Sunday, December 22, 2013

Bottle to the Baby ~ Rockabilly Ska

Bottle to the Baby were a rockabilly band from Holland. I don't know much about them but I know they released 2 7" EPs in the early 90s and each one had a ska song on it.
They ain't easy to come by and when you do see them, they ain't cheap.

I like a bit of rockabilly every now and then. I was going to post just the ska songs but I figure that some of you might appreciate all of the songs so here you go:

Bottle to the Baby - Can You Fix It EP (1994)
A1 - Can You Fix It?
A2 - Oriental Chick
B1 - She Don't Like Me
B2 - With You I'm Better Off

"She Don't Like Me"

Bottle to the Baby - Mean Woman Ska (1993)
A1 - Mean Woman Ska
A2 - Rockabilly Baby
B1 - Baby, Please
B2 - I'm Out

"Mean Woman Ska"

DOWNLOAD both Bottle to the Baby EPs

There have been several rockabilly bands that have done the one-off ska song. Some are really good - some...not very good.
I didn't plan on doing a rockabilly-ska post so I just threw some songs together. If you can think of any others, please let me know.
Here's a collection of 15 songs - 6 are by The Peacocks but there are others:
Toini and the Tomcats have a couple, Devil Doll, The Hillbilly Moon Explosion, The Big 6, and even the HorrorPops did a ska-inspired song

DOWNLOAD Rockabilly-Ska compilation

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Z - Legalize Erdbeereis 7" (1980)

This German band released one full length in 1980 called In Berlin. They released two singles and an EP but this is their only ska song. It was their most successful. It might have something to do with this guy:
A - Legalize Erdbeereis
B - Big Blue Cadillac


Erdbeereis translates to strawberries but it's a metaphor for marijuana. I don't think strawberries were ever illegal in any European country.

Roaring Lion - Sacred 78s [REPOST]

Here's some classic calypso for you. I know this isn't the regular T&W sort of thing but I love this stuff and it isn't available anywhere else on the internet.

Before there was Mighty Sparrow there was Rafael de Leon - better known as Roaring Lion. In the late 70s his music was bastardized with the newly uprising dancehall sound (see Papa Chunks) but his early compositions were superior to anything he did later or anything his contemporaries did in the 50s.

The song Ugly Woman was the inspiration for the 1963 Jimmy Soul classic "If You Wanna be Happy" which, ironically, was the basis for the Skatalites version of the song.

1 Miss Tina
2 Rhumba Dance
3 Concertina
4 Love Thy Neighbor
5 I am Going to Buy a Bungalow
6 Wash Your Hands
7 Suzi Q
8 The Blue Tail Fly
9 Royal Tour
10 Cheek to Cheek
11 Charming Trinidad
12 Weather Man
13 Bananas
14 I ain't Gonna do it no More
15 Bamsee Lambay
16 J'ouvert Barrio
17 Mary Ann
18 It Wouldn't Work
19 Advantage Mossolino
20 Money Money
21 Ugly Woman
22 Ba Boo La La
23 I Can Make More Love Than Romeo
24 Some Girl Something
25 Netty Netty

"Rhumba Dance"

"Weather Man"


Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Applicators - Looking for Me 7" (1982)

UK reggae/rock. As rare as this record is (500 pressed) it's not hard to find a copy. There's not really any information online about it except THIS.
It's a forum where somebody asked if anybody has ever made a record. Someone with the user name Harry Lime responded "One single in 1983 for The Applicators on DTA records, "You are the One". Sold 500, spent the money on beer. We used to give kids cigarettes to go in the record shops and ask for the record, then we used to go in and sell them some and then bugger off!"

A - You are the One
AA - Looking for Me


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Digital Dinosaurs - Don't Call Us 7" (1981)

This is a strange piece of ska history.
This is no band. The band members are the "the kids from the Bryn Alyn community" from the North Wales .
Bryn Alyn was a home for disadvantaged and handicapped boys and girls.

The songwriter here was a man Arwyn Thomas who was not caught up in all the physical and sexual abuse and forced abortions that shut down the centre in 1997. (see HERE and HERE).

There is more to this story but this blog is only here for rare ska music - not controversy. So here you go...a fairly decent ska record recorded by some people at some point in time.

A - Don't Call Us
B - Orders from the C.O.


Ska City Rockers

This is sort of a re-post. I have previously posted the Time is Tight 7" and the Forty Miles of Bad Road 7" HERE.
This download includes both of those but it also includes the b-side of the Time is Tight 12". Three songs that were never available on this blog before. This is a re-post deluxe.

Time is Tight 12"
B1 - In the Midnight Hour
B2 - Barefootin'
B3 - I Can't Turn You Loose

"In the Midnight Hour"


[My record is in terrible condition. I am posting the A sides that were previously posted that were taken from the 100% British Ska compilation because those are in much better quality and it took me forever to get an acceptable version of the B-sides.]

The Army [Repost]

These were posted previously on Tone and Wave but the sound quality wasn't great. They have been re-ripped and the sound quality is a bit better.

The Army Shuffle Shuffle 7" (1980)
A - Shuffle Shuffle
B - Trendy
The Army - Kick it Down 7" (1981)
A - Kick it Down
B - Mr. Average


Bahama Mama - Future Fear 7" (1979) request
Their second single was posted HERE.
This download includes both singles.

A - Future Fear
B - Hurricane


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Skyliters - Tribute to Spree (1976) - California's first ska record

The band The Skyliters formed in 1973. They performed calypso and Belizian music. They released their first (and only?) record in 1976. The A-side was a cover of Lord Kitchner's "Tribute to Spree Simon" which was a very adept rendition, but the impact of this record came from the B-side. This is California's first recorded ska song.
A - Tribute to Spree
B - Bumping Onn Down


Some members went on to form the band Babylon Warriors

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Steve Alaimo did not release New York's first ska record

Steve Alaimo was a diverse musician. In 1961 he was doin' the twist. In 1964 he was...well, he was crying...every day.  But in 1965 he was Doing the Ska! He released the album "Starring Steve Alaimo" which included a ska cover of Ben E. King's "Stand by Me", and a few actual ska covers - Monty Morris' "Sammy Dead", the Blues Busters' "Soon You'll be Gone", and Ken and Keith's (backed by Byron Lee and the Dragonaires) "I Won't Let You Go".
This compilation here is a non-official Tone and Wave collection. It includes all of the ska songs off the album, a couple from singles, and a couple unreleased.

1 Everybody Likes to do the Ska
2 I Won't Let You Go
3 Gotta Lotta Love
4 Stand by Me
5 Be Hold
6 Sammy Dead
7 I Don't Wanna Cry
8 Soon You'll be Gone
9 You're Driving Me Crazy

"Everybody Likes to Do the Ska"
"Stand by Me"

1965 - the year Steve Alaimo brought ska to New York.

But wait...

There was a Soul/Doo-Wop group from Long Island called The Pussycats who had a minor hit with the song "You May be Holding My Baby" which was released (first pressing - white label) in 1963 (a second pressing with a pink label was released in 1964). The B-side was a song called "Come on and Ska" which sounds very similar to the Ska Kings' "Oil in My Lamp", but that was released in 1964.

A - You May be Holding My Baby
B - Come on and Ska

DOWNLOAD Steve Alaimo and the Pussycats

[The next post will be California's first ska record]

Monday, November 11, 2013

BFA - BFA 7" (1984)

Midwestern ska (from Michigan, I think). Four songs - two ska, 1 reggae, 1 dub.

A1 - Poor Boy
A2 - Mr. Big
B1 - Up Your Mind
B2 - Rock the Nation

"Poor Boy"
"Rock the Nation"


Bileams Åsna - Saab Turbo 7" (1983)

...submitted by Rikard
Bileams Åsna's Wikipedia

A Saab Turbo
B - Lurad


Paul McCartney

...just a couple reggae inspired Paul McCartney songs. Streaming only. I was going to make them for download but then I realized that's probably not a good idea.
"How Many People" from Flowers in the Dirt (1989)
and "Good Times Coming" from Press to Play (1986)

Equators - Rescue Me 7" (1980)

A - Rescue Me
B - If You Need Me


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Robert Wyatt and the Swapo Singers - The Wind of Change (1985)

Do I dare call this "The Specials AKA with Robert Wyatt"? No, I better not.
Marco did a great write up of this record HERE.

This download includes the 7" and 12" versions.

A - The Wind of Change
B - Namibia


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Rick Nolov and the Loosers - White Shoes

Ritchie and the Loosers formed in 1981 in Holland and released this 7" in 1982 (or '83 - I don't actually know). They released their next single - a cover of the Beatles' "And I Love Her" - in 1983 under the name Rick Nolov and the Loosers. In 1985 "White Shoes" was re-recorded and released as a single, this time without the ska sound. The band at that time was called the Rick Nolov Band. An EP prior to that in 1984, and a full-length later put out in 1986 was released under the name Rick Nolov.
Ritchie and the Loosers - White Shoes
The Rick Nolov Band - White Shoes

This DOWNLOAD includes both different "White Shoes" 7-inches...A and B sides. The Rick Nolov band version is my own rip. The Loosers version came from the Best of Rare British Ska unofficial compilation (even though the band is not British).

The Rick Nolov Band has been very active in the last few years playing shows, recording songs, celebrating zoological discoveries, and making videos. I don't know if they have an album to be released anytime soon, but I'm sure their Facebook page will keep us posted.

...recorded in 2013

SOTD: Starpoint - Send Me a Letter (1984)

Starpoint [Wiki] was an R&B/dance group from Maryland that released 10 albums between 1980 and 1991 [Discogs]. Their biggest commercial success was the song "Object of My Desire" from their 1985 album Restless. The song "Send me a Letter" was released a year earlier on the album "It's all Yours" and it didn't get any attention. It might have been a hit if it it was released a few years earlier and/or was actually promoted. Just listen to it. This is the only time they attempted a ska/reggae song (I'm pretty sure), but it seems like these guys were listening to 2 Tone records all the while.

"Send Me a Letter"  

You might remember this:

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Reluctant Stereotypes [Complete]

Their only album The Label was released in 1980. The version here is the one I downloaded from Melthebells Rare Shit!
1 Factory Wit
2 Side With Him
3 Back to the Greek
4 Plans for Today
5 Sunday's Tears
6 Reluctant
7 Lofaska
8 Reverend Green
9 Visual Romance
10 Confused Action
11 M.O.D.
12 The Label

They had 5 singles. Two of them (one & two) were submitted by Rikard. One (The Lull) was submitted by Anonymous. The other two are mine.

The Lull 7"
1 The Lull
2 The Rounds
3 Fetch Mr. Clifford the Political Boys are On Us

Nightmares 7"
A - Nightmares
B - Factory Wit

She Has Changed Not You 7"
A - She Has Changed Not You
Ben Shirtman

Plans For Today 7"
A - Plans for Today
B - Subway

Confused Action 7"
A - Confused Action
B - School Life

DOWNLOAD "The Label"

DOWNLOAD all 5 singles (includes lyrics to all of their songs)

"Factory Wit"

Bill Lovelady - She Done Me In 7" (1980)

Submitted by Rikard.

A - She Done Me In
B - Double Idemnity


Monday, October 14, 2013

Cover Story - It's a Lie 7" (1983)

This band was from Illinois. There's a new wave-ish rock song on the A side. The B side is ska-inspired new wave. I got this off eBay and the seller described it as sounding like Huey Lewis and the News. I agree.

A - It's a Lie
B - Brand New Start



Allsorts - Happy Happy happy

Peel Sessions + Tom Hark:

Local Operator

The Offs

Plate O'Shrimp:

Tom Collins and the Cocktail Shakers:

Untouchables - Cool Beginnings:

Big Jerks - Car Back:

Mr. Review - Ice and Snow

Ska Cha Cha - Secret Reagan Man

Toxic Shock 7"

Schmutz - Gigi

Terminals - Circuitry

Strange Fruit - At Last

Caribs - Caribbean Capers

Monday, October 7, 2013

City Indians ‎– Nicholas Parsons Is Feathery Galosh 7" (1988)

A -  Nicholas Parsons Is Feathery Galosh
B1 - Stars + Stripes
B2 - Take the Monkey and Run

" Nicholas Parsons Is Feathery Galosh"
" Take the Monkey and Run (edited to cut straight to the ska part)"


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Calcutta Transfer - Easy Loving (1983)

Calcutta Transfer was a Swedish ska band that released two albums (and several singles) in Swedish before releasing this - their only album in English.

1 Easy Loving
2 Katmandu
3 Mesopotamia
4 Be Together
5 Starvation
6 Rani
7 Coco-Nut
8 - G-Spot



The Carpettes - Johnny Won't Hurt You 7'' (1980)

This single was sold with a free 7" that included 2 live songs. Even though the title track is the only ska song I included all 4 songs in the download.

Record 1
A - Johnny Won't Hurt You
B - Frustration Paradise

Record 2
C - Keys to Your Heart
D - Total Insecurity


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

IN2XS! - In Khaki 7" (1981)

This UK band had 2 other releases that I know of. I will be posting another one at some point.

A1 - In Khaki
A2 - Too Many
B1 - Cybermen
B2 - Amount to Nothing

"In Khaki"
"Amount to Nothing"


Mek Pek Party Band 12" (1982)

I have previously posted this Danish band's Ska Beat 7"

This, like the 7", was submitted by Rikard.

They had other releases...

Hvorfor Så 
Heart Break
4  Party
Nattens Lys
6 Turn Me On
7 Ska Beat
8 Teacher
9 Don't do That
10 No Action in Space
11 2-1-0
12 I and I
13 People Needs

(both songs from the single are on this album but I included the single in the download anyway)


SOTD: Babyshambles - Dr. No (2013)

The latest Babyshambles album "Sequel to the Prequel" was released on the 2nd of September and it included the song Dr. No.
They have strayed into ska territory in the past with the reggae influenced "What Katy Did Next" and "Sticks and Stones" on their debut album Down in Albion and the great  "I Wish" from The Blinding EP but this one really impressed me.

This is a sample of the song. It has just been released so I won't post the whole thing, but if you like what you hear, consider buying it off Amazon when it's available.*

 *at the time of this posting it was available on Amazon UK, but not in the US or the other Amazons I checked

 Thanks to Jan from Redstar 73 for leaving a comment informing us that Mik Whitnall from 100 Men is the guitarist on this album. According to THIS article he shares songwriting credits and it says that the harmonica in Dr. No "plays with the harmonica line from The Specials' Ghost Town".

the harmonica line from The Specials’ ‘Ghost Town’
the harmonica line from The Specials’ ‘Ghost Town’
the harmonica line from The Specials’ ‘Ghost Town’

Chalky White and the Shamrastas - One Shot 7" (1983)

Welsh band. They had a bit of a reputation but this might be the only thing they released

A - One Shot
B - The Israelites


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Grab Bag

A mixed bag here of things I didn't think deserved their own post with some other things I think are common enough that most of you already have them. There's some traditional, Two Tone sounds, and 3rd wave. Lots of good rare stuff and some complete crap. I'm not saying which is which.  

Big D and the Kids Table / Lounge - split 7" (1998)
A1 - Big D and the Kids Table - Hey
A2 - Big D and the Kids Table - #5
B1 - Lounge - Muppets
B2 - Lounge - Countdown

Fist - Movies 7" (1980)
A - Movies
B - Paris

Idi Amin - Amazin' Man 7" (1975)
A - Amazin' Man
B - Findin' de Lady

Mark Foggo's Skasters - The Innocence of Youth 7" (1984)
A - The Innocence of Youth
B - You Never Asked

Cherry Poppin' Daddies - Zoot Suit Riot 7" ( 1998)
A - Zoot Suit Riot
B - No Mercy for Swine (live)

The Papers - How Many More? 7" (1980)
A - How Many More?
B - Hello Oblivion

The Pioneers - A Little Bit of Soap 7'' (1973)
A - A Little Bit of Soap
B - Hit Me with Music

The Cousins - Sneakers 7" (1984)
A - Sneakers
B - Puppeteer

The Thrillers - Shooting 7" (1980)
A - Shooting
B - To the Top

Beast -or- Zippy

Just Kidding [REPOST]

1 All I Wanna Be
2 Shop Window Dummy
3 We Got Soul
4 Watch the Fires

A - Why Must We Fight
B - Makin' Time

Live in the Studio
1 Wagon Train
2 Sunshine
3 Tell Me Baby
4 Please Tell Me
5 Ska'd for Life
6 Toast of the Town
7 Politician
8 Something's Going Down Tonight
9 Give a Little
10 Danger
11 Lipstick Traces
12 Strike it Rich


(Thanks again to the original contributors - Craig and Bruce!)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Purple Hipsters - Howzyasistah 7" (1979) [LINK UPDATED 09/11/2016]

A - Howzyasistah
B - Rusty Blues
*Stuck On You
*No Flies On

*from First Offenders


The Stars That Wouldn't Shine - self titled LP (1983)

This is the same version that was posted on A Viable Commercial because I've never been able to procure myself a copy yet.
This UK band blends goth and ska amazingly well. The songwriting is impressive instead of gimmicky.
I really like this band but I don't think they've ever released anything besides this. I'd be grateful if someone can prove me wrong.

1 Lying on the Floor
2 You Don't Love Me
3 Tchaikovsky
4 Mister Klause
5 Anything #3
6 Four Days
7 Don't Stop Now
8 The Mouse Song

BEAST666 -or- Zippy


...since we're on the subject of the dark side of ska, here's a compilation I made:

21 tracks...all their ska stuff...only their ska stuff

Beast666 -or-  Zippy

Riptides - Swept Away (1981)

...submitted by Rikard

Australian band that occasionally dabbled in the 2 Tone sound. They have several releases with a ska song here and there.

1 Only Time
2 Eternal Flame
3 Money For Life
4 Holiday Time
5 Day Has Gone
6 Mona Lisa

"Eternal Flame"
"Holiday Time"

Beast -or- Zippy

Take It Or Leave It

Madness' Take It Or Leave It will be released on DVD on October 7th - but you already knew that.

In the meantime you can always watch this incredibly clear version on YouTube

I have a version that somebody transferred from a beat up VHS tape to DVD when eBay allowed that sort of thing. This one here is so much easier to watch.

Thanks to Jack for pointing this out. It's been on YouTube since last year and I never knew.

Fun Republic - 1993 demo tape

German band that appeared on a couple Ska Ska Skandal comps. It says Happy People and More Reality TV on the cover but that is the name of their first full length CD that was released in 1994. This is not that CD. This is the demo that came out before that. I know this because it says DEMO on the spine, and because the CD Happy People and More Reality TV  looks like this:
I do not have the debut CD but I do have their second full length Hard Working Party and I included that in this download along with a couple of songs from the Skandal comps.

1 Sucker Beat
2 Hold Me Tight
3 Racist World
4 Quick Love
5 Out in the Dark

"Hold Me Tight"

Beast -or- Zippy

Sunday, August 18, 2013

What Fun!

"What Fun! is a pop/reggae group based in Haarlem, Netherlands founded in 1981. Within two years, the group grew rapidly in size to a total of ten members and success quickly followed in 1983 with the release of the single "The Right Side Won", which reached Number 3 in the Dutch hit parade in December of that year, and Number 1 in Belgium. "The Right Side Won", inspired by the Falklands War between the United Kingdom and Argentina, made the BBC Radio 1 playlist, but was quickly removed when the content of the lyrics became apparent. The single was banned from release in South Africa because What Fun! had both black and white members. The group toured intensively in the Netherlands and Belgium during the period 1983 to 1989 and two further singles ("Let's Get Digital" and "Many Men, Many Minds") and an LP ("Having Fun?") were released in the Benelux. By 1989 What Fun! had run out of steam and the members went their separate ways, only to reform again in 2005 with five of the original members and three new ones."

A - The Right Side Won (extended version)
B - The Right Side Won (dub version)

A - Let's Get Digital
B - Feel Like a Crash

A - Let's Get Digital (extended version)
B1 - Let's Get Digital (dub version)
B2 - Let's Get Digital (instrumental)

HAVING FUN? 12" (1984)
1 Let's Get Digital
2 Can't Doesn't Want
3 A Skeleton (or Two) in the Closet
4 The Right Side Won
5 Dog in a Manger
6 Polish Crackdown

It seems that the only thing I'm missing is the Many Men, Many Minds single. The b-side is Many Men, Many Minds (instrumental) which I don't have but I did include the a-side in this download along with three unreleased songs -
*Amore or Less
*Big Steps
*Big Fun
 - that I nicked from THIS SITE

Beast -or- Zippy