Crazy for Dance Craze

Dance Craze (Complete Album Download)

I love ska!

Okay, that was a lie. I just lied to you, and I apologize.

The truth is, I’ve never loved ska, no matter how much I try. I blame The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Seriously, it’s all their fault.

Like most stupid Americans, I never heard of ska until the mid-90s, when barely-ska acts like the Bosstones, Reel Big Fish and No Doubt broke the sound through to the mainstream. And, let’s be honest, those bands and others like them were at their best slightly better than horrible. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones remain one of my most-hated bands of all time, right next to Creed and The Nixons (I have my reasons, okay?). I’ve done my best to forget about Reel Big Fish completely, and I only grew to tolerate No Doubt when the abandoned their ska roots for a more electronic sound.

So it’s all their fault, they’re why I hate ska. But I’ve been trying my best to educate myself, broaden my horizons. In doing so I’ve discovered that I actually like early ska! I know, I was shocked too, but the  2 tone (second wave ska) stuff out of England, I’m really beginning to dig that stuff. And this album is a big reason for that.

Dance Craze is like a Ska Urgh, a great compilation of early 80s tracks by artists both big (Bad Manners, The Beat, Madness) and small (The Bodysnatchers, The Selecter). It’s actually the soundtrack to a movie that came out in 1981, although it’s never been released on any format since, aside from VHS and that was only in England. (Although you can watch it on YouTube). The movie has 27 great performances, but the LP soundtrack cut that down to a slim 16 songs, which is a drag, especially considering amazing tracks like Madness’ “The Prince” and “Too Much Too Young” by The Specials were among those cut.

But that doesn’t mean the album was left with nothing but the dregs. The radical “Three Minute Hero” by The Selector is here, as well as an excellent version of The (English) Beat’s “Mirror In The Bathroom.” Thankfully we’re also gifted with a rocking jam of “One Step Beyond” by Madness AKA the greatest ska song of all time ever in the history of anything ever (don’t you dare try to correct me.)

Download and enjoy, and tell me about other 2-tone artists that you think I might dig.

Just don’t try to sell me on the Bosstones okay? Many have tried, and I have destroyed all of them.

And in case you’re wondering, here’s the complete tracklisting:

Side One

  1. “Concrete Jungle” – The Specials
  2. “Mirror In The Bathroom” – The Beat
  3. “Lip Up Fatty” – Bad Manners
  4. “Razor Blade Alley” – Madness
  5. “Three Minute Hero” – The Selecter
  6. “Easy Life” – The Bodysnatchers
  7. “Big Shot” – The Beat
  8. “One Step Beyond” – Madness

Side Two

  1. “Ranking Full Stop” – The Beat
  2. “Man At C&A” – The Specials
  3. “Missing Words” – The Selecter
  4. “Inner London Violence” – Bad Manners
  5. “Night Boat To Cairo” – Madness
  6. “Too Much Pressure” – The Selecter
  7. “Nite Klub” – The Specials

Also, a note to longtime readers of The Lost Turntable. I posted this soundtrack eons ago, but you should still download it again (if you like it). This rip is much better.

And one more thing. I was serious when I said I don’t care if you like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish or any other of those shit bands. If you leave me a comment about how my taste sucks I’ll just delete it, so don’t bother.

13 Responses to “Crazy for Dance Craze”

  1. John says:

    How does “The Madness” (mentioned several times above) relate to “Madness” (the band)? ;-)

    (No disrespect meant, love the site, keep the awesome coming!)

  2. chadwicktron says:

    I love this! I have it on cassette and listened to it so much that I’ve havent listened to it for a while. I’m glad there’s an actual movie to it, I was beginning to wonder.

  3. Lost Turntable says:

    Fixed. Thanks for pointing that out.

  4. James says:

    I would never try to convince anyone to try and like a band that they already hate. I can provide a perfect example, I despise Extreme because of More than Words but I’m totally rocking out to Rest in Peace at this very moment; but overall they suck. I really dug the bosstones during the mid 90s unabashedly but always saw them as more of a local new england ska band; so I guess that helped me to give them a pass. But if they helped you to find The Selector then that’s gotta count for something right? I really think of the 2tone stuff as more new wave ska in the same way that I think of 90s ska as pop rock ska. But maybe that is just me. I really just wanted to say that I love your site and I want a pair of socks like on that album cover. Thanks

  5. David says:

    Interested to read your comments on your exposure to Ska. I was fortunate as a teenager to see The Specials, firstly at Hereford Technical College, before “Gangsters” came out, but they had already acquired a skinhead following (and skins were intimidating the)n, and also on the Two Tone Package tour (supported by The Selecter and Dexy’s Midnight Runners (different sound, but similar ethos)). Also saw The Beat in a tiny club in Hereford, where they struggled to all fit on the stage, but were stunning. The two tone acts fitted in with the coincident mod revival in the UK, influenced by The Jam – with the similar 60’s influenced dress code in the acts. So simlarly I never got into the mid 90’s US revival of Ska although have heard stuff by No Doubt and Bosstones, without much of a lasting impression.
    Keep up the good work

  6. Stevo says:

    I had the good fortune to stand in as The Selecter’s keyboard player for a gig a couple of years ago and I have to say my favourite song of theirs is Missing Words (not because it’s keyboard heavy you understand…..), here in England they are equally revered to The Specials, Madness & The Beat. I was surprised you didn’t really mention the Specials & their influence over the years, Madness fell away from the ska & descended into pop terrritory after the first couple of albums although they are the most prolific out of that era, live they are not a patch on the Specials…….

  7. Lost Turntable says:

    Please note I was making no comment on the quality (or Ska-ness) of The Selector’s music, just their popularity (or lack there of) here in the states.

  8. Stevo says:

    Sorry LT, hope it didn’t come across as a criticism , I was just putting an English/British perspective on the bands. Coming from & growing up in Coventry, Two Tone had a massive influence on me as I was 11/12 when it exploded onto the scene. The Specials only enjoyed marginal success in 79/80 in the U.S. themselves, the (English) Beat later General Public enjoyed most success. Of all the bands on Dance Craze only Bad Manners stuck with it & they now suffer from familiarity breeding contempt. It’s a pity the Specials were not allowed to do a second tour recently as perhaps it could have heralded an upsurge in interest in them.

  9. Sean says:

    While a lot of roots reggae connoisseurs will disagree with me, I stand firm in my opinion that the second wave of ska (UK 1980’s) was the best. And the third (American) wave, as you said, was mostly unlistenable pablum.

  10. Matt W says:

    Yeah, Ska can be very trying some times, kindof a hiccupy break beat thing. Had to laugh about your Bostones comment… My friend has a casette tape of the Bostones from WAY BACK when they had their origional guitar player and that was some fast MF Ska!! Funny thing was, they were doing covers of Van Halen and Kiss songs all at super fast Ska. It was a blast just to hear them rip through songs like jamies crying or Running with the devil in record time. So realisticaly that was just a time period thing cause up to that point nobody else had done that, so it was novel then and now… not so much.
    Keep up the excelent work, nice to hear someone elses— some one knowledgeables insight on recording quality. ;)

  11. […] Click here to go to the Lost Turntable to check a ska classic album from the 80′s…”Dance Craze” which featured all the key 2nd wave of ska bands Madness, English Beat, The Specials, Bad Manners, The Selecter, and The Bodysnatchers…killer live versions.  A must have. Share this:TwitterStumbleUponFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

  12. Big fan of that era of British Ska…must have cd’s The Specials “The Specials” & “More Specials”, The Beat “I Just Can’t Stop It”, Bad Manners “Loonee Tunes”, The Selecter “Too Much Pressure”, Madness “One Step Beyond”, “Absolutely” and “7”…of course there is a little filler but for the most part it’s good time music. The Dance Craze soundtrack is a nice call out. Great work! Excellent blog!

  13. Neil says:

    Contrary to what Stevo has said about The Selecter ie “here in England they are equally revered to The Specials, Madness & The Beat.” I have to say that they aren’t. They’re good, sure, but considered 2nd division though superior to The Swinging Cats and The Bodysnatchers. Rhoda was a better singer than Pauline, mind you.

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