Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Carving A Distinct Sound
Formed in Birmingham in 1978, The Beat took the English ska scene by storm. As popularity increased, they changed their name to The English Beat to avoid confusion with another American band. The alternating vocals by Ranking Roger and Dave Wakeling, supported by a tight band and a sax player who had played with Prince Buster and Desmond Dekker provided not only street-cred but also provided a solid foundation for musical growth and change.
The band was discovered by 2-Tone Records while playing support for The Selecter (another incredible ska band of the same era) and were quickly signed. As their presence in the ska circuit became more pronounced, they found themselves more politically inclined and performed benefits for many causes that were in need of fundraising and this stance began to show in their creative process.
This LP was their debut album originally released on their own label Go-Feet (disributed by Arista). It wasn't until later that the album was distributed through Sire Records proper. The album compiled several of their singles (re-recorded) and was considered to be a smash hit under the musical radar.