Listen to this song by first-wave ska revivalists The Beat, AKA ‘The English Beat’. It’s their 1982 track “Save It For Later” as taken from their last album together, Special Beat Service. Even though it was written in the early 80s, it really could have been written yesterday.
By 1982, The Beat had garnered a following both at home in the UK, as well as in North America, the latter mainly through alternative college radio. And in terms of style, they continued with a unique strain of ska, soul, dancehall, and punk. Yet on this last record of their Special Beat Service, they were beginning to embrace straight ahead guitar-pop too. And “Save It For Later” is not only the best example of this in their own body of work, but one of the best of the genre overall.
Yet, by this point the band were running on fumes, soon to collapse completely, and to break into at least two different bands as the decade progressed – General Public, which took a lot more of a pop-rock direction, and Fine Young Cannibals who explored a Motown inspired pop and dance path. Yet, both trajectories had been established by the Beat; Northern soul, new wave, and other influences having percolated into the stew of their sound over their three-album career.
There are currently two different touring versions of the band. One led by vocalist Ranking Roger and drummer Everett Morton called and another, ‘The English Beat’ which is ironically US based, led by vocalist/guitarist Dave Wakeling. Both are startlingly good live acts, by all reports. But, this song is a testament to how great these guys were together.
For more music, check The Beat official site in the UK,