Dance Craze, the classic 1981 2 Tone documentary featuring The Specials, Madness, The Selecter and more, is being released on DVD for the first time ever

The Specials + Dance Craze film
(Image credit: The Specials - David Corio/Redferns/Getty Images / Dance Craze - 2 Tone Records/Chrysalis Soundtracks)

Dance Craze, the 1981 documentary film capturing the energy, excitement and empowering sense of community inherent in the racially-inclusive English 2 Tone, is finally getting a DVD and Blu-ray release for the first time.

Filmed by Joe Massot, who co-directed Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains the Same film, and cinematographer Joe Dunton, Dance Craze sought to document the early 2 Tone scene, which rose to national prominence after The Specials' Jerry Dammers founded the 2 Tone Records label in 1979, releasing music by his own band, Madness, The Beat, The Selecter, The Bodysnatchers and more. Shot at various venues across 1980, film included 27 songs and captured a unique moment in time at the height of the ska revival.

The film has long been unavailable, beyond YouTube, due to copyright disputes.

Dance Craze has now been newly restored by the BFI from original film materials, and will be made available on Blu-ray and DVD for the very first time ever on March 27. The release will feature a brand new Dolby Atmos sound mix supervised by Jerry Dammers and Dermot James (Chrysalis Records).

There will also be an accompanying Deluxe Edition of the Dance Craze soundtrack as a three record (or three CDs) box set. For the first time ever, these releases will include all 27 songs from the film, as well as the original 14-track compilation from 1981.

The newly-restored film is to get a special screening in London (and an accompanying Q&A session) at the BFI IMAX on Wednesday March 22, at 8:45pm. Tickets for the screening are available now.

View the original Dance Craze trailer below:

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.