Monday, 4 June 2018

The Beat - You Just Can't Beat It

Ranking full stop....


A fantastic double CD of this late 70s/early 80s "Two Tone/Ska Revival" band.

They produced three albums, the first two  I Just Can't Stop It and Wha'ppen were excellent, while the third, Special Beat Service was a bit patchy and then the band members went their separate ways. While their star was high, though, they were great, my favourite of the Two Tone bands, ahead of The Specials (most people's favourites).

The band was a six piece, headed by guitarist/vocalist Dave Wakeling and vocalist Ranking Roger. They were also notable for having a fifty-plus veteran on saxophone in the charismatic "Saxa"All the tracks from I Just Can't Stop It are here, and all from Wha'ppen except for I Am Your Flag and The Limits We Set, which I managed to download from their original albums.

Highlights are the run of classic singles - The Tears Of A Clown, Ranking Full Stop, Mirror In The Bathroom, Hands Off She's Mine, Best Friend, Too Nice To Talk To and All Out To Get You and the anti-Thatcher anthem Stand Down Margaret, the ska cover Jackpot and the Andy Williams cover Can't Get Used To Losing You. A personal favourite of mine is the lovely Walk Away.

Great stuff. Great memories. Saw them live a couple of times in 1981-82. They really had something then.