Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ska Week: The Bodysnatchers

Here's another 2 Tone band with an all too brief history. The Bodysnatchers were around for such a short period that the all-girl group never even got a full-length album on the shelf. They did, however, play many memorable live shows opening for the likes of the Selecter, the Specials and the Go-Go's in 1980, and they were able to record a couple of stellar singles that were minor UK hits. That was enough to get them featured in 'Dance Craze,' the 2 Tone documentary I wrote about to kick off Ska Week.

In 1980, "Lets Do Rock Steady" b/w "Ruder Than You" peaked at No. 22, while "Easy Life" b/w "Too Experienced" stalled at No. 50. That's it. By 1981, the band was splitsvile. Lead singer Rhoda Dakar joined Jerry Dammers after several members left the Specials. They became Special A.K.A. and recorded the 1983 album 'In the Studio.' Most of the other gals joined Stiff Records as the Belle Stars. They were a UK smash known for several songs, including the No. 3 hit "Sign of the Times" from 1982. Dakar's moment worth remembering was a minor hit from 1983 she did with Special A.K.A. "The Boiler" peaked at a modest No. 35, but the song will be remembered for more than chart position. The song tackled the serious subject of rape.

So, for today's top 5, we take a listen to the four songs by the Bodysnatchers that were done for 2 Tone, plus "The Boiler." As a bonus, here is the Belle Star's biggest hit, too. There were a few other ska bands on the 2 Tone label, such as the Apollinaires, the Swinging Cats and the Higsons, but they were not in the same league as the bands I have featured this week. So, I'll put Ska Week to bed right here.

The Bodysnatchers Top 5
The Bodysnatchers - Let's Do Rock Steady (mp3)
The Bodysnatchers - Ruder Than You (mp3)
The Bodysnatchers - Easy Life (mp3)
The Bodysnatchers - Too Experienced (mp3)
Rhoda Dakar With The Special A.K.A. - The Boiler (mp3)

Bonus: The Belle Stars - Sign of the Times (mp3)

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