HALF PAST TWO “Something Blue” 7″ vinyl (4 track EP) – Traditional Sounds on Blue Wax!

We are very pleased to announce that Half Past Two has released their classic “Something Blue” EP on limited edition 7 inch vinyl! This release brings our love for the band back to the very beginning – it was the tune “Lyin’ Eyes” that really made us take notice and want to work with them on Jump Up! That’s why we included the song on a Jump Up CD sampler back in 2021! This three song EP leaned a bit more to the traditional side of ska, and included their wonderful tropical take on The Beatles’ “I Will”. Rounding off the EP is the 2-Toney original “See You Again” and a superb cover of GO JIMMY GO’s “Mama Bird”. Blue vinyl (of course!) with truly eye-popping art fold over sleeve, limited to 500 copies. This EP shows that Half Past Two can lay down Jamaican grooves to make you swing and sway, in addition to the catchy OC pop-ska-punk that they are known for.

HALF PAST TWO Self Titled LP – now on nuclear green vinyl!

We’re so happy to announce a new band edition of this incredible 2021 album, now on green vinyl. California’s HALF PAST TWO formed in 2006 and has gigged with major national acts including Reel Big Fish, The Aquabats, Less Than Jake, The Skatalites, RX Bandits, The Selecter, The English Beat, Mustard Plug, and The Toasters. HALF PAST TWO are veterans of the ever-thriving Orange County ska scene, but their forward-thinking approach also aligns them with with ska’s bold new generation. Their recent single “Shine” was a highlight of the 2020 compilation ‘Ska Against Racism’ and truly forecasted the amazing new album we have here today! The album-making process took a little longer than usual due to COVID, but HP2 kept the momentum going by rolling out singles on a regular basis throughout 2020 and 2021 — first “Shine,” followed by “All About You,” “Mean Green,” and “Some Nights” – all included here on the new self titled album. As you can hear on the pre-release singles, Half Past Two pull inspiration from multiple eras of ska as well as anything from driving punk rock to shiny pop. They cite such influences as Reel Big Fish, Weezer, The Hippos, RX Bandits, and Mad Caddies, and they’re proud to coat their songs with a little sugar. ‘Bubblegum Ska” is honestly the best description for HALF PAST TWO and we can’t get enough of this wonderful 12-track album! Add their brand new “Something Blue” 7 inch or “Holidays” Picture Disc for a discount!

SCOTCH BONNETS “Live Ya Life” LP vinyl – 10th Anniversary Edition

To celebrate the ten-year anniversary of SCOTCH BONNETS debut album, we’ve re-released “LIVE YA LIFE” for its first time on vinyl. Previously out of print on CD, you now can enjoy this groundbreaking album on translucent red or clear vinyl. As a bonus, two previously unreleased tunes “Taxman” and “Band Of Gold” have been added from sessions that took place shortly after the recording of the album. Angelo Moore of Fishbone even guests on a track!  ****FIRST SELECTION FOR 2024 Ska LP subscription club**** Continue reading SCOTCH BONNETS “Live Ya Life” LP vinyl – 10th Anniversary Edition

SPECIALIZED PROJECT: “OUR WAY” 10″ vinyl LP – Tribute To The Rat Pack!

We’ve partnered up with The Specialized Project once again for an incredible vinyl edition of their latest “Our Way – Tribute To The Rat Pack” collection, for fans of ska and crooners like Frank Sinatra & Tony Bennett! Limited edition “78 RPM” styled 10″ vinyl (don’t worry it plays on 33) in both classic black and marble grey vinyl, housed in an original antique green sleeve. Check out this incredible track list:

The Skapones – Volare  /   Special Brew – Mona Lisa  /  Mr Kingpin – All of Me /  Inspecter 7 – Sway  /   Soul Vetters with Smoke & Mirrors Horns – The Glory of Love / Eastern standard time – A Foggy Day (In London Town) / Rude Girl Revue – My Way / Crazy Baldhead ft Jesse Wagner – Houston / The Inflatables – Promise Her Anything / The Pannonia Allstars – Let it Snow / Detroit Riddim Crew – Pennies from Heaven / King Django – Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White

****THIS IS THE FINAL SELECTION FOR THE 2023 LP subscription club****

Hot Singles! THE HOTKNIVES Mick Clare & Gary Marshall 7 inch for Specialized Charity

The SPECIALIZED charity in the UK issued a tremendous tribute CD to one of the best bands from the late 80s Ska Explosion scene – yes we are talking about THE HOTKNIVES! One of our favorite bands of ALL TIME, we have kept the band’s classic albums in stock for well over 30 years! This two track DJ 45 has GARY MARSHALL’s wonderful and uplifting ska tune “She’s A Lady” from the “Live And Skanking” album, a soulful tune that we believe might have been inspired by Tom Jones? The the flip sees MICK CLARE doing an acoustic tune “If You Don’t Know Me”.  Limited edition of 500 copies, half on custard yellow and half on white. If you’re  in the UK please order your copies from the SPECIALIZED Charity.

Hot Singles! LOLLYPOP LORRY “You’re Wondering Now” b/w “Jamaica Ska” 7 inch

Our favorite traditional ska band from Russia is back with a wonderful homage to the original freedom sound of Jamaica! Two of the most beloved songs from 60’s done in Lollypop style:  Andy & Joey’s “You’re Wondering Now” b/w the Byron Lee & The Dragonaires “Jamaica Ska”.  Originally issued as a very limited Mexican import which sold for ridiculous money (and the band never saw copies!)  – we’ve swooped in to make this available to the world!  Limited to 500 copies, half on white and half on antique green. Big hole 45s for DJs!

SKANKING LIZARD “Original Chicago Reggae 1978-1996” LP anthology – Back In Print!

Skanking Lizard originated in Chicago in 1978 by a group of friends who had a deep love for reggae music, and by the 80’s this line up of northside musicians became Chicago’s original performing reggae band. Skanking Lizard was no island tribute band, they concentrated on developing their own sound which incorporated American roots rock with reggae rhythms. In the 1980’s, they became one of Chicago’s favorite festival bands and toured with the likes of Toots and the Maytals, Mighty Diamonds, Steel Pulse, Neville Brothers, and the B-52’s. They released the “Jesse James/Mushroom” 7 inch single in 1983, charting on Jamaica’s Top 40 List. In 1984 lead singer Alan “Blood” Lery released “Kingston Meets Chicago” 12” EP, which was recorded at Channel One Studios in Kingston and featured Jamaican legends Santa Davis on drums, Ranchie McLean on bass, Skully on percussion, Ansell Collins on organ, Howard Yukon of the Blue Riddim Band on guitar, and Shay Jones on backing vocals. The producer was Jimmy Becker of Blue Riddim band, a famed studio harmonica player who also was a member of Skanking Lizard in the early 1980’s. Both original vinyl releases appear on the band’s first ever anthology “Original Chicago Reggae”, out now in celebration of Record Store Day! Eleven tracks including never before released studio gems, including two ska tunes from 1988 recorded as a tribute to 2-Tone! Second Pressing on Yellow Vinyl out now! Continue reading SKANKING LIZARD “Original Chicago Reggae 1978-1996” LP anthology – Back In Print!

THE PRIZEFIGHTERS “Punch Up” LP vinyl / CD – Vintage Jamaican Shots from Minneapolis

THE PRIZEFIGHTERS are back with their third full-length full of vintage Jamaican ska, rocksteady and reggae full of socially conscious lyrics coupled with fantastic retro vocal harmonies. The band formed in the twin cities in 2006, and by the time of their 2010-2011 debut full length “Follow My Sound” they were already making trips to Chicago to back Jamaican legends at our Mayne Stage series, first Stranger Cole then Roy & Yvonne, soon followed by Charlie Organaire which lead to an album and European tour with the harmonica legend. In 2016 the band got the nod to back Derrick Morgan at Reggae Fest Chicago, playing in front of 4000+ people on a sweltering summer day! Fast forward to 2019 and their second full length “Firewalk” was released, an instant international sensation that has gone through many represses in it’s short lifespan! Now it’s time to unleash twelve new songs, ranging from manic early reggae (“Kick The Can”, “What Are You Going To Do”), scorching ska (“Company Time”, “Think & Pray”), the jumping reggae of “Close To Your Chest” and dark murderous Upsetters style on “The Hand At The Door”. Whatever your flavor of old school Jamaican music, THE PRIZEFIGHTERS have studied and mastered it with help from the originators – they are once again ready to unleash a new modern day traditional classic. Vinyl in two colors, red and gold, both limited to 250 copies. Compact Disc available too!

EASTERN STANDARD TIME “Clockwork” LP vinyl / CD – new album from Wash DC ska jazz champs!

It’s always an incredible day when EASTERN STANDARD TIME return with a new album! Traditional ska fans  worldwide have been waiting for “Clockwork” for years, a dozen tracks that range from ska-jazz soundtrack-esque instrumentals that sting, hand-clappin’ call-and-response feel good ska soul dancers, sultry night time Latin fueled numbers, and downtempo bubbly reggae soul groovers! The tempos on “Clockwork” keep you engaged and energized, long time fans will also be pleased to hear live favorites “The Dragon”, “Miles & Miles” and “Call Me Crazy” make appearances! Pick up the new record and you’ll hear why EST is huge in Europe after decades of festivals backing top Jamaican legends – now lets get these guys around the USA in 2023!? Two colors of vinyl, burgundy red and orange, both limited to 250 copies each. Compact Disc too to jam in your car!

BIM SKALA BIM “40th Anniversary” 7 inch EP – Three great covers!

BIM SKALA BIM is celebrating 40 years! Needless to say they are one of our all time favorite bands, American ska pioneers that helped fuel our ska obsession in the 80s when we were in high school! Back at the tail end of the 80’s a handful of US bands kept the flame alive with college radio airplay and small club gigs, it was at one of these first Chicago shows that we picked up their debut 7 inch “Fathead” with iconic design by Sluggo! To celebrate the band’s historic birthday we wanted to recrate that early DIY 7 inch single vibe, complete with “late night Kinkos xeroxed sleeves” designed once again by Sluggo! Three must have covers in BIM stylee, two on vinyl for the very first time. Stranger Cole’s “Run Joe” and Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home To Me” were both recorded in 1999, while The Beatles’ “Rain”  first appeared on the vinyl only “Boston Does The Beatles” LP  collection  in 1987. Black vinyl with big hole for real heads, one time press of 500 copies.