6.21.2019

Can't Stand Losing You...

The Beat AKA The English Beat, emerged during the rise of Punk & 2nd generation Ska in the U.K. during the late 70's. The Beat featured lead vocalists Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger, whose unique and infectious harmonies fronted hits like "Mirror in the Bathroom", "Save It for Later", "Too Nice To Talk To", "I Confess", and "Sole Salvation". During their meteoric rise, they toured with legendary artists David Bowie, the Clash, the Police, the Pretenders, R.E.M., Talking Heads and the Specials. Dave Wakeling recalls when Bowie ran up and said: "You're the best opening band I've ever had. Will you please come on tour to America with me?" Unfortunately, Dave Wakeling had already decided that he wanted to leave the band.


VH! valiantly tries to reunite the original members of The Beat

Personally, I was crushed when The Beat decided to break up in 1983, especially on the heels of the Specials split a year earlier [forming Fun Boy Three & the Special AKA]. I understand that creative differences and, of course, money, influence the life-span of a band, but The English Beat were at their pinnacle following the release of "Special Beat Service" in 1982. In their wake came the offspring of their demise, General Public featuring Wakeling & Ranking Roger, and Fine Young Cannibals, formed by two of the remaining members, bassist David Steele & guitarist Andy Cox, along with a new lead vocalist, Roland Gift.


Two-Tone 2.0 [One Step Beyond Ska]

This flashback fast-forwards to a full-stop with the news that Ranking Roger passed away in March after losing his battle with cancer at the age of 56. Up until his death, Ranking Roger remained active. He re-formed The Beat with original members Everett Morton (drums), and Saxa AKA Lionel Augustus Martin (saxophone). Ranking also contributed to several projects, including collaborations with Sting, Big Audio Dynamite, Dubxanne featuring music of the Police, and Easy Star All-Stars Dub reinterpretation of The Beatles "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".


Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! [Featuring Ranking Roger]

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