|Genres:||Pop / Rock Reggae|
Founded in Birmingham, England, in 1978, the original Beat comprised Dave Wakeling (19 February 1956, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England; vocals/guitar), Andy Cox (b. 25 January 1956, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England; guitar), David Steele (b. 8 September 1960, Cowes, Isle of Wight, England; bass) and Everett Morton (b. 5 April 1951, St. Kitts, West Indies; drums). Local success on the pub circuit brought them to the attention of Jerry Dammers, who duly signed them to his Coventry-based 2-Tone label. In the meantime, the Beat had expanded their ranks to include black punk rapper Ranking Roger (b. Roger Charlery, 21 February 1961, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England) and a saxophonist simply named Saxa (b. Lionel Martin, 1930, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies), who had the distinction of having played alongside that premier exponent of blue beat, Prince Buster.
The new line-up proved perfect for the ska/pop fusion that exemplified the Beat at...