There were two bands named The Beat, both active at the same time in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Both bands mutually decided to use different names while operating different parts of the world:
2) The American power-pop band became known as Paul Collins' Beat in Europe.
1. The Beat are a band founded in Birmingham, England, in 1978. Their music fuses ska, pop, soul, reggae and punk rock.
The Beat, consisting of Dave Wakeling (vocals, guitar), Ranking Roger (vocals), Andy Cox (guitar), David Steele (bass), Everett Morton (drums), and Saxa a.k.a. Lionel Augustus Martin (1930 – 2017) (saxophone), released three studio albums in the early 1980s: I Just Can't Stop It (1980), Wha'ppen? (1981) and Special Beat Service (1982), and a string of singles, including "Mirror in the Bathroom", "Too Nice to Talk To", "Can't Get Used to Losing You", "Hands Off, She's Mine" and "All Out to Get You".
Although the group’s main fan-base was in the UK, they were also popular in Australia thanks to regular exposure on the government-owned rock radio station Triple J and the nationally-broadcast TV pop show Countdown. They had a sizeable following in the U.S., and a strong presence on that country’s college radio.
After the break-up of The Beat, Dave Wakeling (guitar, lead vocals) and Ranking Roger (vocals) went on to form General Public, while Andy Cox (guitar) and David Steele (bass guitar) formed Fine Young Cannibals with vocalist Roland Gift.
Members of the band often collaborated on stage with The Specials and performed together on tracks such as “Free Nelson Mandela”. In the early 1990s, Roger joined members of The Specials to form the new band The Special Beat, which released two live albums.
Ranking Roger’s son, Ranking Junior, has followed in his father’s footsteps. In 2005, he appeared on The Ordinary Boys’ single “Boys Will Be Boys”. In 2003, The Beat’s original line-up, minus Cox and Steele but with the addition of Junior, played a sold-out one-off gig at the Royal Festival Hall. As of 2005, The Beat has reformed, counting Roger, Blockhead and Morton of the original line-up, with Ranking Junior also on vocals. The band is said to have the blessing of Cox, Steele and Saxa (of Desmond Dekker fame).
The Beat’s lead singer Dave Wakeling also continues to tour as The English Beat, as he has done for the last three decades, with an amazing all-star ska backing band playing the hits of The English Beat, General Public, and his new songs.
Saxa died on 3 May 2017, Ranking Roger died on 26 March 2019.
2. The Beat (known in Europe as The Paul Collins Beat or Paul Collins' Beat), were an American rock and power pop group from Los Angeles, California that formed in the late 1970s. The Beat resurfaced in the 1990s and continues to tour and record new material as Paul Collins' Beat. Frontman Paul Collins has released several projects with his alternative country group The Paul Collins Band, who play Americana music inspired by country rock and folk rock.
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