Rude Boy George

Your favorite 80's New Wave songs wrapped in a loving ska and reggae embrace!

Truth be told, the twin pillars of 2 Tone ska and 80's new wave music sustained me through much of a challenging youth during the 1980's. 2 Tone revealed harsh economic, social, and racial injustices with a power and a fury that was undeniable, but also danceable. It forever influenced my worldview and moved me to learn an instrument and start a ska band (Bigger Thomas) that I've played in for more than 25 years. Though I tend to be a religious secularist, I've worshiped at the Church of 2 Tone for most of my life.

While new wave retained the vigor and irreverence of 70's punk music that had fueled 2 Tone, it incorporated style and art in a way that opened my world to ideas of love, friendship, sex, and fashion--and helped give form to my own burgeoning identity. I sought refuge in new wave's incredible diversity of nervy pop (XTC), synth pop (Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Human League), new wave songwriters (Elvis Costello), pop bands (Squeeze, INXS), pop-reggae (The Police) and more mainstream rockers (Billy Idol, The Romantics). Here in the US, 2 Tone was lumped in with new wave--so, in many ways, despite their completely different musical worldviews, they are inextricably linked in my musical consciousness. A yin and yang that forever form the soundtrack of my life.

"Confessions" is our way of paying tribute to the New Wave tunes that meant the most to us when we were growing up. The nine songs we chose to cover here from among the many we knew and loved were originally recorded between 1981 and 1983—a period that corresponded with the explosion of 2 Tone ska, reggae, and New Wave on the radio, MTV, and in movie soundtracks.

So, if you like the idea of some of your favorite 80's new wave songs wrapped in a loving ska and reggae embrace, we hope you will consider giving our versions a spin.

-- Marc Wasserman

Rude Boy George is a NYC-based band that performs ska, rocksteady, and reggae versions of 80's new wave and post-punk classics.

Rude Boy George is:

Roger Apollon Jr. - lead vocals Pamela Buckley - keyboards, piano and synths Jackie Chasen - saxophone, vocals Jim Cooper - drums Jesse Gosselin - guitar Megg Howe - lead vocals Steve Shafer - vocals, melodica Marc Wasserman - bass

Additional musicians:

Wayne "Waylo" Lothian - guitar, piano, organ, synth, vocals Antonee First Class - vocals on "Talking In Your Sleep" Dave Barry - piano and organ on "Don't Change," "(Keep Feeling) Fascination," "Talking In Your Sleep," and "Sweet Dreams" Spencer Katzman - guitar on "Don't Change," "(Keep Feeling) Fascination," and "Talking In Your Sleep"

Produced by Wayne "Waylo" Lothian Engineered by Ed Shemanski and James Dellatacoma Recorded by James Dellatocoma at Orange Music Sound Studios in West Orange, NJ Mixed and Mastered Ed Shemansky at Shemansky Mastering, Los Angeles, CA

Art design by Todd Johnson

Photographs by Patricia Koo

Song credits:

"The Metro" (John Crawford)

"Always Something There To Remind Me" (Burt Bacharach, Hal David)

"Don't Change" (Garry Gary Beers, A. Farriss, J. Farriss, T. Farriss, Hutchence, Pengilly)

"(Keep Feeling) Fascination" (Jo Callis, Phil Oakey)

"Talking In Your Sleep" (Canler/Skill/Palmar/Solley/Marinos)

"Eyes Without A Face" (Billy Idol, Steve Stevens)

"Driving In My Car" (Mike Barson)

"Tempted" (Glenn Tilbrook, Chris Difford)

"Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" (Annie Lennox, David A. Stewart)

***Rude Boy George has secured mechanical license(s) pursuant to Section 115 of the United States Copyright Act from the Rightsholder(s) of the compositions listed above.

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