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History of 2 Tone

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2 Tone ska was a musical genre and movement that emerged in the late 1970s in the United Kingdom, particularly in the city of Coventry. It was characterised by a fusion of ska, punk, and new wave music, and was heavily influenced by the political and social climate of the time.


The 2 Tone movement was started by Jerry Dammers, the keyboardist and founder of the band The Specials. Dammers formed the 2 Tone record label in 1979, which became the home for many of the genre's most popular acts, including The Specials, Madness, The Beat, The Selecter and more.


The 2 Tone ska scene was known for its multicultural and multiracial makeup, as well as its political activism. Many of the songs written by 2 Tone bands dealt with issues such as racism, poverty, and social injustice.


The 2 Tone scene was particularly popular among working-class youth, and the fashion associated with the movement was heavily influenced by the mod and skinhead subcultures. The iconic 2 Tone checkerboard logo, co-designed by Dammers, became synonymous with the movement.


The 2 Tone movement reached its peak of popularity in the early 1980s, with many of its bands achieving mainstream success. The Specials' hit single "Ghost Town" reached number one in the UK charts in 1981. Madness also had several successful albums and singles, including their hit "Our House."


Despite the success of 2 Tone, the movement and the scene began to dissipate by the mid-80s. However, the influence of 2 Tone on contemporary music, particularly ska punk, is still evident today. 


Overall, 2 Tone ska is considered a significant movement in the history of British music, known for its political activism, multiculturalism, and fusion of different musical styles, it was a cultural and musical phenomenon that left an important mark in the 80's and continues to influence contemporary music.


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