Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sax-O-Tromba - Supafantastic (1997) request. Quintessential 3rd wave sounds from Cleveland, Ohio.

1 What I Call Beer
2 Get Up
3 Letter Jacket
4 Rudy is Here
5 Useless
6 Who's Your Daddy?
7 Down
8 Man of the Moon

"Get Up"


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Tchicky Monky - Wishbone 7" (1991)

French ska band from Dijon with a 2Tone sound. They released a couple of demo cassettes and this 7" in the late 80s / early 90s before breaking up. They re-formed a while ago (either that, or they never really broke up, they just took an extended hiatus) and they have been very prolific but I'm not sure they've been releasing anything. They have been playing shows and have recorded quite a bit. You can hear more of them on their MySpace.

A - Wishbone
B - Melody Ska


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Blue Beat - The Blue Beat 12" (1990)

A1 - Sunshine Ska
A2 - The Waltz
B1 - Blue Beat Shoes
B2 - It's Not Funny

"It's Not Funny"
"Sunshine Ska"


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Ethnic Drivers - Ethnic Drivers 12" (1985) [link updated 09/11/2016]

Canadian new wave band. I think this is their only release. There are 4 great new wave tracks on here, but the first two songs could be considered ska.

1 (This is) Sydney Town
2 Wake Up to Me
3 When it's Over
4 No Safety in Numbers
5 Parade of the Sensible
6 Youth Anthem


Skavengers - demo tape (1995)

This is one of the many bands called Skavengers. This particular band was from Massachusetts and I don't know that they ever recorded anything else.

1 Good at Everything
2 Last Cigar
3 Hardened Soul
4 What's Going On?

"What's Going On?


Riff Regan - You Call Me Lucky

Riff Regan was the vocalist for the punk band London. He went solo in the early 80s and released a few singles. A few of them had a bit of the ska influence. This is the only one I have - so far.

A - You Call Me Lucky
B - Jacoby Island


Oly Gunghu Fiest 7" (1990) request...
(to each their own...)

A1 - Why Should I?
A2 - Let it Slide
B1 - Walking on a Thin Line
B2 - African Dreaming

"African Dreaming"


Monday, November 17, 2014

The Offs (almost) Complete Discography [REPOST]

Originally posted 12/08/2008


The Specials released their first single in July 1979 which is considered the spark that caused the ska-punk fire. Though they get credit with being the ones to make it more well known they were not the only ones to mix punk and new wave with ska and reggae. Aside from Arthur Kay having already released records with the 2 Tone sound before the Specials, The Slits, United Balls, and Plastic Bertrand were incorporating ska into their music as were many bands in the UK and throughout Europe.

But in the US there were a few bands playing reggae and those that were were not mixing it with punk or new wave. Not yet anyway. But in California in 1978 there was a band called The Offs.

They mixed their punk music with r&b, soul, reggae, dub, and even German experimental music.

They later moved from the West Coast to New York but continued going back frequently to play shows in San Francisco and L.A.

Here's just about everything they ever recorded before lead vocalist Don Vinil died in New York in 1983.

"624803 / Johnny Too Bad" 7"

"Zero Degrees / Everyone's a Bigot" 7"

"I've Got the Handle" alt. version from a 415 Records Compilation

"My World / You Fascinate Me" 7"

 3 tracks from a live compilation called "Can You Hear me? - Music From the Deaf Club"

"My World"


"The Offs First Record" (Their first, last, and only full length. The cover was designed by famed New York artist Basquiat and the original was sold on eBay IN 2008. I don't remember what it sold for but it wasn't much.)

1 You Fascinate Me
2 Cool Down
3 True Story
4 Why Boy
5 Body Hesitation
6 I've Got the Handle
7 One More Shot
8 Bye Bye Baby

"Body Hesitation"


Live at The Mubuhay Gardens Nov. 7, 1980


This live show is actually a compilation of 3 live shows:

There are 20 tracks. The song "624803" was recorded July 5, 1980 and the songs "100 Dollar Limosine", "Johnny Too Bad", and the 2 Lou Reed covers "Sweet Jane", and "Heroin" were recorded March 1, 1980.

"Die Babylon"


The only thing missing is

"Why Boy? / Why Boy Dub" 7" on Epiphany Records

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

SOTD: R.E.M. - Harborcoat (1984)

R.E.M. released their second album Reckoning in 1984 and Harborcoat is the first song on that album. It was not a ska song but it did have that familiar ska upstroke guitar in a few places.

Anytime the band played Harborcoat live it had more of the ska feel to it than the version on the album does...especially in 1984-1985:

When their first album Murmur was re-released on CD in 2008 it included a live version of Harborcoat that showcased the ska sound.

Although it is not a straighforward ska song (I don't think R.E.M. ever did one - please prove me wrong), it is a great song and the best version I found of it was from a show from the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago from 1984:

This download includes 3 versions of Harborcoat - the 1984 Aragon Ballroom version, the live version from the Murmur deluxe edition, and the album version from Reckoning - for comparison (there are many more versions out there and I have a lot of them).

A few of my 'all time favorite songs ever' (there are a million of them) are R.E.M. songs. -Feeling Gravity's Pull, etc. ...but I won't bore you with that. What I will do is tell you that, while Murmur is considered to be their first album, there was an EP in 1983 called Chronic Town which is included in this download, just because. (Carnival of sorts (Box Cars) is one of my aforementioned 'all time favorite songs ever').


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Groceries - Hire High School Girls 7" (1979)

Here's a rarity from New York from 1979. The band didn't list their real names on the record sleeve so it's hard to determine who they really are. I'm pretty sure that this is the only recording released by them under this name.

You might know the song Hire High School Girls from the Dirt Records compilation Dirt Compilation Volume 1 (which I do not have.....damnit), but it's not only the A-side with the slight ska influence, but the B-side has it as well. The A-side is good, but I like the B better.

A - Hire High School Girls
B - Out of the Frying Pan (Into the Eighties)*


*not to be confused with Into the Eighties by The Now which is one of my favorite songs ever. LISTEN

Blechreiz - Out Tonight (1988) [REPOST]

1 Out Tonight

2 Grauschleier

3 Tequila

4 Crazy Elevator

5 Trumpet Story

6 Ska-Fish (CIA)

7 Consequence

8 Man in the Street

9 News From UK

10 James Bond

11 Sun & Shadow

12 American Blend

13 Trojan

14 Aggroman

15 Visions of Violence

16 The Return of the 70's


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 Swiss mod-ska band from Geneva, Switzerland 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, Swiss.

The band formed out of the ashes of two Swiss 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"


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Deemus Mint

Ska band from the U.K. who only ever released five songs.
Here's their Facebook page which tells you everything you need to know about them.

1 Beam Me Up
   (from the Beam Me Up 7" 1980)
2 Love Don't Come Easy
   (from the Beam Me Up 7" 1980)
3 Echoes of History
   (from the Echoes of History 7" 1981)
4 Gimme Back My Money
   (from the Echoes of History 7" 1981)
5 Rude Boy
   (from the Logical Steps compilation 1980)
6 Rude Boy Rackateer
   (not officially released 1981)
7 The Legend
   (not officially released 1981)

"Rude Boy"
"Love Don't Come Easy"


va Reggae Beat (1984)

Wow, the way the mind works. When I posted the Tracey Harvey single I distinctly remember it sounding the same way on this compilation. I haven't listened to this comp in years and it was strange hearing Shy Girl again because it sounds nothing like the single and I retract my previous statement that it is the best song on this album. The single version is great. The one on this record is not very good at all. In fact, the majority of these songs are mediocre at best. There are a couple of good selections though.
For example:
Althea Ranks* - Radio

1 Althea Ranks - Karma Chameleon
2 Jesse Green - Why You Not Take it Slow?
3 Bonnie Benedict - Caribbean Dream
4 Robert Chonia - Let the Music Play
5 Skyway - Fight for Understanding
6 Althea Ranks - Radio
7 Tracey Harvey - Shy Girl
8 Dillinger - Slipe Pen Road
9 Althea Ranks - Israelites
10 Robert Chonia - Searching for Love
11 Gene Wolf - Who's That Sneakin'?
12 Orchestra Raymondo
13 Nynus Sylvia - Caribbean Man


*I'm guessing Althea Ranks is Althea Forrest from Althea and Donna. Anybody know?

Cherry Boys - Come the Day 7" (1982)

Mod/power pop band from Liverpool who released at least four singles in the early 80s. I'm pretty sure this b-side is their only ska-inspired song. 

A - Come the Day
B - Only Fools Die


No Nonsense [REPOST]

1 Skatunes Approachin'
2 Dr. Marten
3 My Dad
4 Titan

1 Changes Must be Made
2 Next Time
3 Hawaii Five-O
4 Changes Must be Made (Extended Mix)
5 Hawaii Five-O (Extended Mix)


Monday, August 18, 2014

Skeletones - Introducing the Skeletones (1988)

This is the Skeletones first record. It is a 5 song EP and it was posted previously on Tone and Wave but the version that was previously posted was from a second generation cassette (thank you Ronan!) but this here is my own rip from the original vinyl ( it was warped but I think I got the best rip ever considering what I had to work with)

A1 - You Make Me Wanna Laugh
A2 - Sheeba
A3 - Mugzy's Shambles
B1 - Dr. Bones
B2 - Unity
"Dr. Bones" 

(...and I threw in the songs The Telephone and Boneshaker because it has come to my attention that there are some poor depraved individuals out there who have never heard these tunes)


*This post was inspired by this Youtube post of a rare live recording of the Specs at Spanky's Cafe...incredibly rare!

Tracey Harvey - Shy Girl 7" (1983)

If any of you know this song it's probably because you have the 1984 compilation "Reggae Beat"
Tracey Harvey's song "Shy Girl" is probably the best song on this compilation and I was hoping that there would be more from her out there somewhere. This single is the only thing I have ever found. Sadly, the b-side is an instrumental version of the same song.

A - Shy Girl
B - Shy Girl (instrumental)


Silly Walks - Babbling Feebly (1994)

This is the only album from this Dutch band who appeared on both of the compilations Do the Dutch Ska Dance vol. 1 with the song Facelift and Do the Dutch Ska Dance vol. 2 with the song Suit, Hat & Tie.

1 Problems
2 Town
3 Happy Boy
4 Entertainment
5 Suit, Hat & Tie
6 One Way Street
7 Silly Walks
8 Facelift
9 At the Pictures
10 Holidays (In the Sun or Rain)
11 David Jones
12 RIP
13 The Party Ends (When I Arrive)

"At the Pictures"
"Suit, Hat & Tie"


Ska Blazers - No Time for Sippin' EP (1995)

A - Gringo
B1 - Macheesmo
B2 - Skankenstein


Sublime / Wesley Willis split 7" (1996) request (somebody asked me to re-post this...I have never posted this before...if it wasn't for this request I never would have posted this...)

A - Sublime - All You Need
B - Wesley Willis Fiasco - Get on the Bus