Beat This: The Best of English Beat Enhanced
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Top Customer Reviews
In 1979, American based major music labels were only interested in signing generic arena rock bands or disco singers. There was almost no R&D scouting of UK bands until the Police broke through to the mainstream. The English Beat had to start their own record label Go Feet, to finally get "I Just Can't Stop It" released in the USA in October, 1980. The underwhelming response of American record labels to punk and the burgeoning post-punk scene in the UK was "thanks, but no thanks".
Due to a trademark snafu with another band called the Beat in America, the Beat had to use the English Beat name. Everywhere else they were known simply as the Beat, their chosen name.
55 year old Saxa was the heart and soul of The Beat. As a foundational first wave ska musician, he provided the Beat's musical link to its roots in Jamaica and the rock of the past. Saxa's style was squarely in the tradition of early American R&B sax players like King Curtis, Junior Walker and long time James Brown saxophonist, Maceo Parker. Saxa's distinctive touch was processing his saxophone sound with reverb to give a mysterious other-worldly quality.
Ranking Roger was a one of the band's two lead vocalists, but he possessed a rare gift as a toaster in the dancehall style of Big Youth, U-Roy and Dillinger. Roger's raps were the equal of any of those three Jamaican dancehall pioneers. "Ranking Full Stop" Roger's signature toast only gives you a taste of his humor, creativity and verbal wordplay skills.Read more ›
I remeber hearing this on the radio (small community access station) in the early eighties and have searched for it ever since. It KICKS ! Oh and BTW, with their blending of many musical styles and Saxa, the Beat always ruled. Although a very good ska band, Madness wasn't even in the same league !
Unfortunately short-lived (they released just three albums), they are a band whose influence and reputation far outweigh their output. And despite the short career, so chock-full were those albums of ripe, honking ska that compiling a best of must have been work.
This collection's fifteen tracks are just about perfect. Only the hardest-core fan would find a serious omission here. If there are any complaints, it's that the expanded capacity of a CD wasn't used to present the cassette-edition of 'What Is Beat?', the band's original U.S. best of collection (released in 1983) which featured remixes, singles and a couple of live tracks.
But to hear "Doors Of Your Heart", "Save It For Later" (a genuine 80's greatest hit you won't see on any late-night TV compilation), "Twist And Crawl", "Ranking Full Stop", "Stand Down Margaret" and "Mirror In The Bathroom" fill a room and move feet again is joy.
The English Beat's propulsive, nimble ska is uplifting, invigorating and sorely missed.
Find yourself a copy of this album. It's a great party CD, and I used to listen to it near-religiously. Great music. The Beat were a more authentic Police when it came to mixing reggae and punk, thanks to their brilliant saxman Saxa: that's saying something, since the Police were also an authentic reggae band. Every song on this one's a gem, unlike on some of their studio albums: if you're a casual fan, this is all the Beat you need.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The English Beat provided some of the tastiest and most accessible ska music in the 80's. From their classic original tunes like "Save it For Later," "Mirror in the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Timothy Shaver
Great recording- thanks! I am a huge fan of this music and having a decent greatest hits is great to have.Published 10 months ago by jackie
I have been a Beat fan for years and bought this CD for the excellent track selection. Their music is timeless, and I expect to be listening to it for years to come; even if I end... Read morePublished on April 5, 2013 by breakfastchef
Granted, in any "greatest hits" compilation, there'll be a couple of tracks that don't belong there, and this album is no exception. Read morePublished on January 13, 2012 by El Aparato SuperSónico
Reason why I bought this album and reason why you should ( as an hardcore English Beat fan or beginning fan ) is the fact that you have the song "too nice to talk to " on it. Read morePublished on June 16, 2011 by George
If you loved the British ska movement of the early '80s, then you know who the Beat (or English Beat as they were called on this side of the pond) are. Read morePublished on April 4, 2011 by Brian Maitland
Sadly I never had any Beat in my collection until a few years ago. They were coming to my town and I wanted some, so. GREAT collection. Read morePublished on February 14, 2011 by H3@+h
I was introduced to the English Beat my freshman year in high school... Spring of 1981. Buying this compliation takes me back to that fun, carefree time. Read morePublished on May 6, 2010 by Gretchen Borg