Friday, April 13, 2012
English Beat To Release Career-Spaning Five-disc Box Set This July
Rolling Stone magazine is reporting that The English Beat will finally release a career-spanning five-disc box set to be titled The English Beat: The Complete Beat on July 10th. The set contains previously unreleased extras, including a rare version of "Save It for Later" the band recorded for a Peel Session as well as the magnificent "Which Side of the Bed," (which is one of my favorite songs by the band and one that guitarist Dave Wakeling calls an "ironic celebration of the battle of the sexes." The track was only released as the B-side to the another rare song "Hit It" which was released as a single in the U.K. in 1981 and has been previously unavailable in the U.S. You can stream both versions of the songs from RollingStone.com. Watch a video of the song below:
Back in 1983, as the band was focused on breaking their 'Special Beat Service' LP in the U.S. (and were in the process of breaking up themselves), they returned to the U.K. to record a session for the Kid Jensen radio show on BBC 1. Rumor has it that the band recorded up to 4 new and never released songs during the session, including a lovely cover of Cole Porter's 'Night & Day'. As the band disintegrated and reformed as General Public and Fine Young Cannibals in 1984, the tracks recorded for those sessions were lost to the annals of time.
Though the tracks have remained elusive and hidden away, their existence has never been in doubt. In fact as far back as 1999, Dave Wakeling was quoted in a Rolling Stone story about the possible release of a greatest hits retrospective that would include rare tracks. "I'm told the labs in England had found some live tapes and maybe we'll put some of that on it," he says. "Somebody said there was an idea that they'd found a couple of tracks on the master reels that we'd never finished. Ah, 'contains previously released tracks.' It's probably because they were s---." Here's to hoping that some, if not all of these songs, end up in this box set!