The Beat were (left to right) Ranking Roger, David Steele, Saxa, Andy Cox (behind Saxa), Dave Wakeling, and Everett Morton. From the opening notes of The Beat’s 1979 debut single for 2 Tone (their incredible cover of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles’ “Tears of a Clown”) through to the closing, lingering sounds of “Ackee 1-2-3” (from the last track on their third and final studio album, Special Beat Service, released in 1982), Saxa’s exuberant, lush, and free-flowing tenor saxophone horn lines were integral to the band’s music
(Reviews by Steve Shafer) Hollie Cook “Superstar” b/w “Superdub” (free Record Store Day 7″/digital download, Merge Records, 2017): The physical release of this single was a last minute addition to the 2017 Record Store Day line-up and was said to given out for free at select indie shops in celebration of Cook’s joining the Merge Records line-up in the USA (did anyone receive one?). The choice of cover here–The Carpenters’ AM pop staple “Superstar”–is definitely inspired, continues to fulfill Cook’s mission to create “tropical pop,” and is well matched to her wonderfully pure voice. And while this is no slight to producer/drummer Ben Mckone (who does a very fine job here), I have to admit to kind of missing the Prince Fatty touch
The king of them all, Prince Buster. Rest in peace, sir.