Steel Cage Match: The Beat VS The English Beat… Boxed Set or DLX RMs?

When it rains, it pours. I was wrapped up in the recent Rock GPA® when it came to my attention that the seminal 2nd wave ska band The Beat/English Beat were getting the DLX RM treatment. But in a stunning turn of events, the catalog was getting attention simultaneously on both sides of the big drink, and with very different results from two completely different reissue companies. Let’s see what your US dollar can buy first. As usual, bonus tracks in red.

Shout Factory | US | 6xCD + DVD | 2012

The English Beat: The Complete Beat US 6xCD + DVD [2012]

DISC 1 – I Just Can’t Stop It (1980)

  1. Mirror In The Bathroom
  2. Hands Off . . . She’s Mine
  3. Two Swords
  4. Twist & Crawl
  5. Tears Of A Clown
  6. Rough Rider
  7. Click Click
  8. Ranking Full Stop
  9. Big Shot
  10. Whine & Grine/Stand Down Margaret
  11. Noise In This World
  12. Can’t Get Used To Losing You
  13. Best Friend
  14. Jackpot

DISC 2 – Wha’ppen? (1981)

  1. Too Nice To Talk To
  2. Doors Of Your Heart
  3. All Out To Get You
  4. Monkey Murders
  5. I Am Your Flag
  6. French Toast (Soleil Trop Chaud)
  7. Drowning
  8. Walk Away
  9. Over And Over
  10. Cheated
  11. Get-A-Job
  12. The Limits We Set
  13. Psychedelic Rockers
  14. Hit It
  15. Which Side Of The Bed?

DISC 3 – Special Beat Service (1982)

  1. I Confess
  2. Jeanette
  3. Sorry
  4. Sole Salvation
  5. Spar Wid Me
  6. The English Beat
  7. Rotating Head
  8. Save It For Later
  9. She’s Going
  10. Pato And Roger A Go Talk
  11. Sugar & Stress
  12. End Of The Party
  13. Ackee 1 2 3
  14. What’s Your Best Thing 
  15. March Of The Swivel Heads
  16. Cool Entertainer
  17. A Go Talk (Tappy Luppy Dub)

DISC 4 – Bonus Beat: Disc 1 – 12″ & Dub Versions

  1. Hands Off . . . She’s Mine (Extended Remix)
  2. Twist & Crawl (Extended Remix)
  3. Stand Down Margaret (Dub)
  4. Too Nice To Talk To (Dubweiser)
  5. Psychedelic Rockers (Dubweiser)
  6. Doors Of Your Heart (Extended)
  7. Drowning (Dub)
  8. Hit It (12″)
  9. Which Side Of The Bed? (12″)
  10. Save It For Later (Extended)
  11. What’s Your Best Thing (Dub)
  12. Cool Entertainer (Extended)
  13. The English Beat
  14. Jeanette (Extended)
  15. March Of The Swivel Heads (Extended)
  16. I Confess (Extended)

DISC 5 – Bonus Beat: Disc 2 – Peel Sessions & Live In Boston

  1. Tears Of A Clown (Peel Session – November 5, 1979)
  2. Ranking Full Stop (Peel Session – November 5, 1979)
  3. Click Click (Peel Session – November 5, 1979)
  4. Mirror In The Bathroom (Peel Session – November 5, 1979)
  5. Big Shot (Peel Session – November 5, 1979)
  6. Too Nice To Talk To (Peel Session – September 22, 1980)
  7. New Psychedelic Rockers (Peel Session – September 22, 1980)
  8. Monkey Murders (Peel Session – September 22, 1980)
  9. Walk Away (Peel Session – September 22, 1980)
  10. Spar Wid Me (Peel Session – March 29, 1982)
  11. End Of The Party (Peel Session – March 29, 1982)
  12. She’s Going (Peel Session – March 29, 1982)
  13. Save It For Later (Peel Session – March 29, 1982)
  14. Sole Salvation (Peel Session – March 29, 1982)
  15. Pato And Roger A Go Talk (Peel Session – March 29, 1982)
  16. Best Friend (Opera House, Boston – November 19, 1982)
  17. Tears Of A Clown (Opera House, Boston – November 19, 1982)
  18. Twist & Crawl (Opera House, Boston – November 19, 1982)
  19. Get-A-Job/Stand Down Margaret (Opera House, Boston – November 19, 1982)

DISC 6 – Live @ The US Festival ’82 + ’83

No track listing

DVD – Live @ The US Festival ’82 + ’83

No Track Listing

Phew! That is normally a 5xCD box with the added US festival CD/DVD for those who shop early at the Shout! Factory webstore. Supplies are said to be limited so if you want this $49.95 box, act now. The official release date is July 10th – next Tuesday [in accordance with US entertainment release laws]. It’s a pretty fair selection of non-LP A/B-sides and 12″ mixes as well as a disc with 14 BBC sessions and 4 songs recorded live in… Boston in ’82? I can’t say with any authority what may or may not be missing since I only bought the Beat albums, and never dipped my toe in the vinyl sea for rarities.

In spite of my great love for The Beat, I never crossed that line into collecting. This is even in light of the band releasing the best 2nd wave ska album ever in my opinion [“I Just Can’t Stop It”]. And I love it better than any third wave ska album, for what it’s worth! On the face of it, this looks like excellent value for money. I recall that my 1st pressing CD of “Special Beat Service” with a [DDD] SPARS code, sounded like garbage in the mid-80s when I quickly bought my copy.  It sounded so bad, that I told a friend at the time to wait for another remastering in the hopes that the editing and mastering flaws would be corrected. Let’s assume that after 25+ years they have been! But wait! …There’s more!!!

Back in the native land of the Beat, where Paul Collins earlier registration of “The Beat” held no water [and in fact, Mr. Collins probably had to release records there as “The US Beat” – if there’s any karma] the Edsel Records label are hitting The Beat’s catalog in a very different tactic. They are doing 2xCD + DVD DLX RMs of each album. Hmmm. The content differs thusly.

Edsel Records | UK | 2xCD + DVD | 2102 | EDSG8016

The Beat:  I Just Can’t Stop It UK 2xCD + DVD [2012]

DISC 1 – I Just Can’t Stop It

  1. Mirror In The Bathroom
  2. Hands Off…She’s Mine
  3. Two Swords
  4. Twist & Crawl
  5. Rough Rider
  6. Click Click
  7. Big Shot
  8. Whine & Grine / Stand Down Margaret
  9. Noise In This World
  10. Can’t Get Used To Losing You
  11. Best Friend
  12. Jackpot

DISC 2 – I Just Can’t Stop It Bonus

  1. Tears Of A Clown
  2. Ranking Full Stop
  3. Twist & Crawl [extended]
  4. Hands Off…She’s Mine [extended]
  5. Stand Down Margaret [Dub]
  6. Mirror In The Bathroom [Sure Is Pure Mix]
  7. Mirror In The Bathroom [Tic Tac Toe Mix]
  8. Mirror In The Bathroom [Spike Stent Mix]
  9. Dub In The Bathroom [Simon & Diamond Mix]
  10. Just Can’t Stop The Dub [Adelphi Mix]
  11. Tears Of A Clown (BBC Radio Sessions – John Peel Show – Broadcast 5th November 1979)
  12. Ranking Full Stop (BBC Radio Sessions – John Peel Show – Broadcast 5th November 1979)
  13. Click Click (BBC Radio Sessions – John Peel Show – Broadcast 5th November 1979)
  14. Mirror In The Bathroom (BBC Radio Sessions – John Peel Show – Broadcast 5th November 1979)
  15. Big Shot (BBC Radio Sessions – John Peel Show – Broadcast 5th November 1979)
  16. Hands Off…She’s Mine (Mike Read Show – Broadcast 11th February 1980)
  17. Mirror In The Bathroom (Mike Read Show – Broadcast 11th February 1980)
  18. Rough Rider (Mike Read Show – Broadcast 11th February 1980)
  19. Twist & Crawl (Mike Read Show – Broadcast 11th February 1980)

DISC 3 – DVD

  1. Hands Off…She’s Mine (DVD Single Video)
  2. Mirror In The Bathroom (DVD Single Video)
  3. Best Friend (DVD Single Video)
  4. Tears Of A Clown [Top Of The Pops – Broadcast on 13th December 1979]
  5. Tears Of A Clown [Top Of The Pops – Broadcast on 3rd January 1980]
  6. Hands Off…She’s Mine [Top Of The Pops – Broadcast on 22nd February 1980]
  7. Mirror In The Bathroom [Top Of The Pops – Broadcast on 1st May 1980]
  8. Best Friend [Top Of The Pops – Broadcast on 4th September 1980]
  9. Bonus DVD Feature – Alright Now – Broadcast on 12th December 1980

Edsel Records | UK | 2xCD + DVD | 2012 | EDSG8017

The Beat: Wha’appen? UK 2xCD + DVD [2012]

DISC 1 – Wha’appen?

  1. Doors Of Your Heart
  2. All Out To Get You
  3. Monkey Murders
  4. I Am Your Flag
  5. French Toast (Soleil Trop Chaud)
  6. Drowning
  7. Dream Home In N.Z.
  8. Walk Away
  9. Over And Over
  10. Cheated
  11. Get-A-Job
  12. The Limits We Set

DISC 2 – Wha’appen? Bonus

  1. Too Nice To Talk To
  2. Psychedelic Rockers
  3. Too Nice To Talk To [Dubweiser]
  4. Psychedelic Rockers [Dubweiser]
  5. Doors Of Your Heart [dub]
  6. Drowning [dub]
  7. Hit It
  8. Which Side Of The Bed…?
  9. Hit It [12” mix]
  10. Which Side Of The Bed…? [12” mix]
  11. Too Nice To Talk To (BBC Radio Sessions – John Peel Show – Broadcast 22nd September 1980)
  12. New Psychedelic Rockers (BBC Radio Sessions – John Peel Show – Broadcast 22nd September 1980)
  13. Monkey Murders (BBC Radio Sessions – John Peel Show – Broadcast 22nd September 1980)
  14. Walk Away (BBC Radio Sessions – John Peel Show – Broadcast 22nd September 1980)

DISC 3 – DVD

  1. Too Nice To Talk To (DVD Single Video)
  2. All Out To Get You (DVD Single Video)
  3. Doors To Your Heart (DVD Single Video)
  4. Drowning (DVD Single Video)
  5. Hit It (DVD Single Video)
  6. Too Nice To Talk To [Top Of The Pops – Broadcast on 18th December 1980]
  7. Drowning [Top Of The Pops – Broadcast on 16th April 1981]
  8. All Out To Get You [Top Of The Pops – Broadcast on 30th April 1981]
  9. Too Nice To Talk To [Top Of The Pops – Broadcast on 25th December 1981]
  10. Get-A-Job (World In Action documentary)
  11. Interview with Dave Wakeling (World In Action documentary)
  12. Stand Down Margaret (World In Action documentary)
  13. Interview with Dave, Roger and Andy (World In Action documentary)

Edsel Records | UK | 2xCD + DVD | 2012 | EDSG8018

The Beat: Special Beat Service UK 2xCD + DVD [2012]

DISC 1 – Special Beat Service

  1. I Confess
  2. Jeanette
  3. Sorry
  4. Sole Salvation
  5. Spar Wid Me
  6. Rotating Head
  7. Save It For Later
  8. She’s Going
  9. Pato And Roger A Go Talk
  10. Sugar And Stress
  11. End Of The Party
  12. Ackee 1-2-3
  13. What’s Your Best Thing
  14. Save It For Later [extended]
  15. What’s Your Best Thing [dub style]
  16. Cool Entertainer [by Ranking Roger]
  17. A Go Talk (Tappy Luppy Dub) [by Pato & Roger]
  18. Cool Entertainer [extended] [by Ranking Roger]
  19. March Of The Swivel Heads

DISC 2 – Special Beat Service Bonus

  1. Jeanette [extended]
  2. March Of The Swivel Heads [extended]
  3. I Confess [Dave Allen remix]
  4. It Makes Me Rock [previously unreleased]
  5. Doors Of Your Heart [live at Hammersmith Palais]
  6. I Confess [live at Hammersmith Palais]
  7. Spar Wid Me [live at Hammersmith Palais]
  8. Save It For Later [live at Hammersmith Palais]
  9. Mirror In The Bathroom [live at Hammersmith Palais]
  10. Can’t Get Used To Losing You [1983 remix]
  11. Ackee 1-2-3 [‘Jellybean’ Benitez Nike Mix]
  12. Can’t Get Used To Losing You [extended 1983 remix]
  13. I Confess [United States of America remix]
  14. Spar Wid Me (BBC Radio Sessions – John Peel Show – Broadcast 29th March 1983)
  15. She’s Going (BBC Radio Sessions – John Peel Show – Broadcast 29th March 1983)
  16. Save It For Later (BBC Radio Sessions – John Peel Show – Broadcast 29th March 1983)
  17. Sole Salvation (BBC Radio Sessions – John Peel Show – Broadcast 29th March 1983)
  18. Pato And Roger A Go Talk (BBC Radio Sessions – John Peel Show – Broadcast 29th March 1983)
  19. End Of The Party (BBC Radio Sessions – John Peel Show – Broadcast 29th March 1983)
  20. Night And Day (David Jensen Show – Broadcast 22nd April 1982)

Disc 3 – DVD

  1. Save It For Later (DVD Single Video)
  2. I Confess (DVD Single Video)
  3. Can’t Get Used To Losing You [Top Of The Pops – Broadcast on 5th May 1983]
  4. Can’t Get Used To Losing You [Top Of The Pops – Broadcast on 19h May 1983]
  5. Save It For Later (OTT – Broadcast on 27th March 1982)
  6. Stand Down Margaret (OTT – Broadcast on 27th March 1982)
  7. Save It For Later (Bonus DVD Feature The Tube – Broadcast on 14th January 1983)
  8. Mirror In The Bathroom (Bonus DVD Feature The Tube – Broadcast on 14th January 1983)
  9. Too Nice To Talk To (Bonus DVD Feature The Tube – Broadcast on 14th January 1983)
  10. Jools Holland interview with Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger

Phew! Lunch time is over and I’ve yet to parse which of these is the better buy. On one hand, the UK DVDs are more in line with what I’d like to see on The Beat; music vids, interviews, and live TV performances. The US box has the US festival on CD and DVD [if you’re interested – I’m not sure that I am]  and that appears nowhere else; provided you pre-order like pronto! Since I don’t have the budget, I will assume that if I get the US box down the line, it will be the straight 5xCD version. Look for some more keenly studied comparison tomorrow [complete with discographic analysis at no extra charge].

Next: And the winnah is…

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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6 Responses to Steel Cage Match: The Beat VS The English Beat… Boxed Set or DLX RMs?

  1. Echorich says:

    Wow that IS a lot of action for The Beat! I hope the band is seeing a good portion of all this business.
    I agree, after The Specials debut – for me best of the 2nd Wave, I Just Can’t Stop It is signature 80’s Ska! I love ALL of that album and espcially enjoy Too Nice To Talk To which bridged the gap to Wha’appen?
    Since they really broke through with Special Beat Service in the US, the US Festival footage makes good sense.
    My preference though, is to have each of the albums separately remastered with the extras…but man is that going to be some money to spend.

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – Money I don’t have right now. But wow, I remember hearing Dave Wakeling’s vocal performance on “I Confess” the first, and every time. It slays me. It’s a Billy MacKenzie caliber performance, now that I know better.

      Like

      • Echorich says:

        I agree Wakeling is one of those voices of the 80’s you don’t forget. It’s interesting that the Ska movement brought us a few very key vocalists…Wakeling, Terry Hall and Suggs are all very important. Even Pauline Black’s strong vocals from The Selecter are fixed in my memory.

        Like

  2. Taffy says:

    The Specials and the Beat’s debuts delight equally; hence my inability to choose which is my fave ska album. Similarly, “Gangsters” and Best Friend” fight it out for favored ska single. Not sure if I’ll plunk for the remasters, but the video content on the UK series is mighty tempting.

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Taffy – The Specials always sounded thin to me, and next to them, The Beat were a colossus of sound. So it’s no contest for my ears. The Specials reached their peak with “Ghost Town,” to be sure. It’s an indisputable classic, but after that it was all over for them.

      Like

      • Echorich says:

        I like that comparison Monk. The Specials album does have a somewhat more immediate and unrehearsed feel to it – I sure it was very well rehearsed knowing Jerry Dammers.
        I Just Can’t Stop It is sonically perfect in comparison, but looses none of the fun and spontaniety.
        Both bands also mixed a good bit of politics in with the fun giving them both Punk cred to my teenage ears.

        Like

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