English Beat (The) - Special Beat Service (+DVD)

Release Date: 25 June 2012
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In Britain, The (English) Beat were moving very much in the wrong direction, as their chart placements made clear. "Save It for Later" released in April 1982, barely made the Top 50, "Jeanette," their new album's taster, just brushed Number 45, "I Confess" didn't even chart, probably because it's flip "Sole Salvation" was also culled off the album, while "Ackee 1 2 3" played outside the Top 50. The slippage had started with Wha'ppen, as the group had veered sharply away from their frenetic roots, Special Beat Service would take them even further from their early punk-fired fury. Still, Wha'ppen still boasted cultural themes, its angry and angsty lyrics sharply edging the set. Service didn't even have that, and after two Top Three albums, the group were forced to settle for a placement just outside the Top Twenty.But in the US their sun was on the ascendant, and a band who had yet to place a platter into the Top 100 suddenly found itself with a Top Forty hit album. The singles that barely scratched the charts in the UK found happy homes in the clubs, slotting nicely around the mix of New Wave and burgeoning New Romantic numbers American clubbers craved.And so "I Confess" with its Joe Jackson-esque piano line, Dave Wakeling's sweet vocals soaring towards heaven, the jazzy sax, all cossetting the insistent drums and bouncing tablas; the fast and furious "Jeanette" with its French street flair and ever more surreal rhymes; "Save It"'s superb blend of jangly Byrd- esque guitars and stomping beats; "Salvation"'s nod to mod that hints at The Jam's "Beat Surrender" which arrived the same month; and the calypso party atmosphere of "Ackee," all set listeners feet tapping.These were the ones that hit with the DJs, but the whole set was equally worthy, and moves onto the dancefloor with abandon. Producer Bob Sargeant gives it all a bright and brash sound, which may not have favored more reggae-heavy numbers like "Spar Wid Me" and "Pato and Roger a Go Talk," but The Beat were diving into the New Wave with gusto, and the production emphasizes those currents. Songs like "Sugar & Stress" where the sax storms across the driving rhythm, whilst still retaining the Brit-Beat flavor of the guitars and keyboards were a revelation. Even a more downbeat number like the gorgeous "End of the Party" glows under his attentions.In it's own way Service was just as musically adventurous as its predecessor, and boded well for the group's future. Or would have if The Beat hadn't celebrated their success by promptly calling it a day. The music however lives on in all its glory. ~ Jo-Ann Greene
Release Date: 25 June 2012

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 and Stress
11. End of the Party
12. Ackee 1-2-3
13. What's Your Best Thing (Bonus Track)
14. Save is For Later (Extended Version Bonus Track)
15. What's Your Best Thing (Dub Style Bonus Track)
16. Cool Entertainer (Bonus Track)
17. A Go Talk (Tappy Luppy Dub Bonus Track)
18. Cool Entertainer (Extended Version Bonus Track)
19. March of the Swivel Heads (Bonus Track)
20. Jeanette (Extended Version)
21. March of the Swivel Heads (Extended Version)
22. I Confess (Dave Allen Remix)
23. It Makes Me Rock
24. Doors of Your Heart Live at Hammersmith Palais]
25. I Confess (Live at Hammersmith Palais)
26. Spar Wid Me (Live at Hammersmith Palais)
27. Save It For Later (Live at Hammersmith Palais)
28. Mirror in the Bathroom (Live at Hammersmith Palais)
29. Can't Get Used To Losing You (1983 Remix)
30. Ackee 1-2-3 (‘Jellybean’ Benitez Nike Mix)
31. Can't Get Used To Losing You (Extended 1983 Remix)
32. I Confess (United States of America Remix)
33. Spar Wid Me (John Peel BBC Sessions, 1982)
34. She’s Going (John Peel BBC Sessions, 1982)
35. Save It For Later (John Peel BBC Sessions, 1982)
36. Sole Salvation (John Peel BBC Sessions, 1982)
37. Pato and Roger a Go Talk (John Peel BBC Sessions, 1982)
38. End of the Party (John Peel BBC Sessions, 1982)
39. Night and Day (David Jensen Show, 1982)
40. Save It For Later (Video)
41. I Confess (Video)
42. Can't Get Used To Losing You (BBC Top of the Pops, 1983)
43. Can't Get Used To Losing You (BBC Top of the Pops, 1983)
44. Save it For Later (OTT, 1982)
45. Stand Down Margaret (OTT, 1982)
46. Save it For Later (Live Gateshead International Stadium, 1982)
47. Mirror in the Bathroom (Live Gateshead International Stadium, 1982)
48. Too Nice To Talk To (Live Gateshead International Stadium, 1982)
49. Jools Holland Interview with Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger


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Catalogue No: EDSG8018