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Special Beat Service


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Product Details

  • Vinyl
  • Label: I.R.S.
  • ASIN: B004A9BR7C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,930,145 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By John Alapick on July 26, 2006
Format: Audio CD
At the time they released Special Beat Service in 1982, the English Beat appeared to be on the verge of a breakthrough. While their first album, I Just Can't Stop It, was a ska classic, and their second album, Wha'ppen?, was very deep into reggae, Special Beat Service toned down those genres in favor of British pop. Dave Wakeling's vocals were more compassionate than ever before and their songs were arguably their strongest overall. However, internal dissention would ultimately break up the English Beat and although several of the band members would later find success with General Public and The Fine Young Cannibals respectively, the excellent songs and performances on Special Beat Service make you wonder how far they could have gone if they were able to keep it together.

One listen to the soulful "I Confess" and the solemn ballad "End of the Party" show a newfound maturity that didn't exist on their previous releases. Songs like "Jeanette", "She's Going", and "Sugar & Stress" are very catchy while "Sorry" mixes their snappy horn lines with a dose of funk. "Soul Salvation", which combines their ska sound with an R&B edge, is also a great track. Other strong tracks include the new wave sounds of "Rotating Head" and the island like "Ackee 1 2 3." The reggae tracks, "Spar Wid Me", and "Pato and Roger a Go Talk" are also pretty decent. Finally, "Save It for Later" is one of the best British singles of the `80s, and is living proof that sometimes the best songs are the simplest. The strings near the end of the track also provide a nice touch. All told, Special Beat Service is a great album from one of the more enduring British bands. Highly recommended.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Zack Birkenbuel on May 8, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This has to be my all time favorite album and I'm happy to see it back in print. I unfortunately sold the album some 4 years ago (I was the poor starving college student) and subsiquently spent 3 years searching for it in every used CD store in the Seattle area. Favorite tracks are Janette, Rotating Head and Ackee 1-2-3 (I only wish samples for them were available). If you're looking for a definately unique sound that never grows old and while forever remind me of the 80's check out the beat :)
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Armando M. Mesa on April 13, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This c.d. is absolutley astounding ! From the first track to the last there is not a single flop or disappointment; Even the album cover conveys a sense of coolness and sophistication. I had only heard the name English Beat growing up but never ventured to listen to their music thinking it was another heavy-synth new romantic band by it's name alone. Now, I am glad I've heard them ! Their mixture of ska, reggae, pop, and a few other styles will surely capture any avid music collector's attention. Also, the vocals of the lead singer are very reminiscent of Colin Hay's from Men At Work (another '80s great group). Although the album originally was released in 1982 I can see or hear why it firmly stands up to the test of time !
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Jones on December 2, 1999
Format: Audio CD
No doubt, this is a great album. With beut tracks such as "I Confess", "Jeanette", and "Sole Salvation" this is a must have album. The album also contains the haunting "Save It For Later", which, in my humble opinion, is the best of all the great Beat tracks, and would make my top three (and possibly top one!) of all time.
Is this album as good as "I Just Can't Stop It"? Very hard to call, as the albums are about as similar as chalk and cheese. Still, if I was to be stuck on a dessert island, and could only take one Beat album with me, I think "I Just Can't Stop It" would win by a nose.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By L. Marino on July 1, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Save it for Later is still one of the perfect songs of all time (though the extended versions from later are even better). There's some other great stuff off this album, like Ackee 1-2-3, and I Confess, but the whole album is solid. Actually, all of the Beat albums are solid; if you like any of their songs, I recommend the rest of their catalog to you. But Save it for Later is a special gem, so I recommend this album first.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. von Kries on April 25, 2003
Format: Audio CD
The best songs are the poppy ones that you know already ("Save it for later", "I Confess") but the other tracks are pretty solid. Not as great as "Whap'pen" or the first album (name escapes me), but good none the less. If you only buy one English Beat album, buy one of the first two or the greatest hits album. If you're a fan and already have the others, buy this one to complete your set.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By tortuga on November 24, 2012
Format: Audio CD
This is one of those albums that simply refuses to ever sound old. A lot of "best of" lists, like Rolling Stone, give more respect to their first album, but good as that one is, this is their masterpiece. "Save it for Later" is surely among the best 3-4 minutes ever made, and Sugar and Stress, I Confess, Sorry, and Jeannette are almost as good. The late 70s and early 80s are true golden age of rock and roll in terms of the quantity of music that really endures and no album from that period is any better than this one. I have listened to hundreds of times and while most of the Beatles albums sit on the shelf. Too bad they broke up and never did anything like this as General Public.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Teresa E. Tutt on May 1, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I had a copy of this on vinyl and had worn it out. I few years ago I found it on CD after a long search as it was out of print at the time. Glad that I can share this great music with others again. My faves are "Sole Salvation", "Sorry, "I confess" and the radio hit "Save it for Later" Great driving music for those long trips!
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