The English Beat The Complete Beat

It's almost a shame that the English Beat found success on commercial radio, as "Tears of a Clown," "Mirror in the Bathroom" and "Save it for Later" positioned the Birmingham sextet as just another singles band. But the truth is, in three years, the Beat released a trio of albums that would prove to be monumentally groundbreaking. Shout! Factory's The Complete Beat packages their entire catalogue as a stylish box set. Going the traditional rout of re-releasing each album with the obligatory bonus tracks tacked onto the end, 1980's masterpiece, I Just Can't Stop It, 1981's uneven, but blissfully diverse Wha'ppen? and 1982's fully-realized swansong, Special Beat Service, paint a picture of a group moving on from their roots in less time than most of their contemporaries took to find their true voices. The addition of the 24-track Bonus Beat remains significant only for the inclusion of the three Peel Sessions, leaving the twelve-inch/dub versions and thrown together four-track concert strictly for completists. (Shout! Factory)