The English Beat
The Complete Beat [Box Set]
Shout! Factory 
(5 CD Set)
Fire Note Says: If you like Ska this new English Beat box set is an essential item for your collection!
I love it when a label gets a reissue right. Shout! Factory has done just that with their reissue campaign of The English Beat catalog in this new 5 disc set titled The Complete Beat. For a band starting in 1978 and only staying together for about five years The English Beat has some absolute catchy and solid ska material that has influenced countless other bands and made them staples in the movement. If you were ever a fan of The English Beat this set is essential as it
not only snags the band's studio catalog but its extras are plentiful. The set features all 3 studio album with bonus tracks, remastered from the original tapes; 2 discs of bonus material most of which is previously unreleased on CD - three sessions recorded with the legendary John Peel for his show on BBC Radio 1, tracks from a live show recorded at Boston's Opera House, and 12" and dub versions of some of the band's biggest singles plus a booklet with rare photos and an essay by music scholar Alex Ogg.
Even if you have only dabbled a bit into The English Beat's work this collection was made for you because although it seems like too much it is so nicely collected here that it is an easy listen. Sure everyone does not need to hear the 12" versions included here over and over but the Peel Sessions and Live In Boston material is worth the price of admission as these extras showcase why the band is so highly regarded in some circles.
Along with this Box Set there is also a new single-disc compilation titled Keep The Beat: The Very Best Of The English Beat that captures 16 of their best on one ska-tastic record which is a great intro to the band if you are just discovering The English Beat today! This is a group that I never felt really got credit for their work so The Complete Beat set not only attempts to rectify that line of thinking but is the proof that The English Beat deserve any and all credit that they receive!
Bands With Similar Fire:
The English Beat Website
The English Beat Facebook
-Reviewed by Christopher Anthony