The English Beat

The English Beat, formerly the Beat, is one of the most important bands in the British ska movement. Hailing from working class Birmingham in 1979, the Beat quickly gained popularity in the U.K. with their remake of the classic Smokey Robinson tune "Tears of a Clown." When their success reached an American audience, the Beat changed their name to the English Beat to avoid confusion with Paul Collin's band and toured the world, opening for greats like David Bowie, the Police, the Talking Heads and the Specials. With three albums to their credit, the band disbanded in 1983 to form General Public and the Fine Young Cannibals.

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