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In 1962, Jamaica achieved independence from Great Britain and the cocky, joyous feel of ska soon sprang up to embody the exuberance of the tiny island. Sadly, Jamaica’s early expectations for independence were soon soured by poverty, violence and corruption. Reflecting the mood of the island, ska, too, soon gave way to the slower, rhythms of rock steady and reggae — forms of music with more space for singers to express the disaffection of the people.

But ska never went away entirely and, after gaining an early toehold in England, the music has gone through various waves of worldwide popularity, influencing bands such as Fishbone, Madness and The Clash.

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