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2 Tone (music genre)

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2 Tone (music genre)
Stylistic origins  Ska punk rock rocksteady new wave reggae
Cultural origins  Late 1970s in Coventry, West Midlands, England
Typical instruments  Guitar bass Organ trumpet trombone saxophone drums
Derivative forms  Third wave ska ska punk

2 Tone (or Two Tone) was a late-1970s ska revival in the United Kingdom led by Jerry Dammers and The Specials. It fused traditional ska music with punk rock attitude, energy and musical elements. Its name came from the record label that Dammers founded, 2 Tone Records, as well as a desire to transcend and defuse racial tensions in Thatcher-era Britain. Although 2 Tone's mainstream commercial appeal was largely limited to the UK, it influenced the North American ska punk movement (also known as third wave ska) in the 1980s and 1990s.



The 2 Tone sound was developed by young musicians in Coventry, West Midlands, England who grew up hearing 1960s Jamaican music. They combined influences from ska, reggae and rocksteady with elements of punk rock and new wave. Bands considered part of the genre include: The Specials, The Selecter, The Beat, Madness, Bad Manners, The Bodysnatchers and Sharp Ties.

The term was coined by The Specials' keyboard player Jerry Dammers, who—with the assistance of Horace Panter and graphic designer John "Teflon" Sims—created the iconic Walt Jabsco logo (a man in a black suit, white shirt, black tie, pork pie hat, white socks and black loafers) to represent the 2 Tone genre. The logo was based on an early album cover photo of Peter Tosh, and included an added black-and-white check pattern.

Most of the bands considered to be part of the 2 Tone genre were signed to 2 Tone Records at some point. Other record labels associated with the 2 Tone sound were Stiff Records and Go Feet Records. The music was especially popular among skinheads, rudies and some mod revivalists.


On 1 October 2010, the 2-Tone Central museum, cafe and venue opened in the Coventry University Students' Union building, and by August 2011, it was moved to the 2-Tone Village in Stoke, Coventry. It includes exhibition space, the Coventry Music Wall of Fame, a cafe, a gift shop, a Caribbean restaurant and a music venue. Many of the items on display are on loan from members of The Selecter, The Beat and The Specials.


2 Tone (music genre) Wikipedia

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