Doing a 180: The Best of 2-Tone and The Specials’ Live at the Moonlight Club

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014
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Doing a 180: The Best of 2-Tone and The Specials’ Live at the Moonlight Club

In recent years, the sight of a porkpie hat has inspired most people to think of one word – Heisenberg – but prior to the premiere of Breaking Bad, it used to be the chapeau of choice for rude boys... and if you don’t know what a rude boy is, then, boy, do you need to run out and pick up our latest 180-gram vinyl releases!

First and foremost, we’d recommend The Best of 2-Tone, because it’s evident that you need a proper education in ska, and when it comes to a solid sampling of the genre, you need look no further than this set, which features material from The Beat (“The Tears of a Clown,” “Ranking Full Stop”), The Bodysnatchers (“Let’s Do Rock Steady”), Madness (“The Prince”), Rico (“Sea Cruise”), The Selecter (“The Selecter,” “On My Radio,” “Three Minute Hero,” “Missing Words”), The Special AKA (“Gangsters,” an edited version of “Nelson Mandela,” a live version of “Too Much Too Young,” and “The Boiler”), and The Specials (“A Message to You Rudy,” “Rat Race,” “Stereotype,” “Do Nothing,” and “Ghost Town”).

We’ve got another ska release hitting vinyl this week, too, and while it isn’t really one for beginners, it’s certainly one that Specials fans will want to pick up. Recorded the day before Margaret Thatcher took power in England, Live at the Moonlight Club spent many years as a bootleg, having been – according to legend – recorded by someone from Decca Records due to their offices’ proximity to the club. Whoever was responsible for leaking the performance, it doesn’t matter now, as it got an official release back in 1992, but given that it was a bootleg once upon a time, there’s something that feels so right about listening to it as an LP…and now you’ve got a chance to do just that.