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Don’t Save It for Later: Shout! Factory’s “The English Beat Live at The US Festival” Detailed

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When we reported on the dueling reissue campaigns by Edsel and Shout! Factory over the catalogue of The (English) Beat, it was pretty clear that each had its own distinct advantages. Shout! Factory’s The Complete Beat box set lacked some of the bonus content and all of the video footage in Edsel’s 2CD/1DVD expansions of each of the ska band’s three albums. On the other hand, they were going to include The Beat in its burgeoning series of live shows from the fabled US Festival. Now, we have some details of that release to pass along to you.

The Beat were the only band in the two-year history of Steve Wozniak’s brilliant, failed outdoor festival to play a set for both festivals in 1982 and 1983. Both times, they played alongside several legends of the post-punk and New Wave scene, including The Ramones, The Clash, The Police, The Talking Heads, INXS, Wall of Voodoo and Men at Work. While the band wasn’t long for this world after that second date, wrapping things up with the great What is Beat? compilation later that year, they put in two spirited performances that deservedly rank toward the top of the heap during both festivals.

It was a question, of course, as to which one of the performances was getting a release from the label, ever since the set was confirmed for inclusion with online orders of The Complete Beat. The answer? Both. The Beat’s US Festival package – the first official live release from the band – will feature both shows on CD and DVD; nine tracks from the 1982 show and seven from the 1983 stand will be featured on the CD, a fitting highlights disc. The DVD, however, will feature both sets in their entirety. That’s a 12-song set in 1982 and 14 cuts the following year.

And, happily, the package won’t be reserved exclusively for anyone who bought Shout! Factory’s box set; it’ll be released on its own this September 18. Hit the jump for a full breakdown of the package, and keep an eye on this post when Amazon links go live!

The English Beat, Live at The US Festival (Shout! Factory, 2012)

Disc 1: CD

  1. Twist & Crawl
  2. I Confess
  3. Doors of Your Heart
  4. Sugar & Stress
  5. Two Swords
  6. Hands Off…She’s Mine
  7. Save It for Later
  8. Too Nice to Talk To
  9. Mirror in the Bathroom
  10. Jeanette
  11. Spar Wid Me
  12. Get-A-Job/Stand Down Margaret
  13. Tears of a Clown
  14. Ackee 1 2 3
  15. Ranking Full Stop
  16. Jackpot

Tracks 1-9 recorded live at The US Festival, Glen Helen Regional Park, San Bernadino, CA – 9/3/1982. Tracks 10-16 recorded live at The US Festival, Glen Helen Regional Park, San Bernadino, CA – 5/28/1983.

Disc 2: DVD

  1. Twist & Crawl
  2. Doors of Your Heart
  3. I Confess
  4. Get-A-Job/Stand Down Margaret
  5. Sugar & Stress
  6. Spar Wid Me
  7. Two Swords
  8. Hands Off…She’s Mine
  9. Save It for Later
  10. Too Nice to Talk To
  11. Mirror in the Bathroom
  12. Jackpot
  13. Mirror in the Bathroom
  14. Doors of Your Heart
  15. Two Swords
  16. Jeanette
  17. I Confess
  18. Too Nice to Talk To
  19. Spar Wid Me
  20. Get-A-Job/Stand Down Margaret
  21. Tears of a Clown
  22. Ackee 1 2 3
  23. Twist & Crawl
  24. Ranking Full Stop
  25. Save It for Later
  26. Jackpot

Tracks 1-12 recorded live at The US Festival, Glen Helen Regional Park, San Bernadino, CA – 9/3/1982. Tracks 13-26 recorded live at The US Festival, Glen Helen Regional Park, San Bernadino, CA – 5/28/1983.

Written by Mike Duquette

July 6, 2012 at 12:24

7 Responses

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  1. Thanks for the news. I was torn between getting the Shout! box set or the Edsel reissues individually. I went with Edsel and I’m impressed. But this is great news. I’ll be buying this.

    Tom

    July 6, 2012 at 13:05

  2. I got both … and the liner notes in the new US Festival CD/DVD claim that Oingo Boingo also played both festivals! Have not had time to watch/listen to it yet, or I’d report back.

    Jeff

    July 8, 2012 at 00:36

    • Have now watched DVD. The resolution is the best you can expect from TV in 1982/3, but the sound is great and the picture is crisp. Nicely done. And I hadn’t noticed until now there’s a song I’d never heard before: “Sugar & Stress.” As far as I can tell this is the only place it appears (on the CD too).

      jhadfield

      July 8, 2012 at 01:19

  3. “Sugar & Stress” is on their third album, “Special Beat Service.”

    By both US Festival dates, the Beat were putting on very solid but unsurprising shows . . . about as close to a “greatest hits” set as possible, so this set isn’t overwhelming for me. I’d kill to hear one of their more chaotic and envelope-pushing early sets!

    It’s a bit odd to refer to the CD as a “highlights” disc, as that obscures the fact that it contains one version of every tune from the two concerts – the sets were (roughly) 75% identical. The 12- and 14-song concerts share 10 songs! That goes a long way to showing the stagnation that was slowly killing the band, which I’d love to know more about. In 30 years, neither of the two singers has ever come close to making music as sweet and memorable again, and even the unexpected commercial success of two lower profile members (in Fine Young Cannibals) ended suddenly with nothing new in its wake.

    Also, the cover is hideous.

    John

    July 8, 2012 at 03:54

  4. Also, the idea that this is the first ever official live release from the band is ludicrous; a completist will have live versions (mind you, not from the same shows) of nearly every song here. More than half a dozen from b-sides and CD singles, and nearly all the rest (and more) from an official 2004 live DVD which features 20 different tracks, including “Stranger On The Shore” – a song that, unlike “Sugar & Stress” actually does never appear on any other Beat release.

    John

    July 8, 2012 at 04:14

    • Wow, John! I must have been half asleep when I typed that. Maybe I was skimming for an ampersand! I thought I’d heard the song before but then when I looked at the original CDs I couldn’t find the title. I give up :).

      jhadfield

      July 10, 2012 at 22:03

  5. Hey, it happens to the best of us from time to time!

    John

    July 11, 2012 at 03:19


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