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The Complete Beat Box set

4.9 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, July 10, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Shout! Factory is proud to reissue the entire catalog of the great British ska/new wave band, The English Beat. First up is the band's first-ever box set, the 5-CD The Complete Beat, which contains every commercially released song from their heyday, plus rare 12" and dub versions, non-album singles, live sessions and more. Shout! Also available is the a new single-disc compilation titled Keep The Beat: The Very Best Of The English Beat.

The band formed in Birgmingham, England in 1978, inspired by the reggae, soul, pop, and punk sounds percolating all around them. They briefly hooked up with the legendary ska label 2-Tone, before releasing three landmark albums that saw them move beyond ska and into world beat, classic pop, and beyond. After they broke up, ex-members continued to have hits in General Public and Fine Young Cannibals.

Review

"Shout! Factory's The Complete Beat is the kind of deluxe set that fans would dream about but never expect to happen: a five-disc set containing expanded remastered versions of all three of the group's albums, plus two discs of Bonus Beat -- a CD of 12" mixes and dubs, a disc of Peel Sessions and four cuts live from a November 1982 gig in Boston." AllMusic June 2012 --AllMusic June 2012

"their recordings retain a visceral force that makes The Complete Beat something more than a dream come true for fans: it is a convincing argument for their greatness." --AllMusic June 2012

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Mirror In The Bathroom
  2. Hands Off . . . She's Mine
  3. Two Swords
  4. Twist & Crawl
  5. Tears Of A Clown
  6. Rough Rider
  7. Click Click
  8. Ranking Full Stop
  9. Big Shot
  10. Whine & Grine/Stand Down Margaret
  11. Noise In This World
  12. Can t Get Used To Losing You
  13. Best Friend
  14. Jackpot

Disc: 2

  1. Too Nice To Talk To
  2. Doors Of Your Heart
  3. All Out To Get You
  4. Monkey Murders
  5. I Am Your Flag
  6. French Toast (Soleil Trop Chaud)
  7. Drowning
  8. Dream Home In NZ
  9. Walk Away
  10. Over And Over
  11. Cheated
  12. Get-A-Job
  13. The Limits We Set
  14. Psychedelic Rockers
  15. Hit It
  16. Which Side Of The Bed?

Disc: 3

  1. I Confess
  2. Jeanette
  3. Sorry
  4. Sole Salvation
  5. Spar Wid Me
  6. Rotating Head
  7. Save It For Later
  8. She's Going
  9. Pato And Roger A Go Talk
  10. Sugar & Stress
  11. End Of The Party
  12. Ackee 1 2 3
  13. What's Your Best Thing
  14. March Of The Swivel Heads
  15. Cool Entertainer
  16. A Go Talk (Tappy Luppy Dub)

Disc: 4

  1. Hands Off . . . She's Mine (Extended)
  2. Twist & Crawl (Extended)
  3. Stand Down Margaret (Dub)
  4. Too Nice To Talk To (Dubweiser)
  5. Psychedelic Rockers (Dubweiser)
  6. Doors Of Your Heart (Extended)
  7. Drowning (Dub)
  8. Hit It (Extended)
  9. Which Side Of The Bed? (Extended)
  10. Save It For Later (Extended)
  11. What's Your Best Thing (Dub)
  12. Cool Entertainer (Extended)
  13. Jeanette (Extended)
  14. March Of The Swivel Heads (Extended)

Disc: 5

  1. Tears Of A Clown
  2. Ranking Full Stop
  3. Click Click
  4. Mirror In The Bathroom
  5. Big Shot Peel Session September 22, 1980
  6. Too Nice To Talk To
  7. Psychedelic Rockers
  8. Monkey Murders
  9. Walk Away Peel Session March 29, 1982
  10. Spar Wid Me
  11. End Of The Party
  12. She's Going
  13. Save It For Later
  14. Sole Salvation
  15. Pato And Roger A Go Talk Opera House, Boston November 19, 1982
  16. Best Friend
  17. Tears Of A Clown
  18. Twist & Crawl
  19. Get-A-Job/Stand Down Margaret


Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 10, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Shout Factory
  • ASIN: B007V6ON1S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,282 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Whoever claimed that time marches on was dead wrong. It's just rolled back to 1981 - the year this band became a life-changing event. As a college freshman, while I was speaking to a fellow alumnus, I heard this noise come through the intercom by the campus radio station which flummoxed and mesmerized me. The sounds of intense drumming, throbbing bass, spacey-sounding sax and the toasting of second lead singer, Ranking Roger, transported me. I was all but lost to that student conversation for I was locking into what was none other than "Doors of Your Heart". This is when, where, how and why my relationship to the English Beat and to college radio had begun. And, with this new box set, it's reawakened my interest. The improvements made in the audio quality of their original three records is also a contributing factor.

Disc 1 - With the adrenaline drive of their debut album, "I Just Can't Stop It", there's no need to wait for the coffee to take hold. No band has come so close in fusing ska, reggae and punk with such inspired freshness. "Best Friend", with its standout melody, chronicles isolation as accurately as any song ever has. The politics in "Whine & Grine/Stand Down Margaret" are so rousing that they've escaped the Thatcher era and have continued relevance to this day. They outdo Andy Williams' "Can't Get Used To Losing You" by giving the song the moodiness and desperation it requires.

Disc 2 - Their brilliant followup, "Wha'ppen?", still assimilates some of the reggae and punk rhythms but weaves more World Music textures and mid-tempo numbers. It's their bleakest record. They speak of broken relationships in "Walk Away", paranoia in "All Out To Get You" and torment in "Drowning", in which a profit-driven tycoon loses his wealth and gets even with himself by suicide.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For those new to the joys of The English Beat (or The Beat, as they were known as in their native England) this 5 CD set may be too much to digest at once, and the concurrently-released Keep The Beat best-of may be a better place to start.

For those already familiar with The English Beat's material, this is 5 CD's worth of pure sonic ear candy! The 3 original albums, all in very good sound (better than the '99 releases, more bass, less trebly to my ears). Wha'ppen and Special Beat Service feature bonus tracks, all worth hearing, and I Just Can't Stop It is restored to the playing order those of us here in the States are familiar with, with Ranking Full Stop and Tears Of A Clown again included (they were not on the original UK issue, nor the '99 reissue)

The "bonus" 2 CD set features 1 disc of dubs, remixes, and extended cuts encompassing the bands whole original career, it makes for a very good listen. Disc 2 is mostly UK Peel Sessions, which sound more like alternate mixes or demos w/ out the audience ambiance coming through, but it is interesting to hear songs from their 3 albums done live, often in early versions with subtle and some not-so-subtle variances from the album versions. This disc rounds out with a bit from a live show from Boston in '82, and it absolutely smokes. It is just a small hint at what this band could actually do live. (one track, the Get A Job/Stand Down Margaret medley was already released on the '83 posthumous collection What Is Beat?) I wish more live stuff was included in this set; the recently-released UK reissues are 2 CD/1 DVD versions of the original 3 albums, all with a good amount of live music as bonus tracks, and, although a pricier, may make more sense as a purchase for some listeners.
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Format: Audio CD
The three albums The English Beat made during their short time together during the 1980's receive the deluxe treatment from Shout! Factory with nice sounding remasters by Phil Kincade.

Before anyone asks, I have not compared this to the UK reissues on the Demon/Edsel label and, yes, I know they have more tracks. This was less expensive for me and an excetional set.

Each album has bonus tracks for this set, booklets with lyrics as well as a fourth two CD set with 15 performances from the Peel Sessions, four from a show at the Opera House in Boston and 15 remixes/extended versions of various songs.

There are also two tracks on the first album that weren't on the original UK album, 3 from the second album and four for the third.

There's an excellent booklet included focusing on the history of the band and each CD has a booklet with lyrics for each album.

Track listing:

The English Beat - The Complete Beat 5-CD Set Track Listing
Disc 1:
I Just Can't Stop It (1980)
1. Mirror In The Bathroom
2. Hands Off . . . She's Mine
3. Two Swords
4. Twist & Crawl
5. Tears Of A Clown*
6. Rough Rider
7. Click Click
8. Ranking Full Stop*
9. Big Shot
10. Whine & Grine/Stand Down Margaret
11. Noise In This World
12. Can't Get Used To Losing You
13. Best Friend
14. Jackpot

Disc 2: Wha'ppen? (1981)
1. Too Nice To Talk To*
2. Doors Of Your Heart
3. All Out To Get You
4. Monkey Murders
5. I Am Your Flag
6. French Toast (Soleil Trop Chaud)
7. Drowning
8. Dream Home In NZ
9. Walk Away
10. Over And Over
11. Cheated
12. Get-A-Job
13. The Limits We Set
14. Psychedelic Rockers**
15. Hit It**
16.
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