2 Tone (or Two Tone) is a music genre created in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s by fusing elements of ska, punk rock, rocksteady, reggae, and New Wave. It was called 2 Tone because most of the bands were signed to 2 Tone Records at some point. Other labels associated with the 2 Tone sound were Stiff Records and Go Feet Records. Within the history of ska, 2 Tone is classified as its second wave, the product of an early 1980s nostalgia for vintage music. It is the precursor of the third wave ska scene of the 1990s.
The 2 Tone sound was developed by young musicians (mostly in Coventry, West Midlands) who grew up hearing 1960s Jamaican music. They combined 1960s ska with contemporary punk and pop music. Bands considered part of the genre include: The Specials, The Selecter, The Beat, Madness, Bad Manners, and The Bodysnatchers.
The term was coined by The Specials' keyboardist Jerry Dammers, who, with the assistance of Horace Panter, also created the fictional Walt Jabsco logo to represent the 2 Tone movement. It was based on an early album cover photo of Peter Tosh, and included an added black-and-white check pattern.