Wheels Out of Gear : 2 Tone, The Specials and a World In Flame, Paperback Book

Wheels Out of Gear : 2 Tone, The Specials and a World In Flame Paperback


WHEELS OUT OF GEAR is a vivid exploration of 2-Tone and related movements of the late 1970s and early '80s, set against the turbulent backdrop of Thatcher's Britain. Taking its roots from Caribbean Ska, Rock Steady and Reggae, the 2-Tone sound was honed into a modern urban multi-racial groove led by The Specials, whose 2-Tone record label gave the movement its name and a home to many of the groups of the time, such as The Selecter and Madness.

Whilst the Specials are the focus of the book, it also covers the bands and movements that grew up around 2-Tone, such as the Tom Robinson Band, the Ruts, Secret Affair, the Angelic Upstarts and the Oi! phenomenon. In a period of great political polarisation, with clashes between the National Front and the Anti-Nazi League, as well as riots in Brixton, Toxteth and Handsworth and the death of Blair Peach at the hands of the Special Patrol Group, The Specials and their contemporaries spread a multi-racial message whilst gaining commercial success with hits such as Too Much Too Young and Ghost Town, which combined catchy dance music with socially aware lyrics. WHEELS OUT OF GEAR is a candid exploration of this fascinating era in British music and politics and is a must-have for all fans of the 2-Tone sound.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 222 pages, black & white illustrations, black & white plates
  • Publisher: Soundcheck Books
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Reggae
  • ISBN: 9780956642028



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