paved the way for The Talks' long highly anticipated new album 'Commoners, Peers, Drunks and Thieves', and these cheeky Yorkshire chaps are gaining widespread attention on an international level. The album offers an insight into the versatility of the band’s sound.  ‘Light Up’ is an up tempo and anti-love song whereas ‘Ceasefire’ featuring Itch from The King Blues is a hard-edged call to arms, a fast paced and dazzling assault on the senses. 

Following another busy summer of festivals across Europe, the band will be taking their new album on the road with an extensive European tour planned for October and November.

Of the album, lead singer Pat Pretorius says "It’s really personal.  Our last album 'Live Now, Pay Later’ felt more like a catalogue of songs, but this time it feels like a real album, a journey. We agonised over this, and we'd like to think it'll bring our audience closer to us, help get the idea and vibe across more clearly."

Track Listing

1. Don't Look Behind You
2. Radio
3. Tear Us Apart
4. Fire
5. Ceasefire (Ft iTch)
6. Light Up
7. All In A Day
8. Hacks
9. Tune In
10. Sam
11. Alright With Me

Youtube link

Youtube link

This album will be released in the U.K. and the rest of the world on 24/11/2014 and in the U.S. on 11/24/2014.

The Blue Beat Stompers - Sit Tight and Listen Keenly... (1998)

Traditional ska band from California.
Their only official release (they did have a demo cassette with 5 songs that are not on this album) on the excellent Steady Beat Recordings.

1 I Need Your Lovin'
2 Put You Down
3 I Will Get Along Without You
4 South City
5 Can't Find The Words
6 I Won't Cry For You
7 Leavin' Town
8 The Series
9 Someday You'll See
10 Got Me Spinnin'
11 I Don't Know
12 Excuses, Excuses

"I Need Your Lovin'"


This album is available at CD baby with 4 previously unreleased tracks HERE.

Gruff - Gruff 7" (1993)

Hardcore band from Maryland that occasionally played some ska.

A1 - Trials and Tribulations
A2 - Da Grind
B1 - Judgement Day
B2 - Let Downs

"Let Downs"


Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Kingpins - Lootin' Shootin' and Wailin' 7" (1998)

A - Lootin' Shootin' and Wailin' (live)
B - Do the Ska (live)


Sunday, September 21, 2014

State of Emergency - Ska-Terbrain (1990)

State of Emergeny was from Chicago. They put out a 4-song 7" in 1989 and then this record before founding members re-formed as Skapone.

"State Of Emergency was created in September 1985 after Mark moved back from L.A. Mitch was still on drums, Mark on bass, and the seventh grade Chris Dorff on guitar. Mitch moved on to play with another Ska band and other types of music. Mitch’s departure ushered in Jim Strezewski. From 1987 until 1989, State of Emergency was probably one of the few 3-piece SKA bands to have ever existed. Al Goldman on trombone (Mitch’s brother) and Mitch on trumpet were added for a record release show in 1989 at Medusa’s. Both stayed on for the next 19 years. State of Emergency released a four song EP (self titled) in 1988 and an album titled Skaterbrain in 1991. Jim and Chris took off in 1992 and the band State of Emergency died. Out of those ashes, SKAPONE was born."

Taken from HERE.

(I don't have anything else by them except for the 2 songs from Ska Takes the Great Lakes which were not on this record or the self-titled EP. The track listing for the 7" is HERE)

A1 - Another Day
A2 - Far Away
A3 - He'll be Back
B1 - Circumstance
B2 - Get There
B3 - Pinky



Moving Pictures - Party Night 7" (1982)

A - Party Night
B - Surrender


The Means - ...of Communication (1981)

Another great California band who incorporated ska into their sound. I'm pretty sure this is the only thing they've ever released.
This whole record is really well written and well performed. Even the stuff that has no ska influence is amazing.

1 Talk it Over
2 Russian Roulette
3 Love's Too Bad
4 Roomate
5 Fryin' Pan
6 In My Mind
7 In Your Eyes

(the ska stuff...)
"Russian Roulette"
(...and the non-ska stuff)
"In Your Eyes"


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Resonaters - Somebody Help Me (1981)

"Y'eh rudy!"
"Wha'ppen, sir?"...

One of the greatest songs from the 2 Tone era and you never heard it before.  (I challenge you to find a copy of this record online!)

This is a cover of the Spencer Davis Group's hit from 1966. It was composed by reggae artist Jackie Edwards who later covered his own song on his 1977 album Put Your Tears Away  (I have never found a copy of this album myself).

A - Somebody Help Me
B - Gonna Get to You (Someday)

(Link updated September 17th)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Beau Nasties - Between Open Doors 7" (1982)

Band from the UK that had a few ska influenced songs in their set. I don't know if this is their only official release but it's the only one I know about. I may be mistaken here but Mark Foggo may have had something to do with this band at some point. Don't quote me on that.

A - Between Open Doors
B - Hold it in My Arms

I have included some other songs of theirs that have a ska influence:
* Far Away
* Good Time
* Heart Will Die
* Hoyo (live)

"Between Open Doors"


SOTD: The Ears - The Triple Treat (1983)

In 1986 the Australian movie called "Dogs in Space" was released. It featured INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence as Sam - the lead singer of a fictitious band called Dogs in Space.
The character of Sam and his band Dogs in Space was based on Sam Sejavka and his band The Ears. The movie was named after an Ears song called Dogs in Space.


Although the Ears recorded a lot they didn't really release a lot. In 2010 a compilation was released called Dogs in Space featuring 16 tracks recorded between 1981 and 1983. In 2012 they went back into the studio to record new material which was released as a 7 track CD called Déjà Moo.

The one track that stood out for me from their early recordings was the song The Triple Treat

Download this song then go to Bandcamp to hear their other stuff.

Liz & Lizards - P.A. Ska (1980)

Female fronted band from Finland that released 2 singles before changing their name to The Lizards and releasing a full-length and 2 more singles.

This is their first release and really their only ska song but the song Kujan Kuningas - the title track from their second single -  had a ska influence and so did the song Bodybuilding from the LP. For whatever reason they re-recorded Bodybuilding without the ska sound before they released it as a single.

I was just going to post the P.A. Ska single but all of this music is hard to find so this download includes the LP and all 4 singles.

P.A. Ska 7" (1980)
A - P.A. Ska
B - Lista
"P.A. Ska"

Kujan Kuningas 7" (1980)

A - Kujan Kuningas
B - Sä Lähdit Pois
"Kujan Kuningas"

Herätkää! Vartiotorni Kaatuu (1981)

1 Bodybuilding
2 Roxene
3 Turvattu Tulevaisuus
4 Bändi Tää
5 Matkaa Teen
6 Teräsmies
7 Herätkää! Vartiotorni Kaatuu
8 Uutisten Lukijaksi Telkkariin
9 Turhaa
10 Mun Pikkusisko
11  Syksy

Valttikortit 7" (1981)
A - Valttikortit
B - Body Building
Pamaus 7" (1982)
A - Pamaus
B - Ilman Sua

Compare the LP version of "Bodybuilding" to the single version of "Body Building"


The Papers - Live at Thornham Magna Fair (1983)

1 Fahrenheit in a Centigrade World
2 Miracle
3 Android
4 Dirty Business
5 Telephone
6 The Only One I See
7 Cinerama
8 How Many More
9 Roxy Plays the Wild Card
10 Rescue

"Roxy Plays the Wild Card"