The Beat, I Just Can’t Stop It *****; Wha’ppen? ***; Special Beat Service ****(all Edsel) (From York Press)
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The Beat, I Just Can’t Stop It *****; Wha’ppen? ***; Special Beat Service ****(all Edsel)
THE Specials have had reissues aplenty. So have Madness, Dexys Midnight Runners, even Bad Manners. It has taken a long, long time for Brummie punky reggae counterparts The Beat to receive treatment to match the title of their third album, but these triple discs are special indeed.
Each album comes re-tooled with a bonus disc of 12-inch, dub, live or remixed versions, singles and BBC Radio One sessions plus a DVD of singles promo videos, television appearances and documentary footage. They couldn’t beat the taut dancehall punch, anti-Thatcher political clout, irresistible ska rhythms, rampant toasts of Ranking Roger and thrilling Jamaican sax of the venerable Saxa on 1980’s unstoppable I Just Can’t Stop.
Nevertheless, the dub-heavy, more psychedelic Wha’ppen sets the head spinning and the closing chapter, Special Beat Service, still leaps for joy with added Afro-pop bounce.