Two Tone

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The Two Tone sound was developed by young musicians from Coventry, England, who had grown up listening to 1960s Jamaican music. It was essentially a record label based sound, although the style known as Two Tone, grew to become so much bigger than something that was related to just the one label, it became its own musical genre.

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They took and combined influences from Ska, Reggae and Rocksteady and then added elements of Punk Rock and New Wave. Some of the most well known bands who have been credited as being part of this genre would include: The Specials, The Selecter, The Beat, Madness, Bad Manners and The Bodysnatchers.

The term Two Tone was coined by The Specials' keyboardist Jerry Dammers, who — with the assistance of Horace Panter and graphic designer John "Teflon" Sims — created the iconic Walt Jabsco logo (a man in a black suit, white shirt, black tie, pork pie hat, white socks and black loafers) to represent the Two Tone genre. This logo was based on an early album cover by Peter Tosh, and included an added black-and-white check pattern.

In the same way as Motown was a label based genre, most of the bands considered to be part of the Two Tone genre were signed to 2 Tone Records at some point. Other record labels associated with the 2 Tone sound were Stiff Records and Go Feet Records.

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The music was especially popular among "Skinheads", "Rudies" and some "Mod" revivalists.

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As the years rolled on, the influence from Two Tone could felt more and more, there's now even a 2-Tone Central museum and cafe/venue which opened on the 1st of October 2010, in the Coventry University Students' Union building, and by August 2011, it was moved to the 2-Tone Village in Stoke, Coventry. It includes exhibition space, the Coventry Music Wall of Fame, a cafe, a gift shop, a Caribbean restaurant and a music venue. Many of the items on display are on loan from members of The Selecter, The Beat and The Specials.