Dance Craze DVD/Blu-ray and Deluxe Soundtrack in 2023

It’s a rude dream come true! The legendary 1981 concert film Dance Craze is set for release as a DVD/Blu-ray set on March 27, 2023. This cult classic vividly showcases “the best of British ska, LIVE!” in all its hyperactive glory – including The Specials, Madness, The Selecter, The Beat, Bad Manners and The Bodysnatchers.

Issued by the prestigious British Film Institute (BFI), the Dance Craze dual format set boasts a 4K restoration from original film materials, with new 5.1 surround and Dolby Atmos soundtracks co-supervised by Jerry Dammers plus the original mono. The release is further reported to include outtakes and other bonus materials to be announced.

As if that weren’t exciting enough (and it damned well is), there will be an accompanying Deluxe Edition of the Dance Craze soundtrack album as box sets of 3 LPs or 3 CDs, out on March 23, 2023. 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.

  1. The Specials: Nite Klub
  2. Madness: The Prince
  3. Bad Manners: Ne Ne Na Na Na Na Nu Nu
  4. The Bodysnatchers: 007
  5. The Selecter: Three Minute Hero
  6. The Beat: Ranking Full Stop
  7. The Beat: Big Shot
  8. The Specials: Concrete Jungle
  9. Madness: Swan Lake
  10. Madness: Razor Blade Alley
  11. The Selecter: Missing Words
  12. The Bodysnatchers: Let’s Do Rock Steady
  13. Bad Manners: Lip Up Fatty
  14. Madness: Madness
  15. The Specials: Too Much Too Young
  16. The Selecter: On My Radio
  17. The Bodysnatchers: Easy Life
  18. The Beat: Rough Rider
  19. The Specials: Man at C&A
  20. Bad Manners: Inner London Violence
  21. Madness: Night Boat to Cairo
  22. The Beat: Twist & Crawl
  23. Bad Manners: Woolly Bully
  24. The Selecter: Too Much Pressure
  25. The Beat: Mirror in the Bathroom
  26. Madness: One Step Beyond
  27. The Specials: Nite Klub (Reprise)

The Dance Craze film has long been notoriously “unreleased” and “unavailable” because of copyright and ownership disputes. Outside of rare screenings of well-preserved prints, most fans have seen it only via VHS bootlegs and hideous blurry YouTube uploads with muffled sound. Now that’s all about to change, and Stateside Madness is here for it! For those keeping score, this will mark the first time anything Madness-related is available on Blu-ray Disc. Welcome to high definition, lads! And finally we get to hear the film’s rollicking renditions of “Swan Lake” and “Madness” in crystal clear audio mixes. 

But will these holy grails be released in the U.S.? The deluxe soundtrack is coming from Chrysalis/2 Tone, whose recent reissues have seen widespread American release, so that should be no problem. The BFI DVD/Blu-ray, on the other hands, may have to be had as an import, unless some U.S. distributor like Eagle Rock or Rhino were to pick it up (pick it up, pick it up). Update: The official 2 Tone online store has the Dance Craze film and soundtrack box sets listed in U.S. dollars for overseas shipping (in numerous bundled configurations), so you can get ’em that way if they don’t turn up in our domestic retail channels.

While we wait for March to get here, take a look at my personal reflections on the classic soundtrack album, Dance Craze and My Higher Education.

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