Friday, June 11, 2010

The Beat - "Save it for Later" (forgotten song)

Continuing my tradition of interpreting contemporary artists through the lens of 1980s alternative / college radio... I've seen Vampire Weekend on SNL twice (2010: "Cousins", "Giving Up the Gun", 2008: "A-Punk" and "M79") and The Colbert Report once (2010: "Holiday"). I kind of like them because, and I don't mean this as a left-handed compliment, they remind me of The English Beat. Well, they were just known as the "The Beat" in the UK, but they were the "The English Beat" in the US to avoid collision with Paul Collin's (formerly of The Nerves) band "The Beat".

The Beat were a late 70s / early 80s ska band on the 2 Tone record label in the UK, the same label that gave us The Specials, Madness, and other staples of early MTV. The Beat recorded three LPs and then disbanded, with former members going on to form the mid- to late-80s MTV staples General Public and Fine Young Cannibals. I didn't really care for either of those bands but The Beat had several good singles, and they've all but disappeared from radio.

The most popular in the US was "Save it for Later", a single off their 1982 LP "Special Beat Service" which received a good amount of MTV exposure, although I'd have to say that 1980's single "Mirror in the Bathroom" (from their debut LP, "I Just Can't Stop It") is a better song (more ska, less pop). I've chosen to feature "Save it for Later" since it is the one that is closest to the Vampire Weekend sound. If Vampire Weekend would just add horns and maybe some toasting and they'd be right at home on 2 Tone, circa 1980. And that's not too bad...

"Save it for Later": YouTube.

Bonus Link (as per the double A-side single image above) : "Mirror in the Bathroom": YouTube.


  1. Two excellent songs (great choices), but I'd never seen the videos for either one!

    I actually just saw Vampire Weekend (live) a couple of weeks ago at the Sasquatch! Festival. A fun show, but your post makes me wish I'd seen The (English) Beat in their heyday instead!

  2. very cool re: Vampire Weekend show.

    I figured you might like some more 2 Tone! ;-)