In the early ‘80s it was cool when you knew band’s before everyone else did, I guess that’s still the case. You were considered cool when you wore a t-shirt of a band nobody knew about, and this era in music produced some of the most iconic bands ever.
The thing about life in general, films can often capture a movement; just by virtue of the films soundtrack. A few documentaries propelled the punk movement, “Another State of Mind” is one of them. Along with kick-ass music, that documentary propelled Social Distortion into the music industry behemoth they are. There is another film that did that same thing; it captured the 2 Tone Dance Craze coming out of the UK: the film was simply titled, “Dance Craze.”
The film has been digitally restored in 4K by the British Film Institute. It was later scaled down to what is being put out, Blu-ray and DVD. It is set for release March 27, 2023.
Dance Craze was originally released in 1981. The documentary featured what is known as the 2 Tone music genre. The film was directed by Joe Massot who originally wanted to do a film only about the band Madness. As the project progressed, Massot opted to cover the entire 2 Tone scene.
The film was shot in 1980. It is comprised of performance footage of bands who have since risen to iconic status worldwide. Madness, The Selecter, The Bodysnatchers, the Beat and Bad Manners.
A soundtrack album of the same name was released the same year, featuring 15 of the songs that were featured in the film. The film focused on the scene of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, concert film performances cover the early days of the budding scene.
A statement from The Selecter about the films says, “Dance Craze offers a vivid, immersive snapshot of the 2 Tone era.”
As for extras, it is too early to tell, but it is likely whatever they put out will be fantastic for the genre’s faithful followers worldwide. It will feature a new Dolby Atmos sound mix supervised by Jerry Dammers and Dermot James (Chrysalis Records).
What you will love about this documentary it givers us insight as to where we’ve been and where we’re headed. The ’90s gave us Third Wave, and 4th Wave Ska is becoming all the rage again!
Another film to check out in the origin story of a beloved genre, check out Pick-It Up, Ska in the ’90s.
Bottom line, 2 Tone gave birth to so many bands and has influenced so many others, regardless if they know it or not. To know where we’re headed, we need to know where we’ve been. Dance Craze is the quintessential film for a music lover of any genre. Know your music history and you’ll know where we are going to land next!