Dave Wakeling, vocalist for The Beat (or The English Beat, as they were called in the U.S. to avoid confusion with another group), supposedly said that every good band only has three really good albums—so The Beat released exactly three LPs before breaking up in 1983. Today’s Track of the Day, “Mirror in the Bathroom,” comes off of their 1980 debut album I Just Can’t Stop It, which was put out by IRS Records in the US. Saxa, the group’s then-50-year-old saxophonist (making him at least 20 years older than the rest of his fellow band members), features prominently on this track, building on his earlier work with Jamaican ska/rocksteady artists like Prince Buster and Desmond Dekker. Second vocalist Ranking Roger mostly does backing vocals here, but you can hear him on this fun mix of The Clash’s “Rock the Casbah” (performed at the request of Clash guitarist Mick Jones).
Wakeling and Ranking Roger would go on to join forces with Jones and Horace Panter of The Specials to create the band General Public, while guitarist Andy Cox and bassist David Steele formed Fine Young Cannibals. Here’s where it gets confusing, though: The Beat reunited in 2005 with Ranking Roger and drummer Everett Morton at the helm along with Ranking Roger’s son, Ranking Junior, but Wakeling would form a different reunion group in 2009 known officially as The English Beat. Both versions of the group have gone on tour, but neither has released anything officially.