1980’s Third wave ska and ska Punk

2 Tone ska/ ska punk:

The term ‘2 tone’ when applied to ska is derived from the company 2 Tone records which signed many of the notable ska bands of the 1980’s. 2 Tone ska was prevalent within the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.

Rude Boys and their new dances and hard attitudes contributed to the quicker, edgier sound that ska developed with time. Other factors, such as the immigration of Jamaicans to the United Kingdom, lead to the Two Tone ska movement, and eventually to modern third wave ska.

2 Tone ska paved the way for ska punk which was a fusion of Ska and punk rock. This by bands such as The Specials, The Selecter, The Beat, and Madness.

For me The Specials patricularly defines ska. In particular with ‘A message to you rudy’ which directly adresses the sub culture of rude boys.

The fusion of the two genres became most prevalent in the 1980s, during the third wave of ska, and this is what most people associate with ska punk.

Bands began to fuse Punk ideologies and angry rifts with brass instrumentals. This new fusion of genres is still  current today with bands like Reel Big Fish, the mighty mighty bosstones and No doubt which have used the combination of punk and ska to form the genre of their music.

We can also see that lead vocalist Aaron Barrett wearing glasses with the classic black and white check which defines ska. The reason being is the checkerboard look was a trademark for 2 tone records which signed most notoriously known ska bands.

Bands like NOFX which began in 1983 are also still notable today. They started the band under the name NO-FX, after a Boston hardcore punk band called Negative FX. Their punk image is very notable but its also important to note their ska fused songs like ‘Eat the meek’ which has brass and trumpet interludes and ska inspired beat.

One form of movement categorised and introduced through ska and in particular ska punk is the notion of skanking.


Urban dictionary definition:

3. skanking
skanking is the single most extreme form of motion attainable by a human being.
4. skanking
dance performed to ska 

how to skank (rudeboy guide)
1. Skip
2. Continue to skip while staying in one place
3. While doing that, move your arms like you’re running


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