Saturday, January 23, 2010

Afer Hours: Ska-turday Edition

The English Beat. Mirror in the Bathroom

They actually played this tune at my gym this week. What a shock! I sang along. There was nothing unusual about doing that. Anyhow, I'm still convinced that this is one of the finest tunes of the eighties. It's tense, weird and a bit surreal. Somebody told me that it was supposed to be about masturbation, but I think they were dead wrong. It's obviously about garden-variety narcissism. And that's all. For this clip, all the guys are here: the two Daves, Andy, Ranking Roger (who doesn't do much during this video except wear a large hat and dance a little), Saxa and the rest. I was under the impression that Saxa was dead, but he's just pushing 80 and living in Birmingham, which is another form of death, I suppose. Of course, later on the band went through some personnel changes, released that awful "I Confess" song and broke up in 1983. I saw them on that last tour. They were fantastic. Dave and Roger went on to form General Public and Andy and other Dave were in the Fine Young Cannibals. I think maybe other Dave and Andy got the better end of that deal. Every so often, the Beat reforms and goes on tour. For a time, they were the best second-wave ska band in the world, but that time is long past.

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