English Beat Page Header

ENGLISH BEAT BIOGRAPHY

The English Beat was known as The Beat everywhere in the world except the U.S. But since this is an American site, we'll go with The English Beat. The reason for the confusion? In the United States there was already a band called The Beat, who ironically, by their last album, called themselves Paul Collins' Beat (to avoid the same confusion) after leader Paul Collins (formerly of The Nerves). A similar curse befell Squeeze at the time of their U.S. debut. But nevermind that... Let's get on with The (English) Beat...

The English Beat, along with The Specials, The Selecter and, to a lesser extent, Madness, was one of the most important and influential ska revivalist or "two-tone" groups of the 1980s. Formed in U.K.'s Birmingham in 1978, The English Beat filled an interesting niche in the genre thru the use of alternating lead vocals by guitarist Dave Wakeling and toaster Ranking Roger, an essential element of the true "two-tone" sound.

English Beat
English Beat, perhaps the band most identified with the "two-tone" or ska movement in 1980s UK.

The band consisted of frontmen Wakeling and Roger as well as Andy Cox on guitar, Dave Steel on bass, and Everett Moreton on drums. Their unique soound was rounded out by Saxa, a fifty-year-old saxaphonist whose professional band experience experience dated to well before the birth of his bandmates! Their fresh and innovative sound landed them a gig opening for "two-tone" compadres The Selector and a signing to the 2-Tone label.

Their first hit was a cover of Smokey Robinson's "Tears Of A Clown." In 1980 they formed their own label, Go-Feet, distributed by Arista in the U.K. and a U.S. Deal with Sire Records, which was fast becoming the "new wave" arm of ditributor Warner Brothers Records. More singles hit the U.K. charts, like " Mirror In The Bathroom" and "Stand Down Margaret" with it's vehement anti-Thatcher bent. The debut LP I JUST CAN'T STOP IT carried both original tunes and catchy cover versions of pop and ska material like "Can't Get Used To Losing You". With their second LP W'HAPPEN? their sound was much more "ska" oriented. And with that LP they added keyboardist Dave Blockhead, as a guest musician. W'HAPPEN failed to generate the same chart success as its predecessor and in the U.S. neither LP made any significant imapct beyond the college markets. The English Beat started looking for a new direction.

In 1982, Go-Feet signed a U.S. deal with I.R.S. Records in the hope that the successful "new wave" label's success with acts like The Go-Go's and R.E.M. would rub off and give the band the hit status it so very much craved and deserved. Part of the deal included U.S. re-release of the first two LPs on I.R.S. It was at this time that the grueling touring became too much for the ailing Saxa to endure. Though he still was a member during recording, Saxaphone duties were picked up, in studio and on the road by Wesley Magoogan, an accomplished studio musician (Hazel O'Connor, Joan Armatrading and Maggie Ryder) who added trumpet and woodwind effects to their sound. And Dave Blockhead became a full time member, bringing the former sextet up in size to an octet in the studio and a septet on the road.

Thier debut release on I.R.S. was SPECIAL BEAT SERVICE in 1982. Thanks in part to heavy airplay of two videos for "Save It For Later" and "I Confess" on MTV, The English Beat achieved moderate success in the U.S. But after their 1982 U.S. tour the band decided to call it quits -- perhaps a premature decision, given their sudden acceptance on both sides of the Atlantic.

Wakeling and Roger went on to form General Public while Cox and Steel formed Fine Young Cannibals with vocalist Roland Gift. All members continue to work in music and there have been several partial reunions of the band or its spinoffs in some capacity fairly often in the twenty years since their demise. The most notable of these was a hybrid band consisting of various members of both The English Beat and The Specials called, logically, Special Beat. And there were solo efforts by Dave Wakeling, Ranking Roger, toaster Pato Banton, and FYC minus Roland Gift as Two Men, A Drum Machine and a Trumpet.




ENGLISH BEAT I.R.S. DISCOGRAPHY

This discography will cover only ENGLISH BEAT's recordings for I.R.S. Records. Recordings for other labels, other recordings, solo recordings and guest appearances, may be mentioned in the biography or discography, but details can be found by visiting some of the cool links for ENGLISH BEAT, below...

Albums & EPs

Special Beat Service Cover SPECIAL BEAT SERVICE
IRS SP 70032 (Released 21 September 1982)

Vinyl, Cassette and CD.
(Reissued as 75069 in 1987)

Produced by Bob Sargeant (except Cut #9: Mike Hedges & Ranking Roger)
Engineered by Trevor Hallesy & Mark Dearnley
Supervised by Nick Rogers
Mended by Brian Gaylor
Cutting Engineer Ian Cooper
Recorded & mixed at Roundhouse Studios, London
Art Direction by Martyn Atkins of T&CP
Photography by Bruce Fleming
Beat Management by Don Farquall & Warren E. Diott

Musicians:
Dave Wakeling vocals & guitar
Ranking Roger toasting, vocals & percussion
David Steele banjo & bass
Andy Cox guitar & mandolin
Everett Morton drums
Dave Blockhead keyboards & piano
Saxa saxaphone
Wesley Magoogan saxaphone, clarinet, lyricon, sax FX unit
Additional Musicians:
Steve Sidwell & Dave Lord trumpets
Jack Emblow accordian
M. Mishra tambla
Mark Fox percussion
Bob Sargeant telephone & marimba
Vince Sullivan trombone
Pato Banton toasting

Track Listing:

  1. I Confess (English Beat) 4:35
  2. Jeanette (English Beat) 2:49
  3. Sorry (English Beat) 2:44
  4. Sole Salvation (English Beat) 3:24
  5. Spar Wid Me (English Beat) 5:17
  6. Rotating Head (English Beat) 3:25
  7. Save It For Later (English Beat) 3:37
  8. She's Going (English Beat) 2:10
  9. Pato And Roger Ago Talk (English Beat) 3:26
  10. Sugar And Stress (English Beat) 2:54
  11. End Of The Party (English Beat) 3:30
  12. Ackee 1 2 3 (English Beat) 3:10

Review Coming Soon!


I Just Can't Stop It Cover I JUST CAN'T STOP IT
IRS SP 70606 (Released 15 November 1982)

Vinyl & Cassette.
(Previously released on Sire Records in 1980)


Produced by Bob Sargeant
Engineered by Tevor Hallesy, Mark Dearnley and Nick Rogers
Assisted by Mike & Alvin
Thanks To John Peel, The Specials, Selecter and A/W Hunt Emerson

Musicians:
Dave Wakeling vocals & guitar
Ranking Roger toasting, vocals & percussion
David Steele bass
Andy Cox guitar
Everett Morton drums
Saxa saxaphone

Track Listing:

  1. Mirror In The Bathroom (English Beat) 3:07
  2. Hands Off... She's Mine (English Beat) 2:59
  3. Two Swords (English Beat) 2:18
  4. Twist & Crawl(English Beat) 2:33
  5. Tears Of A Clown (Cosby/Robinson/Wonder) 2:39
  6. Rough Rider (Prince Buster) 4:52
  7. Click Click (English Beat) 1:27
  8. Ranking Full Stop (English Beat) 2:44
  9. Big Shot (Enlish Beat) 2:32
  10. Whine & Grind/Stand Down Margaret (English Beat) 3:49
  11. Noise In This World (English Beat) 2:16
  12. Can't Get Used To Losing You (Pomus/Shuman) 3:05
  13. Best Friend (English Beat) 3:02
  14. Jackpot (Asgard/Crooks/Robinson/English Beat) 4:19

Review Coming Soon!


W'Happen? Cover W'HAPPEN?
IRS SP 70607 (Released 15 November 1982)

Vinyl & Cassette
(Previously released on Sire Records in 1981)
(Reissued as 75070 in 1987 on CD)


Produced by Bob Sargeant
Engineered by Mark Dearnley
Assisted by Nick Rogers
Mended by Brian Gaylor
Cutting Engineer Ian Cooper
Recorded & mixed at Roundhouse Studios, London
Sleeve Design by Hunt Emerson & English Beat
Mastered for US Release by Frank DeLuna at A&M

Musicians:
Dave Wakeling vocals & guitar
Ranking Roger toasting, vocals & percussion
David Steele bass
Andy Cox guitar
Everett Morton drums
Saxa saxaphone
Additional Musicians:
Dave Blockhead keyboards
Saltin trumpet
Dick steel drum
Bob Sargeant marimba
Cedric Myton extra vocals on cut #1

Track Listing:

  1. Doors Of Your Heart (English Beat/Osborne) 3:45
  2. All Out To Get You (English Beat) 2:44
  3. Monkey Murders (English Beat) 3:10
  4. I Am Your Flag (English Beat) 2:53
  5. French Toast (Soleil Trop Chaud) (Jefferson) 3:31
  6. Drowning (English Beat) 3:53
  7. Dream Home In New Zealand (English Beat) 3:12
  8. Walk Away (English Beat) 3:10
  9. Over And Over (English Beat) 2:39
  10. Cheated (English Beat) 3:27
  11. Get A Job (English Beat) 3:10
  12. The Limits We Set (English Beat) 4:15

Review Coming Soon!


What Is Beat? Cover WHAT IS BEAT?
IRS SP 70040 (Released 15 November 1983)

Vinyl, Cassette and CD.


Produced by Bob Sargeant
Cut 7 Produced by English Beat & Mike Hedges
Cut 12 Produced by English Beat & David Peters
Engineered by Trevor Hallesy & Mark Dearnley
Cut 10 remixed by John "Jellybean" Benitez
Cut 12 recorded live atthe Boston Opera House, 19 November 1982
Project Coordination by John Guarnieri
Cutting Engineer Ian Cooper
Design by Timothy Eames
Art Direction by Carl Grasso
Photography by Aaron Rapoport

Musicians:
Dave Wakeling vocals & guitar
Ranking Roger toasting, vocals & percussion
David Steele banjo & bass
Andy Cox guitar & mandolin
Everett Morton drums
Dave Blockhead keyboards & piano
Saxa saxaphone
Wesley Magoogan saxaphone, clarinet, lyricon, sax FX unit

Track Listing:

  1. Mirror In The Bathroom (English Beat) 3:07
  2. Twist & Crawl(English Beat) 2:33
  3. Tears Of A Clown (Cosby/Robinson/Wonder) 2:39
  4. Can't Get Used To Losing You (special remix) (Pomus/Shuman) 3:23
  5. Doors Of Your Heart (English Beat/Osborne) 3:45
  6. What's Your Best Thing? (Composer) 3:47
  7. Hit It (English Beat) 3:00
  8. Save It For Later (12" mix) (English Beat) 4:54
  9. Best Friend (English Beat) 3:02
  10. I Confess (12" mix) (English Beat) 5:45
  11. Too Nice To Talk To (English Beat) 3:05
  12. Get A Job/Stand Down Margaret (live) (English Beat) 6:40
    Bonus Cuts on Cassette:
  13. Which Side Of The Bed?
  14. Psychedelic Rockers
  15. Ranking Full Stop
  16. Mirror In The Bathroom (live)

Review Coming Soon!


31012 ENGLISH BEAT CD3
A&M/IRS CC31012 (Released Apr 1988)

CD3
Produced by Bob Sargeant
Cut 3 Produced by English Beat & David Peters
Cut 3 recorded live atthe Boston Opera House, 19 November 1982
Compiled by John Guarnieri
Photography by Aaron Rapoport

Musicians:
Dave Wakeling vocals & guitar
Ranking Roger toasting, vocals & percussion
David Steele banjo & bass
Andy Cox guitar & mandolin
Everett Morton drums
Dave Blockhead keyboards & piano
Saxa saxaphone
Wesley Magoogan saxaphone, clarinet, lyricon, sax FX unit

  1. Save It For Later (English Beat) 3:35
  2. Doors Of Your Heart (12" Mix) (English Beat/Osborne) 5:49
  3. Best Friend (Live) (English Beat) 2:59

By the late 1980's many labels were experimenting with making the music even MORE portable than the five inch Compact disc. Solution? a three inch disc! With three songs! This one featured The English Beat's first US hit, "Save It For Later", a 12" remix of "Doors Of Your Heart" and a live version of "Best Friend".


31016 ENGLISH BEAT CD3
A&M/IRS CC31016 (Released Jan 1989)

CD3
Produced by Bob Sargeant
Cuts 2 & 3 Produced by English Beat & David Peters
Cuts 2 & 3 recorded live at the Boston Opera House, 19 November 1982
Compiled by John Guarnieri
Photography by Aaron Rapoport

Musicians:
Dave Wakeling vocals & guitar
Ranking Roger toasting, vocals & percussion
David Steele banjo & bass
Andy Cox guitar & mandolin
Everett Morton drums
Dave Blockhead keyboards & piano
Saxa saxaphone
Wesley Magoogan saxaphone, clarinet, lyricon, sax FX unit

  1. I Confess (English Beat) 3:32
  2. Tears Of A Clown (Live) (Cosby/Robinson/Wonder) 3:33
  3. Twist & Crawl (Live) (Englsih Beat) 2:44

The second CD3 by The Englsih Beat. This one featured other US hit, "I Confess", and two more live tracks from their November 1982 appearance at the Boston Opera House.


Singles

IR #### "A-Side Tune"/"B-Side Tune"
IRS IR 9909 (Released DATE)

Produced by Name Name




Review Coming Soon!


SP 70964 "Save It For Later"/"Sole Salvation"
IRS SP 70964 (Released 1982)

Produced by Bob Sargeant





Review Coming Soon!



IR 9913 "I Confess"/"March Of The Swivelheads (Rotating Heads Remix)"
IRS IR 9913 (Released 19 January 1983)

Produced by Bob Sargeant




Review Coming Soon!


SP 70408 "I Confess"/"Jeanette"
IRS SP 70408 (Released 9 February 1983)

Produced by Bob Sargeant




Review Coming Soon!



SP 70970 "Too Nice To Talk To" & "Too Nice To Talk To (Remix)"/"Best Friend"
IRS SP 70970 (Released 1983)

Produced by Bob Sargeant





Review Coming Soon!


Compilations & Soundtracks

THE BEAT GOES ON (IRS-13086): features five songs by The English Beat and eight by other spinoff acts.
HEARING AIDS (I.R.S. Promotional cassette, No #) : features "I Confess" on side 1.
IT'S NOT THE SIZE THAT COUNTS (IRS-27834) includes a live version of "Tears Of A Clown"
ON THE CHARTS: IRS RECORDS 1979-1994 (IRSD-29695) includes "Save It For Later", cut 5.
THESE PEOPLE ARE NUTS! (IRS 82010) includes "Whine & Grind/Stand Down Margaret", cut 11.


ENGLISH BEAT LINKS & OTHER COOL STUFF

There are plenty of sites devoted to The (English) Beat. Here's the best of what we found:



Return To The I.R.S. CORNER HOME PAGE
Return To The I.R.S. CORNER ARTIST ROSTER
Return To A&M Era I.R.S. Discography
Discuss Artist Name in the DISCUSSION FORUM
This Page Last Updated 2 December 2002

©2002 Mr Bill's I.R.S. Corner. All rights reserved.
Copying or reproduction prohibited without prior written consent.
Trademarked and copyrighted materials above are the property of their respective owners.