2 Tone - Before, During & After
The author of this book, Lee Morris, set himself three clear objectives. They were: to give as equal a footing to those bands who featured in the latter years of the 2 Tone story as to those who once dominated the charts; to continue the post-2 Tone story of all the bands involved and, perhaps most challenging of all, to provide information on each person ever to appear on the label. Quite a task, but the author has succeed on all three counts and has a produced a book that will no doubt become a welcome addition to the 2 Tone library.
Each chapter contains a concise up-to-date history of each band or artist who recorded for the label including Elvis Costello and The Attractions, who made the grade by their single that never was, I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down. Over the years the reason for the appearance of this single has been clouded by differing recollections of its origin, so it will perhaps come as no surprise to discover that even the members of the Attractions quoted in this book are unsure of the 2 Tone connection.
The chapter on one of 2 Tone's most enigmatic bands, The Swinging Cats, is just one of the highlights of the book. Not only are there some rare photos of the band included, but an album's worth of material is mentioned which thus far has remained under wraps. A tantalising prospect for those of use keen to hear more material from the band. Also referred to is footage which was shot during the filming of Dance Craze and never used.
True to his word, the author has offered equal footing and space to those post-1982 bands. Groups such as The Higsons and The Apollinaires have often been regarded as almost an afterthought by those retelling the story of the label. This certainly can't be said of this book. Each band and member is given the same attention to detail as those who released their vinyl on the famous black and white checks.
This book will no doubt become an essential purchase for fans of the label, however the front cover is most definitely not befitting of such an impressive offering. That said, it's the only thing that this book can be faulted on.