The English Beat – Or – There Are Still Surprises Out There Once In A While…

As a record collector and general fan of music, when I get into a band I know all the albums, even if I don’t own them. I pour over the Wiki and learn all the secrets and fun facts, know which albums to save for last or avoid altogether and which to get post haste.

When I got into The English Beat I learned this lesson. Having heard someone playing The English Beat album “Special Beat Service” I rushed out to the record store. They didn’t have a copy of “Special Beat Service”and I was bummed, but,  I did purchase “What Is Beat?”.

I of course loved it, but was soon to discover that this was a compilation, and that I rendered it redundant when I had bought all the original albums.

Still, year and years later I was surprised to find that there was one that I didn’t own. To be fair it was not available on vinyl, but it was an English Beat album and I needed to have it.

I ordered it on my phone. Forgive me analog lovers, but what could I do?

The English Beat – Live At The US Festival

This is a great period for the band. Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger are both featured and it was before the split of the band into their current 2 factions… The Beat and The English Beat. I didn’t buy the CD/DVD combo, but you can see the full ’83 show online

and a few live clips from the ’82 show.

So NOW I have all The English Beat albums.

I know, I know there are albums by The Beat that I don’t have. I may be picking those up too at some point, but these are albums from the UK version of The Beat fronted by Ranking Roger. They are good, but I am not driven to own them just yet.

There was still one more surprise left for me though concerning The English Beat. A release that I didn’t know about that I came across while perusing the cassettes at my local record store. I saw the Go Feet! record label icon on the spine and I couldn’t believe my eyes. At first I thought from the coloring that it was “I Just Can’t Stop It”. When I pulled it out of the rack however I was shocked to see an album I had never seen before!

Say what!? “The Beat – Live In London 1982”

If you are familiar with the split of The English Beat, then this cassette that seemed to come out of nowhere should confuse you. It has The Beat band name, but it is the full band!

What are the odds that I would come across this?

Per Discogs: Recorded live at Hammersmith Palais, London, England, 1 October 1982 and aired the BBC College Radio Show for the week of 23 January 1983 (hosted by Pete Larkin).

Yep, it’s also on YouTube.

FYI… to be clear this is NOT the same as “The Beat – Live In London” that was released in 2018 of a 2013 show fronted by Ranking Roger.

That one’s good too, but not the same as this new gem.

This tape has me considering hooking up my tape desk in the living room JUST to play it. There are some other tapes I have picked up recently (no worries, I am not going to start collecting tapes) that I wouldn’t mind hearing played on something lager than my tiny tape converter.

Until then, I can only thank the universe for sending this little musical surprise my way to be discovered.

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