Thursday, 6 September 2012

The Beat

The Beat or The English Beat depending on which country you are in cemented my love of ska music as a teenager. What they managed to do possibly more than the other 2-Tone bands of the era was to bring guitars more to the forefront of the sound without losing any of the infectious ska rhythms. They did not shy away from political statements either and "Stand Down Margaret" was not only a massive anti-Thatcher statement of it's time, but a wonderfully melodic tune.

Their debut album "I Just Can't Stop It" is just full of great songs, "Mirror In The Bathroom", "Best Friend" and "Hands off She's Mine". Their second album "Wha'ppen" was more gentle in its musical style with a more reggae influence, but the band had still had their finger on the political pulse with songs such as "Get A Job". Their third and final LP "Special Beat Service" was much more mainstream in its music direction, but contains my favorite Beat song "Save It For Later". Just the most gorgeous melody and the song has been covered by Pete Townsend, regularly features in the live version of "Better Man" by Pearl Jam and more recently covered by The Wonder Stuff. All three albums have recently been reissued as 2 CDs + DVD each featuring extra tracks and videos. I didn't get to see the original line up, but have seen Ranking Rogers UK version. How magical would it be to see to the original line up again...

No comments:

Post a Comment