One Step Beyond – Various Artists

Album Review by EDF

At last, somebody has come up with a clever way of packaging a Ska compilation. Basically release a double album, let the first CD feature original tracks recorded back in the 60’s and 70’s and let the second CD feature UK artists who were influenced by the music within the first CD. Genius or is it?

The first CD features classics such as The Skatalities – GUNS OF NAVARONE, Dandy Livingstone – RUDY A MESSAGE TO YOU and The Paragons – THE TIDE IS HIGH. The list of 25 tracks on the first CD is quite impressive and I’m sure there are purists out there that either have all the tracks or will complain that other artists should have been included.

As for the second CD, the whole gang is here. You know, the ones that have appeared on so many countless Ska related compilations featuring UK acts from the late 70’s and early 80’s. The only thing not to like about this is that certain artists appear more than once. Madness, The Beat and The Specials rub shoulders with lesser-known tracks such as The Bodysnatchers – LET’S DO ROCKSTEADY and Laurel Aikten & Unitone – RUDI GOT MARRIED. The inclusion of other tracks here are definitely questionable as there is more a pop element that makes some of them embarrassing to listen to.

Overall, the first CD is great and the second is what remote controls were built for. I would have given this a 5 out of 6 rating if only more thought had been put into the second CD.

4 stars

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