Sometime around 1978, revelation struck in Birmingham. During that period, Dave Wakeling, Andy Cox and David Steele had a nascent, nameless band in their U.K. hometown. As active participants in their local scene, they orchestrated house parties with two DJs—one spinning punk, another reggae. "If you played all punk, the place would go nuts for about an hour, and then everybody disappeared to have a rest. If you played all reggae, by the end of an hour, everybody was just leaning against the walls, nodding their heads gently," Wakeling remembers. "But if you mixed it up and played one of this, one of that, the dance floor stayed packed all night." After observing this phenomenon once, Cox turned to Wakeling and asked, "But what if you were to get elements of both DJs into the same three-minute pop song? What... More >>>