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Harry
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Post subject: What were the Top Ten best 2-Tone Singles? Reply with quote

I think I'd go for...
10) The Special AKA — "Gangsters" / The Selecter – "The Selecter"
9) Elvis Costello & The Attractions — "I Can't Stand Up for Falling Down" / "Girl's Talk"
Cool Tears Of A Clown" / "Ranking Full Stop"
7) The Specials — "Stereotype" / "International Jet Set"
6) The Selecter — "On My Radio" / "Too Much Pressure"
5) The Specials — "Do Nothing" / "Maggie's Farm
4) Madness — "The Prince" / "Madness"
3) The Specials — "A Message to You, Rudy" / "Nite Klub"
2) The Special AKA — "Nelson Mandela" / "Break Down The Door!"
And my fave is...
1) The Specials - "Ghost Town" / "Why ?" / "Friday Night, Saturday Morning"
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Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:46 pm
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HarryJ185
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Easy Life
Rat Race
On My Radio
Three Minute Hero
The Prince
Gangsters
A Message To You Rudy
Nelson Mandela
Too Much Too Young
Ghost Town

The order would depend on my mood but Ghost Town would be Number 1.

I prefer the LP version with Parts 1 and 2 of Stereotype - although I feel guilty for excluding it when it has an equally impressive B Side.
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Tue Jun 16, 2020 7:32 pm
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Harry
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On some days I'd include; Rat Race, What I Like Most About You Is Your Girlfriend, The Feelings Gone, and Ruder Than You in my top ten
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Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:11 pm
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HarryJ185
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Harry,

I did think about What I Like Most About You Is Your Girlfriend. I absolutely love the single (and the video). Just could not decide what to leave out - maybe it should be a Top Eleven!
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Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:29 pm
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my stan smiths
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The Whisper/Train To Skaville would have been right up there for me, but sadly doesn't qualify.

Impossible to pick a top 10 but number 1 will always be Too Much Too Young and the live EP. If you ever wanted to tell someone what 2-tone was all about show them the cover and tell them to play both sides of the single.
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Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:44 pm
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Harry
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my stan smiths wrote:
The Whisper/Train To Skaville would have been right up there for me, but sadly doesn't qualify.

Impossible to pick a top 10 but number 1 will always be Too Much Too Young and the live EP. If you ever wanted to tell someone what 2-tone was all about show them the cover and tell them to play both sides of the single.



Yeah, I love the sleeve of the Too Much Too Young e.p. too.
The song I play most from of that e.p is "Long Shot Kick De Bucket" - Brad's drumming on that is brilliant and Nev was at the peak of his powers.
When you play that live e.p. it's very hard to think of a band that could come onstage afterwards. I can't think of anyone U.K. band that could follow The Specials at that point in time
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Wed Jun 17, 2020 5:44 am
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Trojan
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Ghost Town would be my number one. Of all the singles from the height of the label's success I would find it impossible to rank favourites. However, I would.say my least favourite is Missing Words. It was a poor choice for a single from Too Much Pressure. Street Feeling was rumoured to have been lined up as single at the time, which would have been a much better choice.
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Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:43 am
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Trojan
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Harry wrote:
my stan smiths wrote:
The Whisper/Train To Skaville would have been right up there for me, but sadly doesn't qualify.

Impossible to pick a top 10 but number 1 will always be Too Much Too Young and the live EP. If you ever wanted to tell someone what 2-tone was all about show them the cover and tell them to play both sides of the single.



Yeah, I love the sleeve of the Too Much Too Young e.p. too.
The song I play most from of that e.p is "Long Shot Kick De Bucket" - Brad's drumming on that is brilliant and Nev was at the peak of his powers.
When you play that live e.p. it's very hard to think of a band that could come onstage afterwards. I can't think of anyone U.K. band that could follow The Specials at that point in time


As brilliant as the live version of The Skinhead Symphony is I prefer the version recorded for The John Peel Show.
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Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:48 am
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Halfy
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Missing Words gets my vote as best 2 Tone single by the Selecter. The Whisper might have taken that honour were it to qualify. I thought their singles from that era got stronger with each release though their chart positions suggest otherwise!
I'd find it difficult to order a top ten, but like most, the Specials would fill out the top 6 positions. If I was judging on stand alone leading tracks then Do Nothing & Stereotype would occupy my top 2 places. But because of the strength of the accompanying tracks of the 2 chart topping EP's it's not that straight forward! Gangsters and Rat Race would also be in the mix.
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Wed Jun 17, 2020 11:25 am
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Harry
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Halfy wrote:
. If I was judging on stand alone leading tracks then Do Nothing & Stereotype would occupy my top 2 places. But because of the strength of the accompanying tracks of the 2 chart topping EP's it's not that straight forward! Gangsters and Rat Race would also be in the mix.


I wonder what percentage of Specials fans played Maggie's Farm and loved it as much as Do Nothing? I think it was an interesting experiment etc but I wonder if anyone thought, "F***ing Hell, this is the most brilliant b-side ever!"?
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Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:20 pm
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Trojan
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Harry wrote:
Halfy wrote:
. If I was judging on stand alone leading tracks then Do Nothing & Stereotype would occupy my top 2 places. But because of the strength of the accompanying tracks of the 2 chart topping EP's it's not that straight forward! Gangsters and Rat Race would also be in the mix.


I wonder what percentage of Specials fans played Maggie's Farm and loved it as much as Do Nothing? I think it was an interesting experiment etc but I wonder if anyone thought, "F***ing Hell, this is the most brilliant b-side ever!"?


I'll put my anorak on here...

Do Nothing and Maggie's Farm was double A sided single.

It's a track I have grown to like as I got older. I'll take it over Dylan's version.
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Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:45 pm
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Harry
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(Just out of interest) Was Maggie's Farm ever played on the radio when it was released and did they ever perform it on TV or live?
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Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:56 pm
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Trojan
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Harry wrote:
(Just out of interest) Was Maggie's Farm ever played on the radio when it was released and did they ever perform it on TV or live?


The track appears on live bootleg recordings from 1981. It was played on the radio on, where else ? The John Peel Show.
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Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:52 pm
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Harry
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This live version of Ronald's Farm is cool

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgAOUDtmTaw
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Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:54 am
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Imani
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I'd have to narrow it down to three singles: Gangsters/The Selecter, On My Radio and the Ghost Town EP.

As there was only a handful of 2 Tone singles, I'd like to broaden it to also include singles put out by all the bands directly associated with 2 Tone between 1979 and 1986.
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Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:47 am
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Harry
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Imani wrote:
I'd have to narrow it down to three singles: Gangsters/The Selecter, On My Radio and the Ghost Town EP.

As there was only a handful of 2 Tone singles, I'd like to broaden it to also include singles put out by all the bands directly associated with 2 Tone between 1979 and 1986.


I made my pick from looking at the list of releases on Wikipedia but yeah it probably makes sense to include the bands directly associated to 2 Tone in a Top Ten. Special Brew by Bad Manners sounds more like a 2 Tone single than Window Shopping by The Friday Club.
I wonder if Jerry's album of new material will come out on 2 Tone next year?
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Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:18 am
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Imani
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Harry wrote:
Imani wrote:
I'd have to narrow it down to three singles: Gangsters/The Selecter, On My Radio and the Ghost Town EP.

As there was only a handful of 2 Tone singles, I'd like to broaden it to also include singles put out by all the bands directly associated with 2 Tone between 1979 and 1986.


I made my pick from looking at the list of releases on Wikipedia but yeah it probably makes sense to include the bands directly associated to 2 Tone in a Top Ten. Special Brew by Bad Manners sounds more like a 2 Tone single than Window Shopping by The Friday Club.
I wonder if Jerry's album of new material will come out on 2 Tone next year?


I wonder if it'll be released at all, to be honest. Mr Costello speaks on Jerry's recording approach at 1:00:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnfayCy6DwM

The Higsons et al never really stood a chance. The ska fans didn't touch it, it wasn't really strong enough to get into the charts, and by 1982 the label was no longer part of the pop zeitgeist.
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Thu Jun 18, 2020 9:18 am
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Imani
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In no order because it changes with mood:

Mirror In The Bathroom - The Beat
Got No Brains - Bad Manners
Drowning - The Beat
On My Radio - Selecter
Ghost Town - Specials
Embarrassment - Madness
Gangsters - Specials
Night Boat To Cairo - Madness
Too Much Too Young - Specials
Too Nice To Talk To - The Beat

A 'b' sides list would be good.
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Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:51 am
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bluearmy78
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Has to be Rat Race for me. First single l ever bought, and still love it now. Selecters The Whisper if it qualified, but it doesnt would be up there. Still love Madness The Prince, great debut single.
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Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:55 am
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Halfy
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Imani wrote:
In no order because it changes with mood:

Mirror In The Bathroom - The Beat
Got No Brains - Bad Manners
Drowning - The Beat
On My Radio - Selecter
Ghost Town - Specials
Embarrassment - Madness
Gangsters - Specials
Night Boat To Cairo - Madness
Too Much Too Young - Specials
Too Nice To Talk To - The Beat

A 'b' sides list would be good.


Weren't the majority of the 2 Tone releases double 'A's?
Also most of if not all of UB40's 1980 & 1981 releases were too.
Was this a conscious decision by the label and bands to give the record buying public more bang for their buck or to encourage a stronger chart run?
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Thu Jun 18, 2020 11:10 am
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