03 April 2009


Here's one I shouldn't have to tell you about. The English Beat (or The Beat to pretty much everyone outside the USA) were a 2-Tone-era ska band from England.

They put out a total of three albums during their career. The first two had several hits in the UK, and other countries, but didn't do well in the States. The third album, Special Beat Service, however, changed that thanks to a lengthy tour of the States, and a descent amount of radio play.

Having finally made it big on both sides of the pond, they promptly broke up. The band's main singer, Dave Wakeling, didn't want to split the touring money between such a large group, so he decided to start a new smaller group, and he convinced the other singer, Ranking Roger to go with him. Together they formed General Public, and had a few more hits.

The two guitarists, Andy Cox and David Steel, went on to form Fine Young Cannibals, and score several hits. The rest of the band did time in several other ska bands, notably The International Beat and The Special Beat.

Though their have been reunion shows in more recent years, the entire original line up has never been on stage again.

Some of these "rarities" have been issued on the many best-of compilations that have been released since the demise of the band. However, to quote Bruce McCulloch, Best-of's are for housewives and little girls. So, if the songs aren't available on the regular albums, I still think of them as non-album tracks.

(files expired)

The Beat - "Hit It" A single from 1981, not put on their albums.
The Beat - "Which Side of the Bed?" B-side of "Hit It".
The Beat - "Psychedelic Rockers" B-side of "Too Nice To Talk To", which was also a non-album track, but has been added to the cd of Wha'ppen?
The Beat - "March of the Swivelheads" An instrumental version of "Rotating Head" from Special Beat Service. This was also used in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
The Beat - "Mirror In the Bathroom" (Peel Session) Original version is on I Just Can't Stop It.
The Beat - "She's Going" (Peel Session) Original is on Special Beat Service.
The Beat - "Save It For Later" (Peel Session) Original is on Special Beat Service.
The Beat - "What's Your Best Thing?" B-side of "Save It For Later"

The Beat discography:

I Just Can't Stop It, 1980 (buy)
Wha'ppen?, 1981 (buy)
Special Beat Service, 1982 (buy)

Beat discography for housewives and little girls:
What Is Beat?, 1983
B.P.M., 1996
Beat This, 2000 (buy)
The Platinum Collection, 2005 (buy)
You Just Can't Beat It, 2008 (buy)


P@ndora said...

Good stuff, this! Do you know where I can find the rest of the Peel sessions?

Cheers, P@ndora

DeadBilly said...

I don't remember where I got them originally, but I'm pretty sure Marco has them over at his blog: http://marcoonthebass.blogspot.com
Pretty much anything ska-related, his is the first place to search.

GeoX said...

Thank you, sir. The completist in me is rendered ecstatic.

Anonymous said...

Superb- thanks very much.



McCrank said...

Can you fix the links or supply a single zip for download? I haven't heard these before, but I am a huge Beat fan! - McCrank

DeadBilly said...

Links are fixed.

McCrank said...

Thanks DeadBilly - Love the blog and the website. Much love for the link fix. I want to hear this version!