July 1, 2019

Modcast #431: Jerry Dammers' Bootcamp

In 1980 musical currents were steeped in punk, post-punk, power pop, and new wave. The Specials were riding high off the success of their debut album, and founder Jerry Dammers pushed the band to immediately record a follow-up, More Specials. But rather than continue the DIY, punked up ska and reggae they had mastered on their first LP, Dammers pushed for doing something entirely different, something new and contrary to the popular sounds of the era.

In an interview in mid-1980 Dammers said: "It's time for 2-Tone bands to begin getting experimental. Some of the home-grown ska has started to become a cliche. We've got to start all over again." So he drove The Specials in hard left turn creating an album of easy listening, exotica, lounge music. And young mods like yours truly ate it up.

We didn't realize we were cutting our teeth on lounge music and that it was training us up for the coming cocktail revolution of the 1990s. There's no doubt that Jerry Dammers trained mods to like lounge, exotica, tiki and other incredibly strange music that we embraced decades later. So who are the people Jerry really trained? Who are the graduates of Jerry Dammers' Bootcamp? DJ Ken from The Shingles joins me in highlighting a few of Dammers contemporaries and his musical progeny.

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The Specials - Holiday Fortnight (1980)
Beautiful South - Tonight I Fancy Myself (1990)
Colourfield - Thinking of You (1985)
Blur -- To The End (La Comedie, feat. Francoise Hardy) (1995)
Everything But The Girl - I Must Confess (1984)
Animal Nightlife - Love Is Just the Great Pretender (1985)
Buster Poindexter - Knock 'em Down Whiskey (1994)
Combustible Edison -- Blue (1994)
Love Jones -- Alcohol & Little Pills (2011)
Madness - Return of the Las Palmas 7 (1980)
English Beat -- Can't Get Used To Losing You (1980)
Supergrass -- Coffee In The Pot (2005)
Style Council -- Luck (1985)
Jerry Dammers -- Riot City (1985)

Jerry Dammers interview 2014


"It would never have happened without Jerry Dammers. It was Jerry Dammers made all that happen." The Specials / Jerry Dammers (2 Tone)


Paul Morley talks to Jerry Dammers

















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