ARTIST: The (English) Beat
TITLE: I Just Can’t Stop It
YEAR RELEASED: 1980
CHART ACTION: #142 US, #3 UK
SINGLES: Tears of a Clown / Ranking Full Stop (#6 UK), Hands Off, She’s Mine / Twist & Crawl (#22 US Dance, #9 UK), Mirror in the Bathroom (#22 US Dance, #4 UK), Best Friend / Stand Down Margaret (#22 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Can’t Get Used to Losing You
LINEUP: Dave Wakeling, Ranking Roger, Andy Cox, David Steele, Everett Morton, Saxa
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The ultimate 2 tone album, a celebration of the musical style with pointed commentary and social discourse.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The 2 Tone movement (also known as the ska revival in the UK) came out of the stew of music in Britain during the punk movements, when punks and the reggae community found common interests and complaints.
The (English) Beat (I’m tagging them as the English Beat from now on because The Paul Collins Beat also were really just named The Beat, and I love both bands) were on the forefront of the movement, and featured a toaster (Ranking Roger), a sax man who played with Jamacian ska legends (Saxa), and a rhythm section (Andy Cox, David Steele and Everett Morton on guitar, bass, and drum) that was locked in at all times.
Every song here is a party for your ears, even if most of the lyrics are biting political and social commentary. They released many singles as double A-sides and all got airplay in the UK. It may have been too early for the US to embrace 2 Tone, but you don’t have an excuse now.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Saxa was born in 1930 and played with Prince Buster and Desmond Dekker.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: The US version has two extra tracks that weren’t on the UK vinyl version
GRADE: A+: Play this, play this often, and let it embrace and envelop you.