Also known as: Second Wave Ska, Two Tone
2 Tone originated in England in the late 1970s as a revival of the first wave Jamaican Ska movement of the 1960s. It is considered to be the second wave of Ska, and was followed by Third Wave Ska in the mid-to-late 1980s.
It draws its name from Jerry Dammers's 2 Tone Records (a term coined by Dammers), which released music by bands that helped develop the sound of the era - specifically The Specials (Dammers' own band), Bad Manners, The Selecter, and Madness. These groups held roots found within first wave ska (often even covering tracks of the first era in their new style), whilst combining elements of the emerging New Wave genre, as well as elements of Punk Rock.
A notable change from the original ska was bands bringing the guitar work to the front of the mix, where it was previously only used to carry songs in the background in Jamaican ska. This style eventually left the UK, where it was picked up by bands in North America and eventually developed into Ska Punk, bringing even more emphasis on guitar work and aggression within the ska genre.
Although the original 2 Tone Records label eventually shut down in 1985, many bands and artists continue to perform in the style. It became less commonplace with burgeoning fusion styles and the spread of third wave ska in both the United States and England.
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