Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Madness: One Step Beyond (1979)

I would never describe myself as a huge fan of ska music, but I like some of it very much, and I have a few ska records in my collection. As you may know, ska originated in Jamaica in the 1950s, and was reborn as part of a neo-ska revival in the late 1970s. Most people probably who were enamoured with the new ska were probably completely unaware that it was a revival. You can include me in that batch of people.

Madness was part of that scene. The new ska had a faster, harder edge. People will often refer to this era as the 2 Tone ska revival, after the 2 Tone record company founded by Jerry Dammers of The Specials. That's all I'll say about that.

The first ska song I ever remember hearing was the single One Step Beyond--a cover tune from the golden days of ska--on the radio. My sister bought a copy of this record, and I recall that my dad liked it too. It's a fun record, to be sure. Like many of the seminal records of the new-ska era, it has been repressed. I have a copy of the original Canadian pressing.

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