Thursday, November 15, 2012

Live Footage Of Special Beat Show In Japan Circa 1992

The Special Beat can be credited with helping to nudge the U.S. into its own full-blown ska delirium in the mid-1990's. Rising from the ashes of The Specials and The Beat, The Special Beat was headed by Beat toaster, Ranking Roger and the core of The Specials including Neville Staple, Lynval Golding, John Bradbury and Horace Panter as well as Finny from The Loafers. The band was built as a touring machine (rather than a band that recorded original material) and the original version of the band toured the U.S. extensively throughout 1990 and 1991 releasing two live albums. Indeed, Special Beat can be credited with helping to nudge the U.S. into its own full-blown 2-Tone delirium in the early 1990's.

While all the 2-Tone bands toured the U.S. during the height of their popularity in the late 70's and early 80's, most had split up or called it quits just as they were beginning to make inroads (read Horace Panter's book "Ska'd For Life" for some great stories of The Special's U.S. tours). But those early tours had an effect and impact by spawning legions of young musicians around the U.S. to start their own bands and scenes. Though it took the U.S. a bit longer to have its own love affair with 2-Tone and ska, by the mid to late 80's, there were ska bands and thriving ska scenes in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Chicago and Los Angeles. Ironically, members of Special Beat, who had helped to set the stage for a revival of ska in the U.S., returned as conquering heroes playing sold out shows across the country. For most, the Special Beat tour of 1990-91 was the first time many of them had heard songs by The Beat and The Specials performed live.

Below is a rare video of one of the band's show from Japan circa 1992 which was televised across the country. Its a rare treat to see the band in explosive form as they gallop through a greatest hits set list of The Specials and The Beat best. Enjoy!

1]Concrete Jungle
2]Monkey Man
3]Tears of a Clown
4]Rough Rider
5]Too Much Too Young
6]Get a Job
7]Rat Race
8]Too Nice to Talk To
9]Too Hot
10]Do Nothing
11]Nite Klub
12]Noise in This World
14]Ranking Full Stop
15]Mirror in the Bathroom
16]Enjoy Yourself
18]Save It for Later
19]You're Wondering Now

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