The Beat

Dave Wakeling Vocals, Guitar
Ranking Roger Vocals
Andy Cox Guitar
David Steele Bass
Everett Morton Drums
Saxa Sax
and later including
Wesley Magoogan     Sax
Blockhead Keyboards

Formed in Birmingham, England, in 1978, The Beat were fronted by the dual vocal attack of Wakeling and Toaster Ranking Roger, who joined the group after he jumped onstage at a 1979 Beat gig opened by his punk band. Signed to 2 Tone for a one off single, their cover of Smokey Robinson's "Tears of a Clown" was a top 20 UK hit in late 1979. They were joined on that recording by then-50-year-old saxophonist Saxa, who had played with The Beatles and with such ska stars as Prince Buster and Desmond Dekker.

In 1980, the band formed their own label, Go-Feet via Arista, in a deal mimicking 2 Tone's with Chrysalis, and released a pair of hit singles, "Hands Off ... She's Mine" and "Mirror in the Bathroom" . They followed up with a debut album, I Just Can't Stop It. Later releases included 1981's reggae-influenced Wha'ppen and 1982's Special Beat Service, which included the hits "Save It for Later" and "I Confess."

Shortly after the latter album's release, Saxa decided to stop touring, and the group eventually split, with Wakeling and Ranking Roger forming the new wave act General Public and Cox and Steele joining singer Roland Gift in the pop group Fine Young Cannibals.

(A more in-depth article will be included shortly)