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The English Beat

One of the earliest and most important ska revivalist groups, Birmingham's the Beat formed in 1978 (the band had to change its name to the English Beat in the U.S. to avoid confusion with Paul Collins' band of the same name). The multiracial band carved a distinct sound through the use of alternating lead vocals by guitarist Dave Wakeling and punk toaster/rapper Ranking Roger, supported by a tight band consisting of Andy Cox (guitar), David Steele (bass), and Everett Moreton (drums). The addition of 50-year-old saxophonist Saxa, who originally played with Prince Buster and Desmond Dekker, gave the band credibility and fleshed out its sound. An opening spot for the Selecter led to the band's signing to 2-Tone, where they released the hit single "Tears of a Clown," a wonderful version of the Smokey Robinson classic. In 1980, the band decided to form its own 2-Tone-inspired label, Go-Feet (distributed by Arista). A string of hit singles followed in the U.K., including "Mirror in the Bathroom." Their debut LP, I Just Can't Stop It, combined the early hits with other pop/ska-oriented material. "Stand Down Margaret," with its anti-Thatcher stance, found the band moving in a more political direction, leading to several benefit gigs for "radical" causes. Musically, the Beat slowed down the tempo for a more traditional reggae sound showcased on 1981's Wha'ppen. This direction failed to bring the chart success of its predecessor. Featuring a more pop-oriented approach, 1982's Special Beat Service helped the band increase its U.S. fan base through MTV exposure of "Save It for Later" and "I Confess," but the bandmembers decided to call it quits early the following year. Wakeling and Ranking Roger went on to form General Public, and Cox and Steele formed Fine Young Cannibals. ~ Chris Woodstra
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Live At The US Festival '82 & '83

x

Track List: Keep The Beat: The Very Best Of The English Beat

1. Mirror In The Bathroom

2. Doors Of Your Heart

3. Save It For Later

4. Twist & Crawl

5. The Tears Of A Clown

6. Best Friend

7. I Confess

8. Ranking Full Stop

9. Whine And Grine/Stand Down Margaret

10. Get-A-Job

11. Jeannette

12. Too Nice To Talk To

13. Can't Get Used To Losing You

14. Sole Salvation

15. Hand's Off…She's Mine

16. End Of The Party

x

Track List: Beat This!: The Best Of The English Beat

1. Mirror In The Bathroom

2. Best Friend

3. Hands Off She's Mine

4. Too Nice To Talk To

5. Doors Of Your Heart

6. I Confess

7. Twist & Crawl

9. Drowning

10. Save It For Later

11. Sole Salvation

12. Click Click

13. Tears Of A Clown

14. Can't Get Used To Losing You

x

Track List: Special Beat Service

1. I Confess

2. Jeanette

3. Sorry

4. Sole Salvation

5. Spar Wid Me

7. Save It For Later

8. She's Going

9. Pato And Roger A Go Talk

10. Sugar & Stress

11. End Of The Party

12. Ackee 1 2 3

x

Track List: Wha'ppen?

1. Too Nice To Talk To

2. Doors Of Your Heart

3. All Out To Get You

4. Monkey Murders

5. I Am Your Flag

6. French Toast (Soleil Trop Chaud)

7. Drowning

9. Walk Away

10. Over And Over

11. Cheated

12. Get-A-Job

13. The Limits We Set

14. Psychedelic Rockers

15. Hit It

16. Which Side Of The Bed?

x

Track List: I Just Can't Stop It

1. Mirror In The Bathroom

2. Hands Off She's Mine

3. Two Swords

4. Twist & Crawl

5. Rough Rider

6. Click Click

7. Big Shot

8. Whine & Grine/Stand Down Margaret

9. Noise In This World

10. Can't Get Used To Losing You

11. Best Friend

12. Jackpot

x

Track List: You Just Can't Beat It: The Best Of The Beat

Disc 1

1. Tears Of A Clown

2. Ranking Full Stop

3. Hands Off She's Mine

4. Twist & Crawl

5. Mirror In The Bathroom

6. Jackpot

8. Best Friend

10. Rough Rider

11. Click Click

12. Big Shot

13. Two Swords

14. Noise In This World

15. All Out To Get You

17. Drowning

18. Dream Home In New Zealand

19. The Limits We Set

Disc 2

1. Doors Of Your Heart

2. Save It For Later

3. Sole Salvation

4. Can't Get Used To Losing You

5. Get A Job

6. Walk Away

7. Over And Over

8. Cheated

9. Ackee 1 2 3

10. Monkey Murders

11. Jeanette

12. I Confess

13. Spar Wid Me

14. Sorry

15. She's Going

16. Pato And Roger A Go Talk

17. Sugar & Stress

18. End Of The Party

Comments

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Lo how cute. This s**tty band thinks it has a "Very Best" album.
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just cant stop it -one of the best albums-mirro r in the bathroom-Bea t r the best ska around
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Leftists don't confess,
Leave you there in their mess.
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They are together, not original members but Dave Wakeling still plays a GREAT SHOW. I have seen them 2x's in past year in Chicago. So much fun and great memories. In fact they just released a new album which we were given a sample of 2 songs, for new and unfamiliar they were very good.
I LOVE THE ENGLISH BEAT, PEOPLE ZWHO ARE UNFAMILIAR OR PROBABLY NEVER HEARD SKA MUSIC SHOULD CHEK IT OUT. DANCE ALL NIght or just take in he great sound.
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davidcomesan a s 2
Pure magic. Nobody even comes close to this. Wish you were still together.
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❤❤❤❤❤
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milosdad
First time I heard Save it for Later I was biking through downtown Austin, Texas having just moved there. Stopped at a local record store and bought it on the spot. That was 22 years ago and it's still one of my favorite records.
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Dave & Ranking Roger please kiss & make up. We miss you together.
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did anyone else have a boyfriend like that? love the Beat.
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The English Beat that tours now is only Dave Wakeling and some poor substitutes for the originals. Sorry, but The English Beat without Ranking Roger, Andy Cox, David Steele and Saxa is just not the English Beat.
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trushton4
Just saw the English Beat last night in SLC, Utah. Wow! Wonderful.
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solidbrother 7 8
bk
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helslopoke

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The English beat is playing next week at a winery in new hope pa. That was the old stomping grounds! I would love to but can't get there. Ironies! Took 35 years for them to come to my backyard and I can't go! LOVE ME SOME BEAT!
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Mirror in the bathroom please talk pretty the door is locked just you an me can I take to a restaurant thas got glass tables you can watch yourself while you r eating �� LUV them met Dave couple years back at a show here in so CALIFORNIA ��
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I am drinking a margarita and remembering Tiajuana nights at the revolution listening to this great band and dancing the night away.. Don't forget those bacon wrapped hotdogs on the way back to SD:)
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cdemattos32
This band has gotten back together and has been touring for at least the last few years. They will be at the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, NC Friday, August 1, 2015. I will be there.
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milosdad
Really fun band. I can put their music on and I get pumped up.
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Favorite. : )
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Big fan in the 80s. A friend called me a year ago, and asked if he could use my office for his 50th. He had about 150 people. Who played? The English Beat! Dave Wakeling was great--the rest of the band was new, but the sound was authentic and incredible. One of my favorite bands of all time.
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Saw them in Milwaukee back in 1981 or 9182 and they were amazing. Great blend of pop/ska/reag g e .
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bartburt65
Saw them open for the clash at the pladium Hollywood Dave Wakelings white vox came unpluged twice but they rocked full stop was all over next day Kroq the radio Via Richard blade Next week mirror in the bathroom all history
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SKA music, totally forgot about that genre and this band. It's weird how some music styles just fade out. I think I saw these guys play at the Del Mar Fair ( San Diego), when I was in junior high! Ugh I feel old, lol. Saw lots of great bands there for free.
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miltonz66
This is SKA!! Wha happened to it man?!? It was such a rush, such a great gift! The people, the life of endless possibilitie s in every second of this song! I love it!!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! !
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jamesmoses46
big shot!!!
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This music will live on...
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@osobrino66, great story. I love reading posts that detail what individuals relate to certain songs or bands. cheers
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Back in the 80s saw these guys a bunch of times. A little (English) beat always got the keggers hoppin in college. A neighbor that hated us because of the noise from our parties was somewhat won over when he came over to complain and we played him some of our ska. He never called the cops again and even came to a couple parties. The kind bud may have helped a bit too.
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Fantastic band.
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Saw them last night!! Great great show!! $20 tickets small general admission! Dave sounded amazing!! Love love love The Beat!
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Sugar and stress pops up. I love this because it a good homage to the Pioneers.
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I can't seem to pull up the two best songs on this album Sugar and Stress + Rotating Head. Those have the most important lyrics on this album!
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This is by far my favorite ska-band. Love the music & the lyrics!
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saw them in chicago a few weeks back...good show!
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Bad az song by a bad az band- skank till you rank and bop till you drop. Ska forever!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! !
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bossman2fres h
Miss those days real music and real people mod and ska for life
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My favorite cover band, a Fine Mess, did a great version of Ranking Full Stop. We'd yell Don't Stop. during the false endings and they'd kick it in again. So much fun. Turned me on to this band. I bought absolutely everything I could find, but stupidly in cassette format - now long gone...
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Save It For Later has become something of an anthem, even Pete Townsend has done a cover! (Harvey Danger did a great version too)

as for the Beat's own cover takes, Tears Of A Clown and Cant Get Used To Losing You - magic, better than the originals!
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initially saw them open for the Pretenders at the Agora ballroom in atlanta in 1981
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US Festival and saw them as General Public
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Twist and crawl is one of the best songs ever, specially with some herbal assist
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mistycara13
Saw them open for The Clash! Such an awesome show!
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This song (Mirror in the Bathroom) should be the anthem for the 2010 decade: narcissism gone wild (the FaceBook disease).
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kdirg
Saw them at Roseland in NYC w/Squeeze... g r e a t show!
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njbii
they just played in Cincinnati and i missed them, grew up loving them!
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mistycara13
I so loved these guys!! Totally awesome live!!
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compassionvb that was quite A SHOW INDEED!
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Saw them at Alpine Valley Wisconsin with Oingo Boingo, Bow Wow, and The Police back in '81!!!
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seen them at the Starwood in Hollywood '82 ! Wow, did actually write 82? lol
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Love and unity is the only ting!!!!!!! Love the BEAT!!!!!!
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