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.

2 comments:

zahki said...

Ever tellya bout the time me dad took me to see em when they came to the states? OFF THE HOOK. oh and there was this opening band called the bangs that looked just like the EB logo girl snappin her fingers. Yup, and a couple years later that same band added a few letters on to their name and had a top 40 hit with the subject matter of egyptians. Going camping with the fam, smoking golf ball buds, eating bacon, and listening to mirror in the bathrooom driving in our van are some good memories. These daze I'll take tempeh strips though HA!

b3A7n1k said...

zahki,

A guy I work with has a bootlegged copy of English Beat performing on VIDEO. He says the copy's not so great but it's good fun to watch.

He also managed to score a copy of Dance Craze, which I've never even seen before.

I'm sure you've heard the soundtrack, so you can probably imagine...

I'll let you know when I get my hands on it!