2 Tone at its peak (’79 – ’81) released 17 singles and all but 2 of them made the national charts. It was not uncommon for singles on the label to reach sales figures in excess of 250,000. Given such numbers it’s maybe not that surprising that there were a few mishaps at the pressing plants. The anomalies and general pressing mistakes which occurred are listed below. The jury is still out on whether incorrect labels should be considered mispressings or misprints. Most collectors seem to identify them as mispressings while typeographic or colour errors are identified as misprints. Although many of these may seem trivial, they do make things interesting for the collector. For the more dedicated fans there are a few minor variations in the layout of various plastic labels pressings, but the following list contains the more obvious and interesting UK releases plus one Dutch pressing of note. As always, we welcome any corrections or additional items not listed.
Gangsters – The Selecter TT1/TT2
The first release on the label has a few mispresses to its credit. Most significantly a Dutch pressing which had completely the wrong track and artist pressed instead of Gangsters. In addition, some UK copies were pressed with the ‘Gangsters’ labels on both sides as well some copies with ‘The Selecter’ labels on both sides. There are also reports of some copies with the labels missing completely.
The Prince CHS TT3
Camden’s finest debut release saw the first of the mysterious blue plastic labels. There have been suggestions that these blue plastic labels are promotional copies, but since to our knowledge, only three other singles have surfaced in this format (On My Radio, Ghost Town & Girlfriend), and in various shades of blue; it does suggested that the pressing plant rather than the promotional department was responsible.
On My Radio CHS TT4
The second single on the label to appear on a blue plastic label. A batch was also pressed with one side grey and the other blue.
A Message to you Rudy CHS TT5
A double A-side on the label but a small number of pressings list both sides incorrectly as ‘Nite Klub’.
Too Much Too Young CHS TT7
Although this was the label’s first EP and is marked on the paper label pressing as such, some paper label pressings omitted this fact. The catalogue number is also displayed within the white section paper label on some of these pressings.
Three Minute Hero CHS TT8
The UK paper label pressings list this as an EP. It appears that they used the previous single’s label as the template for the next single, so this having followed TMTY, it carried the EXTENDED PLAY text, either by error or by mischief. Some copies also have the ‘James Bond’ labels on both sides. It’s also worth noting the change to the ‘James Bond’ writing credits on some pressings. They can alternate between Monty Norman and John Barry. A few of the plastic label pressings commit the cardinal sin of referring to the band as ‘The Selector’.
Lets do Rocksteady CHS TT9
The Bodysnatchers first release for the label is listed incorrectly as ‘People do Rocksteady’ on some of the grey labels. Also the reissue grey labels marked Made in France list the band simply as Bodysnatchers. NOTE. These 2 Tone grey labels, which are marked Made in French, are NOT the French issues of the singles. They are in fact the reissues that were available in the early 80s. All non UK 2 Tone releases were handled directly by Chrysalis. Some of the paper label pressings have the ‘Ruder Than You’ labels on both sides.
Missing Words CHS TT10
The Selecter’s last single for the label was listed as ‘Nissing Words’ on the grey plastic reissue and the writing credit is to N. Davis rather than N. Davies.
Easy Life CHS TT12
Yet another release that appears to have caught the pressing plant totally off-guard, with copies produced with the ‘Easy Life’ labels as well as the ‘Too Experienced’ labels printed on both sides.
Do Nothing CHS TT16
The grey plastic re-issue of The Specials’ penultimate single includes the ‘ Ice Rirk Strirg Sourds’.
Ghost Town CHS TT17
Some paper labels display the catalogue number in the white section of the label. Blue plastic label number three in some cases.
Braggin and trying not to lie CHS TT999
Included with the first issue of More Specials LP as a free single because of lack of space on the album, the single clearly states Free Single Not For Sale. However pressings appeared which failed to include this text.
Sock it To ‘Em J.B.(DUB)/Rat Race (DUB) CHS TT32
It’s difficult to image what could go wrong with this limited pressing, but somehow a small amount were pressed with ‘Sock it To ‘Em J.B.(DUB)’ labels on both sides.
Thanks to Paul Rogers, the ever resourceful Paul Flanagan and ‘Pritch’ from the 2-tone.info forum for their input to this article.