Dance Craze (1981) | The iconic 2Tone concert film gets a remastered release

Shot throughout 1980 and released in cinemas in 1981, Dance Craze definitively captured the 2Tone movement, which originated in Coventry and fused traditional Jamaican ska, rocksteady and reggae music with punk rock and new wave music. Directed by Joe Massot and filmed by BAFTA award-winning cinematographer Joe Dunton, it features live performances of The Specials, Madness, The Selecter, The Beat, Bad Manners and The Bodysnatchers filmed at various venues during a UK tour.

Newly remastered in 4K from original film materials, the toe-tapping concert film is presented here by the BFI and Chrysalis Records on Blu-ray and DVD for the first time, and I, for one, will be adding this to my collection as Madness’ rendition of Swan Lake is one of my all-time favourite musical moments. It’s also an especially poignant release as it comes just three months since the passing of The Specials’ Terry Hall. Oh! and you’ll dig the hip cat teenagers in the archival newsreel footage that features halfway through the film.

The special features include an episode from BBC’s Arena exploring the rise of 2Tone and a selection of rare clips from the film, many previously unseen. Alongside the Blu-ray/DVD release, Chrysalis Records are releasing the soundtrack in a remastered audio 3LP and 3CD set on 24 March, while 30 Picturehouse cinemas across the UK will hold a special one-off screening on 23 March. There’s also BFI IMAX screening on the same day, but it’s already sold out.

Time to get your dancing shoes on, folks…

Special features
• Newly remastered from original 70mm materials and approved by cinematographer Joe Dunton

• Rudies Come Back (1980, 34 mins): in this episode of the long-running BBC series Arena, music journalist Adrian Thrills explores the rise of 2Tone. Featuring interviews with The Specials and The Selecter

• Outtakes (1980, 17 mins): a selection of rare clips, many previously unseen, featuring the bands from the film

• Restoration demo (2022, 2 mins): a before-and-after look at the restoration of Dance Craze

• Original stereo and surround sound mixes by Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley remastered for this release, plus a new Dolby Atmos surround sound mix approved by Jerry Dammers

• Illustrated booklet with a new essay by Johnny Mains, the original 1981 press release and original 1981 band biographies, credits and notes on the special features


About Peter Fuller

Peter Fuller is an award-winning print, radio and television journalist and producer, with over 30 years experience covering film and television, with a special interest in world cinema and popular culture. He is a leading expert on the life and career of Vincent Price and actively promotes the actor's legacy through publications, websites and special events.

Posted on March 15, 2023, in Documentary, Musical, Must-See and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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