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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 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.
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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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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 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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on 27 February 2016
Whilst people went crazy for Madness in 1981 i was always more lured to the choppy and bitty guitar driven soul of The Beat. Layered in the mix and washed over superbly by the saxaphone of the legendry Saxa,

Dave Wakeling and Rankin Rogers vocals combated each other at a time when The Beat had harmony, melody and soul with that irrestible dash of new wave/punk seasoning such great songs like Too Nice To Talk To, Mirror in the Bathroom, Hands Off etc... through to the more encapsulating Drowning. All hits but there is so much more in here and it is consistent.

Good packaging of this double cd and cover art simple and effective.

You just can't stop singing along and sadly the band split to seperate factions though the harmony lived on in the General Public and the nippy guitar sound resurfaced in Fine Young Cannibals in a more commercial life later in the eighties.

Excellent history in here documenting these Midland marauders who touched my soul as a rather lost twelve year old.
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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 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.
Recommended!
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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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on 21 October 2013
Got this because it was on offer at a good price for a new double CD ( £3:44 ) not a purchase I would have made had it not been so cheap, but glad I did. This collection includes the hits it was good to hear again ,plus lots more good tracks,very good value. Arrived on time , good condition . Promotional advertising pays .
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