PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 February, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 27 February, 2005, 12:00am

The Beat

I Just Can't Stop It

(Go Feet)

As one of the bands at the forefront of the British ska revival, which exploded at the end of the 1970s, The Beat's debut album is a classic cut from the era. Ska, by the way, is speeded-up reggae, often with a bit of rock'n'roll thrown into the mix.

The original release came a year after the band's inaugural smash singles, the stomping Rankin' Full Stop and a masterfully skanked-up take on Smokey Robinson's soul ballad Tears of a Clown. They're both there, though, on the 1999 re-mastered release.

What was there was one catchy tune after another. The two opening tracks - Mirror in the Bathroom, a fast-paced socially discontented number, and Hands Off She's Mine, a frantic tale of jealousy - were era-defining singles. The former features one of the band's finest horn solos from Saxa, the band's fiftysomething - you've guessed it - saxophonist.

Most of the album from the six-piece band moves along at a pace that keeps feet moving on the dance floor (hence the signing by Go Feet Records, no doubt). A notable exception is lead singer Dave Wakeling's sensitively rendered version of Andy Williams' Can't Get Used to Losing You, which provided many an 80s 'rude boy' the opportunity to ask a 'rude girl' for a slow dance.

As a footnote, if you see an album of the same name by The English Beat, it's a US release. Like Suede, who have to be called The London Suede in the US, The Beat were beaten to their name.