The Second Disc
As previously reported, the discography of British ska band The Beat (or as they’re primarily known in the States, The English Beat) is getting the expanded reissue treatment by two separate labels across the globe. Shout! Factory is releasing a five-disc box set featuring all three of the band’s albums, B-sides, remixes and Peel sessions, as well as a new compilation and a CD/DVD of the band’s US Festival performance in 1983. Now, we can share the details of U.K. label Edsel’s forthcoming presentations of these albums. (Special thanks to super-reader John for the tip!)
Since it’s never easy being a catalogue enthusiast, it’s our duty to tell Beat superfans that you’ll have to buy both the new box and these 2 CD/1 DVD reissues if you want absolutely everything. On the audio side, there’s a hefty bit of overlap between the two. The major bits that the Edsel sets have that Shout! Factory’s do not are:
Extra remixes: in addition to the few mixes of “Can’t Get Used to Losing You,” “I Confess” and “Ackee 1-2-3″ commissioned to promote the first Beat compilation What is Beat? in 1983, these reissues also feature (on the I Just Can’t Stop It bonus disc) four remixes created for 1996′s B.P.M. hits set.
More live material: The Edsel reissues include not only the three John Peel BBC sessions being released on Shout! Factory’s box (plus an extra track on the 1982 session), but extra vintage sessions conducted by Mike Read in 1980 and a track recorded for David Jensen in 1982. A handful of live tracks recorded at the Hammersmith Palais in October 1982 that became B-sides for several configurations of the single “I Confess” have been resequenced and added to the Special Beat Service bonus disc. The Edsel sets do not, however, include the live cuts recorded in Boston that feature on The Complete Beat box.
Video content: None of the promo videos or live bits recorded for Top of the Pops, The Tube and others appear in Shout! Factory’s reissues, so Edsel wins this round.
An unreleased track: the Special Beat Service-era outtake “It Makes Me Rock” makes its first appearance anywhere on the expanded edition of that album.
Edsel’s sets will be out in U.K. shops June 25, a few weeks before Shout! Factory’s box set arrives on our shores. Hit the jump for a full breakdown of the Edsel sets, and participate in our poll to let us know which of The Beat’s newest sets you’ll be getting!