The Ska Genre Thread

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    The Inevitable Ska Thread


    Let’s make some dreams come true.


    Ska as a genre has been around for over six decades. It’s origins come from Jamaica where after World War 2, scores of new radio owners got to hear the sounds of American rhythm and blues for the first time. They would mix this along with calypso music to make more speedy, bass focused dance music with a focus on the upbeat. While this first wave later evolved into rocksteady and then reggae, it would later gain popularity in the late 70’s in the UK, adopting more aggressive guitar and lyrics from the rise of punk. Much of the traditional imagery of ska comes from the 2 Tone era such as the three piece suit and the checkerboard, which was representative of the movement’s focus on racial unity. By the mid 90’s, ska gained significant popularity in the U.S. due to bands like Sublime, No Doubt, and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones getting significant airplay thanks to radio friendly singles. Somewhere along the way there were some skinheads, some bad ska puns, and a bunch of christian acts too, but let’s not bother getting into that. Just know that most of your friends were in or probably knew someone in a ska band in high school and that it’s still really fun and a damn shame that Harmonix didn’t get more ska for Rock Band than a single Bosstones song and that one cover of Come On Eileen. I think ska deserves better than that. I hope I can convince you of that too. Here’s some of my personal favorites.


    Desmond Dekker – Self declared, but little disputed king of ska.


    007 (Shantytown)


    The Specials – Namers of the 2 Tone movement.

    Ghost Town

    Enjoy Yourself


    The Beat – Also known as The (English) Beat

    Mirror In The Bathroom


    Madness – Did more than “Our House”.


    The Toasters – You probably heard them a bunch if you watched KaBlam! growing up.

    Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down

    2-Tone Army


    Catch 22 or Streetlight Manifesto – Tomas Kalnoky-led (at some point) acts that pretty much remade the third wave of ska.

    C22 – Dear Sergio

    C22 –

    C22 –

    SM –

    SM –

    SM –


    Bomb The Music Industry! – Did the whole Radiohead “give your music away” thing first. Tried submitting something to RBN at one point, but never got through. :

    (Includes a Rock Band mention)


    There are a ton of acts that would be a blast. Was anyone else a fat ska kid in high school too?




      Ska seems to be in pretty high demand. I’ve received a few requests, personally. Not sure if I can chart it well enough though… hmm…


        Desmond Dekker – 007 / Shanty Town is in my queue.



        Desmond Dekker – 007 / Shanty Town is in my queue.



        This is fantastic and so are you.


          One Step Beyond could be arranged, always loved the song.


            “Beer” by Reel Big Fish is all I would need to be happy. Every time I hear the song, it makes me want to play Rock Band, but then I’m met with the unfortunate realisation that it doesn’t exist in Rock Band.


            ok, I have LOTS to say about this. First of all, SKANK ON RUDE BOY!!! I am a HUGE fan of SKA and will help in any way I can (pro guitar). I have bugged Nyx for a year for Gangsters, but settled for Shanty Town. Not to shabby.


            Now, on to the wish list comments:


            Other than Gangster, which I continue to trumpet as a epic ska candidate for RB, I endorse the entire list above: although Enjoy Yourself might not be a perfect fit for RB. I would go with Dawning of a new Era for RB.


            Madness is the OBVIOUS choice since they had pop appeal, are mega large in popularity, AND just released a new album (and still tour in England in the summertime, anyone going to the festival?) One Step Beyond is a classic, but you would have to map horns to guitar since its really only a bass guitar song. I think House of Fun would be a Grand-f’n slam. but would take Baggy Trousers over My Girl because of the KEYS (and key solo)!!


            You always want to cheat towards songs with Harmonies and keyboards. To that end, might I suggest DHC? Dance Hall Crashes have the epic DUAL girls singers, which would be incredibly unique! Might I suggest Queen for a Day, Shelly, Lost Again, or even Flying. All with truly epic guitars.

   … +For+A+Day



            The Beat/English Beat: Mirror in the Bathroom. Such a well known tune, you cant go wrong here. Although Jeanette is also awesome.


            I thought Real Big Fish – BEER was an inspired choice also! Excellent party rock/ska song.


            Toasters: Possibly the best representation of modern NYC ska. and there is a cheesy organ sound I love so much… I like their cover of Secret Agent Man, Two tone Army is also fine.


            Streetlight Manifesto are currently popular, so I expect these guys would go over well, but dont translate well for me. (I would go with Forces of Evil instead)


            and what about Tokyo Ska Paradise? Song ideas?


            And local Detroit band Gangster Fun did an awesome cover of “Wanna Be Like You” from Jungle book!


            and who can forget the Selecter – Three Minute Hero or Too Much Pressure?


            and if you love chicago sko, how about the Untouchables: Agent Double 0 Soul? FUNKY!


            Mustard Plug – Mr. Smiley?

            Scofflaws – Rudy’s Back?

            Allstonians – Spike?! [cheese value is out of this world]


            oH! and Toot’s and the Maytals – Monkey Man made it into a movie even! (wild thornberrys i think)




            Adding a +1 for any ska, particularly 2-Tone era.


            And why not “Endicott” while we are at it? Epic song from Kid Creole. Not ska, but more reggae inspired dancehall.

            Adding a +1 for any ska, particularly 2-Tone era.

            Madness – House of Fun – YESSSSSSSS


            And Our House, of course.


            Reel Big Fish – BEER, Sell Out, She Has a Girlfriend Now would be cool.


            And why not “Endicott” while we are at it? Epic song from Kid Creole. Not ska, but more reggae inspired dancehall.

            Adding a +1 for any ska, particularly 2-Tone era.


            OH GOD YES PLEASE and there was another song by them I liked… used to see the video on MTV way back when they actually played videos. Oh yeah, ‘Annie, I’m Not Your Daddy’.


            I’m a sucker for the mainstream ska music, and I would lose my mind if some of these were put in the game:


            Streetlight Manifesto

            Suburban Legends (High Five, Rump Shaker)

            Reel Big Fish (Beer, Sell Out)

            The Toasters



            Just leaving this here. <img decoding=” src=”/wp-content/uploads/invision_emoticons/default_SA_smile.gif” />


            With the release of Reel Big Fish – Beer (thanks drummerockband) being the first RBF track in Rock Band (Jan 2014, shocking right?) I would like to kindly request more ska :c00l: This great genre of music was sadly under represented on the RB Store:


            With that said, here are a few of my favorites:

            Madness – Baggy Trousers

            Madness – House of Fun

            Reel Big Fish – Take On Me

            Reel Big Fish – Sell Out

            Reel Big Fish – Everything Sucks

            Reel Big Fish – She has a Girlfriend Now

            Less Than Jake – All My Friends are Metalheads

            Less Than Jake – Science of Selling Yourself Short

            Less Than Jake – History of a Boring Town

            Goldfinger – Superman

            Goldfinger – 99 Red Balloons

            The Specials – Ghost Town

            The Specials – Too Much Too Young


            Not ska tracks but from a ska band, which don’t want to put in a separate thread (Less Than Jake – Rest of my Life and Reel Big Fish – Where have you been?)


            Thanks for looking and even more thanks if considering <img decoding=” src=”/wp-content/uploads/invision_emoticons/default_SA_smile.gif” />


            Check out this Thread also: “The Inevitable Ska Thread”


            My list (WILL DO PRO FOR ANY/ALL of these!!!)

            Desmond Decker: Shanty Town

            Specials: Gangsters

            Madness: House of Fun + pack

            Dance Hall Crashers!!!

            Kid Creole: Endicott (a hit on MTV towards the end of its video life)

            Selecter : Three Minute Hero?


            The Toasters deserve some love, considering they are the poster child of Third Wave.

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