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The Beat U.K. (The English Beat) - Sole Salvation (Song & Lyrics)

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Published on Nov 25, 2007

Album: Special Beat Service.
Lyrics: thebeatuk.com (See also: davewakling.com)
MGT: Koch Entertainment
The Beat (known in North America as The English Beat) were are a two toneone ska revival band founded in England in 1978. Their songs fuse ska, pop, soul, reggae and punk rock, and their lyrics deal with themes of love, unity and sociopolitical topics.

The Beat released three albums: I Just Can't Stop It (1980), Wha'ppen? (1981) and Special Beat Service (1982), and a string of singles, including "Mirror in the Bathroom", "Too Nice To Talk To", "Can't Get Used To Losing You", "Hands off She's Mine" and "All Out To Get You".

The Beat were formed in Birmingham, England, in 1978, during a period of high unemployment and social upheaval in the United Kingdom. Ranking Roger, one of the band's vocalists, added a Jamaican vocal flavor to the band's sound with his toasting style. Jamaican saxophonist Saxa added an authentic Jamaican ska instrumental sound. Saxa had played saxophone with Prince Buster, Laurel Aitken, and Desmond Dekker in the first wave of ska (as well as with The Beatles in their Liverpool days). He joined The Beat to record their first single, "Tears of a Clown," a cover version of the Motown hit by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.

Notable singles from the first album included "Can't Get Used to Losing You," "Mirror In the Bathroom," "Hands Off She's Mine" and "Best Friend." The second Beat album, Wha'ppen? was supported by extensive touring, including a US tour with The Pretenders and Talking Heads. The album yielded more UK hits, with "All Out to Get You" and "Too Nice To Talk To," both of which broke into the Top 40 of the UK Singles Chart. The Beat received support from modern rock radio stations such as KROQ in Los Angeles and KYYX in Seattle.

Although The Beat's main fan base was in the United Kingdom, the band was also popular in Australia, partly due to exposure on the radio station Triple J and the TV show Countdown. The Beat had a sizable following in North America, where the band was known as The English Beat for legal reasons (to avoid confusion with the American band The Beat).

The Beat toured the world with well-known artists such as David Bowie, The Clash, The Police, The Pretenders, R.E.M., The Specials and Talking Heads. Members of the band often collaborated on stage with The Specials. In the early 1990s, Roger joined members of The Specials to form Special Beat, which toured and released two live albums. They supported the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and participated in the collaborative recording "Free Nelson Mandela".

After the break-up of The Beat in 1983, Wakeling (guitar, vocals) and Ranking Roger (vocals) went on to form General Public, while Andy Cox (guitar) and David Steele (bass guitar) formed Fine Young Cannibals with vocalist Roland Gift from the Akrylykz.[2] Everett Morton and Saxa formed The International Beat, fronted by Tony Beet. Ranking Roger also briefly joined Mick Jones' post-Clash band Big Audio Dynamite and performed at several live shows with the band. However, the band broke up shortly after he joined when its last album was shelved by the record company. Meanwhile, "March of the Swivelheads," an instrumental version of the Beat's song "Rotating Head," was used in the climactic chase scene of 1986's Ferris Bueller's Day Off; the band was listed in the end credits as "The (English) Beat."

In the 1990s, Roger recorded his solo début, a reggae-oriented album entitled Radical Departure. In 2001, Roger released another solo album, Inside My Head, which included traditional reggae and ska with influences of electronica, jungle and dub. Ranking Roger's son, Ranking Junior, has followed in his father's footsteps. In 2005, he appeared on The Ordinary Boys' single "Boys Will Be Boys" and is a current member of The Beat in the UK.

The Beat live in London in 2006.In 2003, The Beat's original line-up, minus Cox and Steele, played a sold-out one-off gig at the Royal Festival Hall. In 2004, the VH1 show Bands Reunited tried unsuccessfully to reunite the original line-up.

In 2006, the UK version of The Beat, featuring Ranking Roger and Morton, recorded a new album that was mixed by Adrian Sherwood, but it remains unreleased. After Dave Blockhead left the band, he was replaced on keyboards by Mickey Billingham formerly a member of Dexys Midnight Runners and General Public.

Wakeling fronts the US version as "The English Beat." In 2009, Wakeling co-headlined a tour with Reel Big Fish and also discussed plans to release new material in 2009.[4]

Both the UK and US versions of the band tour frequently and both recently celebrated the 30the Anniversary of The Beat.
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Video: T.Tuthill. Written permission requested. No claim to anything but Limited Rights usage for this YouTube video alone. All Rights Reserved to Koch Entertainment c/o Dave Wakeling, etc.

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