Thursday, August 15, 2019

Upcoming 2 Tone 40th Anniversary Releases

We're already more than halfway through 2 Tone's 40th anniversary year and the 2 Tone faithful have seen precious little in terms of celebratory concerts and anniversary-related releases. No doubt, the fallings out between members of each of the driving bands behind this label have put the kibosh on anything extraordinary happening, which is certainly a shame.

However, just before the calendar year runs out, Chrysalis will be issuing two releases which will be of some interest to obsessive collectors. The first is a remastered and cut at half speed on double vinyl at 45 rpm edition of Specials' debut LP to be released on October 11, 2019. The second and somewhat more interesting release is Two Tone 7" Treasures, a collection of twelve 7” picture sleeve singles selected by Jerry Dammers, which represent his favorite singles released on the label between 1979 and 1984. These singles are "presented with their original sleeve designs in a bespoke 1960s style carry case along with a Two Tone 7” slipmat and an art card signed by Jerry Dammers." Pre-orders are being now being taken at Rough Trade (UK) and it will be available on November 15, 2019; this box set is retailing for 90 pounds sterling. (None of the selections are rarities and long-time fans will have all of them, though the add-ons are very cool; notable omissions from this collection are The Specials' "Rat Race" and "Do Nothing" singles, and Rico and The Special AKA's "Jungle Music.")

One supposes that an expanded, two LP version of the Dance Craze soundtrack or a reissue of Rico's incredible (and hard to find) Jama Rico would be too much to ask for (and is there really nothing good left unreleased in the vaults?).

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Graffitika said...

Concept-wise, this seems awesome. Execution-wise, a real let down by the images. Jerry Dammers always wanted 2-tone to look like a 'lost' Jamaican ska label. I would have expected this release and it's design to reflect that. Instead it looks like a DIY bootleg release you would find on eBay. Shame.

Gorni said...

It‘ s a shame that Rico‘s 2 Tone Albums are not available with some extra cuts or dubs of the albums. I remember having a live bootleg from a solo show from the days of half the specials band backing him in 1982 which is top class!

My fave release for the anniversary would be an deluxe edition of the dance craze soundtrack with all the tracks from the movie, a DVD plus some more live cuts from the more specials era on it. Even the long planned book by teflon „this art 2 tone“ would fit nicely!

I read somewhere that more re-releases like the half speed vinyl are going to happen this year. Let‘s see what finally happens... unreleased stuff should be somewhere at jerrys vaults as you can expect when looking at the 2018 RSD release of Rat Race... Fingers crossed that some more is to be announced....