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Beat This: The Best of English Beat Enhanced

4.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

English Beat, Beat This: The Best of the English Beat

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Mirror In The Bathroom
  2. Best Friend
  3. Hands Off She's Mine
  4. Too Nice To Talk To
  5. Doors Of Your Heart
  6. I Confess
  7. Twist And Crawl
  8. Rankin Full Stop
  9. Drowning
  10. Save It For Later
  11. Sole Salvation
  12. Click Click
  13. Tears Of A Clown
  14. Can't Get Used To Losing You
  15. Stand Down Margaret


Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 11, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 2001
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B00005NOZD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,040 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Finefrock VINE VOICE on September 17, 2002
Format: Audio CD
In the second coming of ska (c. 1979-1983) the English Beat ruled supreme. The Beat used ska as a foundation on which they used R&B, punk, rock, dub and Afro-beat as material to build three superb albums and a handfull of singles. This collection does a marvelous job of distilling their all too short career highlghts into one disk. Dancable to the extreme, thought-provoking at several levels, and thoroughly enjoyable, this is an excellent addition to any CD collection.
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Format: Audio CD
I was an American who was living in London when the whole Two-Tone ska revival phenomenon broke and I returned to America in late 1979 to find all of these great Brit bands to be under the radar, or not even distributed in America.

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.
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Format: Audio CD
Prior reviews of this collection have missed an important detail. The Stand Down Margaret (track 15) included here IS NOT the Whine & Grine / Stand Down Margaret from the Beat's first album "I Just Can't Stop". It is the rare dub version that I believe was only previously availble in the U.S. as a 12" 45rpm import.
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 !
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Format: Audio CD
The English Beat were such an influential band in the early 80's. Their combination of ska and pop couldn't be beat. This compilation includes some of their most well known tracks including "Mirror In The Bathroom," the mellow "I Confess," and and "Save It For Later." Along with Haircut 100's "Pelican West," this is one of my favorite 80's related CD's. If you liked General Public, Madness or early music by The Police you should check out The English Beat.
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Format: Audio CD
This wonderful English band (known there as The Beat--the 'English' was added because a forgettable new wave band had already registered the name in the U.S.) was a supple blend of ska, reggae and pop.

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.
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Format: Audio CD
Kinda funny what happened to the Beat (known as the "English Beat" here in America, though I find that name clunky): their debut, I Just Can't Stop It, was an excellent album with their biggest hit (Mirror in the Bathroom), and assorted other goodies, most of them found here (Best Friend; Hands Off She's Mine; Twist and Crawl; Click Click; Whine and Grind/Stand Down Margaret; Can't Get Used to Losing You; Tears of a Clown, though Two Swords is missed). Then they crashed: Record #2, Wha'ppen? had a few gems (Too Nice to Talk to; Doors of Your Heart; Drowning, featured here: Get a Job and Dreamhouse in NZ are both sadly MIA), but it was uneven and felt like a holding pattern. By album #3 (Special Beat Service), they had all but lost it, going from a premeire punk-ska act to an Adult Contemporary act with a slight Jamaican feel. They managed to wring three good songs out of that mess: I Confess; Sole Salvation and Save it for Later. Wisely, they put those songs here.

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.
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