THE BEAT

The Beat are a band founded in Birmingham, England, in 1978. Their music fuses Latin, ska, pop, soul, reggae and punk rock. The Beat was formed in Birmingham, England, in 1978, during a period of high unemployment and social upheaval in the United Kingdom. Ranking Roger, one of the band’s vocalists, added a Jamaican vocal flavour to the band’s sound with his toasting style. Jamaican saxophonist Saxa added a Jamaican ska instrumental sound. Saxa (born Lionel Augustus Martin in 1930) had played saxophone with Prince Buster, Laurel Aitken, and Desmond Dekker in the first wave of ska. He joined The Beat to record their first single, “Tears of a Clown”, a cover version of the Motown hit by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.