The Beat (The English Beat, overseas) were a multi-racial, Birmingham based, pop group who came to prominence during the 2Tone boom of 1979. Their three terrific studio albums (1980's I Just Can't Stop It, Wha'ppen from 1981 and the wonderful but underrated Special Beat Service from 1982) flirted with 60s ska & rocksteady, jagged post-punk, calypso, 70s style political roots reggae, Motown soul and Beatles/Kinks inspired pop. Despite the consistently high quality of their material, The Beat's record sales began to wane once the British public lost interest in ska revival. The group folded in 1983 but spawned two spin-off acts...General Public and highly successful Fine Young Cannibals.
While there are now quite a few Beat compilations out there, this is definitely the ONE to own. 37 tracks spread over two compact discs. Included are (almost) all the singles (1981's Hit It has yet to appear on any Beat "best of") and lots of fantastic selections from the three long players. Unfortunately the compilers weren't able to secure the rights to B sides like Which Side of the Bed, What's Your Best Thing and Psychedelic Rockers. Despite their absence, You Just Can't Beat It is an outstanding collection from a band who were at times unfairly overshadowed by 2Tone era peers The Specials and Madness.
Liner notes are by former Bodysnatchers and Special AKA vocalist Rhoda Dakar.