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4.6 out of 5 stars78
4.6 out of 5 stars
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`You Just Can't Beat it' is subtitle `The Best of The Beat' but with thirty seven tracks spread over two discs it would be possibly truer to call it `All of The Beat' with very few omissions stopping this been their entire back catalogue. It is definitely quicker to isolate what is not on this album rather than what is included.

The album opens with Two Tone debut single `Tears of a Clown' b/w `Ranking Full Stop' before moving through the three singles and various album tracks taken from debut album `I Just Can't Stop it', in fact only one track is omitted which is the Price Buster cover `Whine and Grine' which is no-doubt omitted due to it's been re-worked as the single `Stand Down Margaret'.

Between album single `Too Nice to Talk to' is here but not b-side `Psychedelic Rockers' before we get eleven of the twelve tracks from second album `Wha'ppen?', the only track missing being `I Am Your Flag'.

The next single was the Mike Hedge's produced `Hit It' b/w `Which Side of the Bed' which is not a surprise to be missing as all previous Beat compilations have tried to write this disappointing 45 out of the bands history.

Of the Twelve tracks on third album `Special Beat Service' again eleven are included here, the missing track is `Rotating Heads' which is a surprise omission as it was used in the film `Ferris Bueller's Day Off'. The only other track missing here is the b-side of `Save it for Later' `What's Your Best Thing?'.

I Imagine the missing seven tracks could have fitted on the discs which would have made for a comprehensive anthology, anyway it's still good value for money as a anthology with a couple of omissions or a best of that goes a bit further. You Just Can't Beat it.
11 comment37 of 37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 February 2008
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.
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on 21 March 2008
This double CD is basically a combination of the three albums the group released in their all too brief career and for anyone who doesn't own any of the albums it's a brilliant buy. For those who have them though (like me), it's case of 'nothing to see here'.
As the previous reveiwer said, the later B-sides are missing, which is a real shame, but you can get 'What's Your Best Thing?'(along with 'Hit It') on the US version of the otherwise inferior compilation 'What Is Beat?'
A truly great band!
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on 1 January 2010
Great stuff. I had forgotten how many songs the Beat had that were locked away in my memory. The first CD rattles along with brilliant song after brilliant song. I have listened to it start to finish twice in a row without getting bored. The second CD is maybe more for the completists amongst us, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Not many hits or A-Sides, but plenty of quality songs. Buy this now!!!
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I am so happy that I stumbled across this album. You have 2 cds here, with a total of 37 tracks. I love this as it takes me back to my schooldays, where such groups were what most of us listened to. The Two Tone movement doesn't seem to be that big amongst the younger generation these days, and they don't seem to realise what they are missing. With its Caribbean beat these tracks are timeless and well worth listening to. With its beats, the fact that you have blacks and whites in the group probably did something to our racial perceptions, and made us a bit more laid back.

With summer a few months away this is a great album to have on in the background whilst you have friends and family around for a barbecue.
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on 12 April 2008
Having been a fan for 25 years (oh my God I'm old!) I was really looking forward to this compilation - hoping that we would finally get a nice release of some of The Beat's great B-sides that have yet to be officially released on CD. After all, if you have 2 CD's to work with, wouldn't this have been a nice place for excellent songs like "Which Side of The Bed?", "Hit It", etc? Anyway, I will be kind and only deduct 1 star - these are some of the best songs ever released and a good set for someone that doesn't own the individual CD's.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 February 2015
If you don't have any CDs of The Beat in your collection and would like to add some Two Tone, then this is a great buy. Basically it has almost all of their released tracks, with only a small number of omissions. A few B sides and later singles are missing I think.

A great fun 80s group who only released 3 albums before splitting up, this collection is well worth having if you like this genre of music and don't already have anything in your collection. I have not noticed any issues with quality, but we are not using any high end Hi-Fi equipment.

Given the cost of this, the release could have warranted another CD to totally complete the compilation, but hey , great fun for all of that!!
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on 7 June 2014
I had a now long misplaced vinyl album from the Beat back in my youth, when it was first released. I sometimes hear their tracks on the radio and think that I should pick up a CD. Finally got around to it and and I'm so glad I did. This great 2 disc collection packs every track that I remembered and even a few that I was happy to (re)discover.
I still think that "Mirror in the Bathroom" is a perfectly packaged pop song and the band's version of "Can't get used to losing you" is simply sublime.
All in all a great purchase and I would recommend this to anyone who wants to take a trip down memory lane or for someone younger who wants to hear some great music.
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on 7 June 2009
the beat were my favourites from the 2 tone era so i thoroughly enjoyed this album. brings back a load of memories.
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on 15 March 2013
I put the CD on while I was putting up the Xmas dec's last December .You know, something to listen to while you try and find the duff bulb that means the lights don't work and treading on drawing pins , etc. The more popular tracks we all know but, I found myself singing along to more obscure album tracks, some of which I hadn't heard for best part of thirty years! Fantastic. For an old fan like self,it was great to bounce around the living room ( again ) to the up beat tempo of most of the tunes and the sax ........... well does it every time doesn't it? I can't promise that everyone would like it but then, I'm not everyone so it don't matter. I do. Great nostalgia trip. I can promise my neighbours a repeat performance next Xmas. Don't 'Save It For Later' listen to it now !
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