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General Public

Considered by many as nothing more than an offshoot of the better-known '80s British outfit the English Beat, General Public still enjoyed several substantial hits on their own during their short career. Immediately after the split of the ska-pop outfit the English Beat in 1983, former members Dave Wakeling (vocals, born February 19, 1956) and Ranking Roger ("toaster," born February 21, 1961) formed General Public, which turned out to be more pop-based than its predecessor, with elements of classic Motown soul thrown in for good measure. Once former Dexy's Midnight Runners keyboardist Mickey Billingham, former Specials bassist Horace Panter, and a drummer known simply as Stoker were all enlisted, General Public was officially up and running. Signing on with the IRS label, General Public's debut album, 1984's All the Rage, was a commercial success back home, as it featured a guest appearance by former Clash guitarist Mick Jones and scored a Top 40 single with the track "Tenderness." 1986 saw the release of General Public's sophomore effort, Hand to Mouth, which failed to match expectations set by its predecessor despite spawning a pair of popular singles, "Too Much or Nothing" and "Come Again."

With both Wakeling and Roger unable to agree on a musical direction, General Public split up shortly thereafter. Roger issued a solo debut in 1988, the more ska-based Radical Departure, while Wakeling contributed the title track to John Hughes' 1988 film She's Having a Baby and issued a solo album as well, 1991's General Public-esque No Warning. Roger would go on to form another outfit, Special Beat, which included musicians from the late-'70s English ska scene, but in 1994, Roger and Wakeling were asked to reunite General Public for a track on the Threesome motion picture soundtrack. A UB40-like interpretation of the Staple Singers' "I'll Take You There" was offered and became a surprise Top 40 hit. The duo remained together for a third General Public studio album, 1995's Rub It Better (produced by former Talking Heads keyboardist/guitarist Jerry Harrison), but when it sunk from sight upon release, the band split up once more. 2002 saw the release of the duo's first best-of collection, the 12-track Classic Masters. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi
full bio

Comments

What a time to grow up on the fabulous 1980's.. The movies, music, middle school, and high school. Oh and can't forget the football games, the girls, and partying. What a great time to grow up and my shorties will never be able to grow up and experience something like we did. When I hear the music it brings me back to a time that I'll never forget and the laughs I shared with many friends. Those of us that grew up in So Cal, we were privileged to get to listen to KROQ, outta Pasadena. The fabulo
gusdlgarza
Clueless
After reading the bio for the Fine Young Cannibals, it seems this bio should say that Dave and Ranking formed General Public immediately BEFORE the split of the English Beat.
todd61263
Saw REM open for the English Beat during Spring Break at Daytona Beach in 1982. Awesome.
Wow high school ! Saw the lads years ago and missed them i riverside bummed.30 year reunion coming up i think wow
Saw English Beat a few wks. ago! Amazing show...gonna see them again next month! Can't wait...
Haven't heard these guys for years. I used to like a couple of their songs
Just saw the Beat perform a few weeks ago in Athens, GA. They were great again ( I had seen them perform in Atlanta about 3 years ago) In 3 years the entire band, except for Dave Wakeling has turned over.
kcsants
The Beat has been touring without RR. We went to see them and it was really fun!
Loved the Beat, and these guys too, though I'd really like the Beat to get back together!
fantasycarch i e f
this is fantasycarch e i f the wife.......
fantasycarch i e f
I loved all music in the 80's........ . . . y o u know they say if you remember the 80's you werent there....wel l , i had some memories.... . . . t h e ones i remember were fun.....i think......i would never go back........ b u t the music does it for me.......... v e r y cool time..don't let anyone tell you the 80's sucked...it was very cool.....eve r y t h i n g is recycled
Go see The Beat - Live. You will not be dissappointe d .
maria1110
I STILL have my All the Rage album!! Love General Public!!
still good to hear to this day
Love to see them make more music. of course Dave and Roger need to patch things up and that doesn't look like it's gonna happen any time soon.
Nohing like the 80's
Loved General Public...lov e The English Beat, and was a pleasant surprise from them..Can we say, make more music!?
I loved hearing these guys sing. every song they did had a great sound!
I miss them!
Have you seen Dave lately? What a charismatic (or is it arrogance?) son of a... Saw him at he Hard Rock in San Diego. What lot of fun!!!He sang a couple acapella when they were requested and weren't on the play list. Yah, cool!!!
this is good
knockyouout
love it, love it, love it! I had the pleasure of seeing Dave Wakeling play as The English Beat several times. Dave is a hoot! He's still got it. The last time I saw him, he played great show but no encore. :(
ceggleston8
Great Band! I got to hang with Dave Wakeling in Del Mar, Ca (my hometown)and party most of the night with him. Really fun dude to hang with!!
chapkaren
such a great song... it never gets old
My dad was the guitar player for General Public! And my Uncle was the drummer!
saw the english beat do this in 2009. They put on a heck of a show and I got to hang out with the band afterwards. Great guys.
Love these guys!
Tenderness.. . . . l o v e that song.
Reminds me of my jr. high days.
Also reminds me of the movie Clueless, which is the best <3
this group is cool

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