The band was formed in Coventry, England in 1977 as part of the SKA movement and were sometimes called a 2 Tone band in that they combined SKA and punk, were a band that combined white and black members and (usually) wore black and white outfits (all 3 things would be considered 2 Tones...get it?). They were part of the mod scene and helped to introduce that style to American kids (along with Madness).
A Message To You, Rudy was a cover song but the band used it as a tribute to some of its more....Rowdy...fans (watch the video and see a few of them). I love the fact that this song has a steady, bouncy beat that makes beer drinking fun. The band has broken up and reformed so many times its hard to know where one version begins and another ends but they still play and get the fans dancing and drinking, so that's fun.
Now to cover any controversy......this song might be just outside the realm of the 80's in that the song was released in 1979...but lets all agree that this was much of what became the 80's/new wave sound that dominated all of our lives (trust me, we'll be coming back to plenty of songs from this grey area and I'm fine with this being considered 80's).
Please enjoy A Message To You, Rudy by The Specials