Often topping the wants list of many people, a Dance Craze movie Blu-ray release has now been confirmed by the BFI.
Yes, the BFI, no less. Which seems like quite an honour. It didn’t seem quite so high-brow when I was watching this on a Saturday afternoon at Bolton Odeon all those years ago. It was utter carnage for the entire screening.
Because 2 Tone was massive. For a short period of time at the turn of the 1980s, it seemed like the biggest thing on the planet. Or at least, on the schoolyard. While the gigs might have been lively, for many kids, they weren’t exactly on the doorstep, and Dance Craze was the ideal substitute.
The movie was directed by Joe Massot, who is perhaps best known these days for the 1960s cult classic Wonderwall (available as a cheapie on Blu-ray if you haven’t got it). He also directed the Led Zeppelin concert film The Song Remains The Same a few years earlier, and following that, he planned to do a concert movie featuring Madness.
But seeing the potential for the whole 2 Tone movement rather than just the one band, he decided to cover the whole scene. So live footage was shot in 1980 featuring Madness, The Specials, The Selecter, The Bodysnatchers, the Beat and Bad Manners.
And then it disappeared, just like the 2 Tone scene.
The movie doesn’t get many screenings, and it hasn’t had a release on either DVD or Blu-ray. Until now. The BFI has produced a dual-format edition that works as both a DVD and Blu-ray.
The material has been newly restored by the BFI from original film materials. The release will feature a brand new Dolby Atmos sound mix supervised by Jerry Dammers and Dermot James (Chrysalis Records).
The disc will feature outtakes, a booklet featuring new writing on the film, plus other extras to be confirmed.
You can pre-order a copy now ahead of the 27th March 2023 release date, with the disc selling for around £16.99.
On a related note, I have an original cinema poster bought at auction some years back that I’m going to be putting up for sale. If you have any interest, drop me a line via the site and we can perhaps do a deal.