Reason #397 Why The ’80’s Didn’t Suck: Special Beat Service
Special Beat Service is the (English) Beat’s big, shiny POP album, one of the best albums of the decade and, sadly, their swan song. From what I understand the Beat were pretty huge in England after the success of their classic debut (I Just Can’t Stop It!), but lost momentum with the more introspective, political and reggae influenced Wha’ppen? By the time they released Special Beat Service the public, in England, had stopped caring. Then the States latched on to the singles I Confess and Save It For Later, but it was too late; the band had already decided to call it a day.
Their legacy only got greater, in my opinion, and I was thrilled that The Beat finally got the big remastered and packed with bonus cuts box-set that they so deserved. Special Beat Service had little of the trademark punk/ska that made up so much of their debut, but it had better songs overall, I think. Rotating Head was used in Ferris Beuller’s Day Off (when he’s trying to beat his bitchy sister home at the end of the movie, remember?), the band splintered into the Fine Young Cannibals and General Public soon thereafter. Neither of which came close to matching the brilliance of the Beat.