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The Beat formed in Birmingham in 1978, part of the West Midlands ska revival scene that also produced The Specials and The Selecter, whilst London saw the formation of Madness and The Bodysnatchers.
Their first single was an arresting version of Smokey Robinson’s Tears Of A Clown, given a completely new feel, and was backed with their own composition Ranking Full Stop.
Released in a one-off deal on Jerry Dammers’ Chrysalis-backed 2-Tone label, the single stormed into the Top 10 in December 1979, and saw the band appear twice on Top Of The Pops. Backed by Arista, the band formed their own label Go-Feet Records. The first release in February 1980 was another Top 10 hit, Hands Off... She’s Mine, and was the first of 12 chart singles for the band on Go-Feet.
The band released three albums I Just Can’t Stop It (1980), Wha’ppen (1981) and Special Beat Service (1982), which contained many tracks that demonstrated their more politicised and socially-conscious leanings. All three albums were reissued in the Summer of 2012 by Edsel Records with bonus additions.