2 Tone Records

2 Tone Records was an English record label that mostly released ska- and reggae-influenced music with a punk rock and pop music overtone. It was founded by Jerry Dammers of the Specials and backed by Chrysalis Records.


Jerry Dammers of the ska revival band the Specials started the record label in 1979. Chrysalis had wanted to sign the Specials, but Dammers arranged a label deal, for Chrysalis to fund 15 singles a year and release at least ten of those.

The label spawned the 2 Tone music and cultural movement, which was popular among skinheads, rudies and some mod revivalists. The label stopped operating in 1986, though "2 Tone" is still used as an imprint for back catalogue issues. 2 Tone Records signed the Selecter, Madness and the Beat, but they all left within two years. 2 Tone Records acts signed a contract that allowed them to leave the label after releasing just one single, which was unusual in the record industry. Madness and The Beat both took advantage of this clause; the former to sign to Stiff Records, and the latter to start their own label, Go Feet Records.

Although 2 Tone Records was closely identified with the ska revival, efforts were made to broaden the label's musical output, releasing recordings by artists such as singer-songwriter Elvis Costello and the funk-punk band the Higsons.

Dammers, with the assistance of Horace Panter and graphic designers John "Teflon" Sims and David Storey, created artwork that was to become central to 2 Tone Records. The Walt Jabsco logo portrays a man in a black suit, white shirt, black tie, pork pie hat, white socks and black loafers. The fictional character was based on a photograph of Peter Tosh, a former member of the Wailers.


  • The Apollinaires
  • Bad Manners (only for Dance Craze)
  • The Beat (known as "The English Beat" in the US)
  • The Bodysnatchers
  • Elvis Costello & the Attractions (only for one unreleased single, CHS TT7)
  • The Friday Club
  • The Higsons
  • JB's Allstars
  • Madness
  • Rhoda Dakar
  • Rico Rodriguez
  • The Selecter
  • The Specials (sometimes called "The Special AKA")
  • The Swinging Cats



  • The Specials - The Specials
  • The Selecter - Too Much Pressure
  • The Specials - More Specials
  • Various Artists - Dance Craze
  • Rico Rodriguez - That Man Is Forward
  • Rico Rodriguez - Jama Rico
  • Various Artists - This Are Two Tone (1983)
  • The Special AKA - In the Studio
  • Various Artists - The 2 Tone Story
  • The Specials - Singles
  • The Specials - Live At The Moonlight Club
  • Various Artists - Best of 2 Tone
  • Various Artists - The Compact 2 Tone Story

-- Courtesy (Wikipedia) --