Just How Many Times Did Ska Legends the English Beat Say 'Fellator' In One Song?
By the late 1980s ska was tired and in need of a heart and lung transplant. Orange County would, in fact, become home to the biggest and most influential of so-called third wave of ska revivals (there was also one in New York) because it had two things vital to the development of any such trend: inventory (meaning bands) and a willing audience.
There were dozens upon dozens of bands in and around OC that were adding horns and dabbling in double-time beats -- thus feeling their way into a brassy mix of punk, reggae and power pop. They drew a huge fan base. The new ska offered its followers party music instead of grunge angst or rock melodrama.
Consider The Aquabats. Back in the day, they dressed up like superheroes and performed goofball songs about action figures. What's not to like? Consider also that ska had its own radio show. The Ska Parade (on KROG 97 and SP Radio One) began spinning many So-Cal ska locals, thus becoming a sort-of launch pad that led to success for some.
It may be difficult for some to cast Anaheim's No Doubt with the rest of hardcore ska, but it was their 1995 breakout single "Spiderwebs" that put "skank" (ska + punk) into the Top 40. The following year Sublime, too, scored a hit off their self-titled third album. Another OC third waver that tasted commercial success was Reel Big Fish, whose Sell Out charted in 1997. "Ska'd for Life" bumper stickers were everywhere.
Dating back to 1950s pre-reggae Jamaica, the original ska would forever change music there and around the planet. The second wave of ska, also known as "two (or 2) tone" was started in Britain during the '70s by Two Tone Records. Popular at first with mods and eventually with their nemeses, the skinheads, 2 tone had run its course somewhere by the finish of the '80s, getting pulverized by shitty New Wave.