Classic Rock Bottom

Who? The Beat

When? 1979

Album title? The Beat review? Yes.

A minor classic of late-'70s power pop, The Beat proves that Paul Collins learned his lessons well from his tenure with pioneering L.A. popmeisters the Nerves. If Collins' songs on this set aren't quite as good as what fellow Nerve Peter Case brought to their old band (and would bring to the Plimsouls), he works the classic themes of girls and guitars with winning enthusiasm, and as a band the Beat were leaner, harder, tighter, and lighter on their feet than the Nerves ever were. Compared to the Knack, then the rulers of California's pop scene, the Beat were a lot more fun to listen to and seemed to actually like women, compared to arch misogynist Doug Fieger. The Beat's 13 cuts are full of hooky snaps, especially "Rock N Roll Girl," "Walking Out on Love," and the shoulda-been-a-hit "Don't Wait Up for Me Tonight," and Collins' and Larry Whitman's guitars sing out with passionate energy. The Beat won't change your life, but it will make 35 minutes of it a lot more fun.

The Beat

1. Rock N Roll Girl
2. I Don't Fit In
3. Different Kind of Girl
4. Don't Wait Up for Me
5. You Won't Be Happy
6. Walking Out on Love
7. Work-A-Day-World
8. U.S.A.
9. Let Me into Your Life
10. Working Too Hard
11. You and I
12. Look But Don't Touch

Availability: OOP but you can find the two-fer which also includes The Kids Are The Same plus a couple of bonus tracks for around $25 used.

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Can't say I'm at all familiar with this band.  But any time the description says "power pop" I at least think there's a good chance I may like it.  

This is pretty fair out of the box.  Upbeat, decent (not great) vocals.  The high harmony vocals, which occur frequently, take it up a notch.  Pretty good melodies.  Some of the structure, guitar wise, makes me think of The Who.  

A definite standout track is You Won't Be Happy.  The rest just bops on along.  But there is a slow track near the end.  You And I is very reminiscent of something The Rolling Stones may have done.  I think it's those harmonies again.  That's the second best track.

So, short, power pop, high harmonies and good melodies.  Nice post!


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