The English Beat
The English Beatwas formed in Birmingham, England, in 1978. While the name was The Beat, it was known in the United States as The English Beat because there was an American group called The Beat so this prevented any confusion. The group performed during a period of upheaval and high unemployment in the U. K.. The groupís songs dealt with themes such as love, unity, and socio-politics, with a dance beat. The songs included pop, rock, soul, reggae, and punk. They were a part of the revival of the 1950's and 1960's Jamaican rhythms and melodies in the U. K.. This particular revival was also known as the Second Wave of ska, and is also known as the Two Tone era of ska.
The band released three albums and many singles . The albums were, I Just Canít Stop It, (1980), Whaíppen (1981), and Special Beat Service (1982). Some of their hit singles were, Stand Down Margaret (referring to Margaret Thatcher), Too Nice To Talk To (# 7), and Hands Off Sheís Mine (reached the Top 10). Other notable hits were, Tears Of a Clown, Canít Get Used To Losing You, Mirror In the Bathroom (reached the Top 10), All Out to Get You (# 22), Doors of Your Heart (# 33), and Best Friend (reached the Top 30). The group had their biggest fan base in the U. K. But they were also popular in Australia as well as in the United States and Canada. The band toured around the world with groups such as David Bowie, The Police, REM, The Clash, Talking Heads, The Pretenders, and The Specials. The group sometimes collaborated with The Specials and in the 1990's, Ranking Roger joined some of the members of The Specials to form a new band called, Special Best. The new band toured and released 2 live albums.
The Beat split up in 1983 and David Wakeling (guitar and vocalist) and Ranking Roger (also vocalist), went on to form the group called General Public. Andy Cox (guitar player) and David Steele (bass guitar player) went on th form the group known as Fine Young Cannibals. Their vocalist was Roland Gift. The Beatís song, Rotating head, was re-mixed and renamed, March of the Swivelheads and was used in the movie, Ferris Buellerís Day Off. Roger released a solo debut in the 1990's called, Radical Departure. In 2001 he released another solo album called, Inside My Head. Rogerís son, Ranking Junior, is following in his fatherís footsteps and appeared on The Ordinary Boysí single, Boys Will Be Boys.
The English Beat has released a total of 3 albums, 5 compilations, 13 singles, and 2 music videos during their musical career.
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