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The English Beat Biography

The English Beat Tickets

The English Beat In-depth Biography

One of the earliest and most important ska revivalist} groups, Birmingham's the Beat} formed in 1978 (the band had to change their 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), Dave Steel} (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 their 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 band members decided to call it quits later that same year. Wakeling} and Ranking Roger} went on to form General Public}, and Cox} and Steel} formed Fine Young Cannibals}. ~ Chris Woodstra, All Music Guide

The English Beat Biography / The English Beat Information

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