Jan 1, 2015

80s music flashback.. The English Beat and General Public

by Darrin Vindiola

The second "British Invasion" that took place in the 80s brought attention to some great musical talent from across the pond.  One of my favorite bands from this era was General Public.  They were one of those bands that instantly made you a little bit edgier and cooler once you became a fan.

General Public actually started out as 'The English Beat'.  The group disbanded, and band members Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger formed General Public with a number of other skilled artists.  Other band members included; drummer Andy "Stoker" Growcott and keyboardist Mickey Billingham from Dexys Midnight Runners, guitarist Mick Jones from the Clash, and bassist Horace Panter from The Specials.  Remaining members of the English Beat Andy Cox and David Steele in turn formed the music group "Fine Young Cannibals", but that's another story altogether.

Bands like Madness, Bad Manners, and The English Beat got me hooked on Ska music in the 80s, and I'm still a fan to this day.  I've listened to all manner of ska bands since, like The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Less Than Jake, Fishbone, Cherry Poppin' Daddy's, Sublime, and No Doubt (yup.. No Doubt started out as a ska band).

Through thick and thin however, I've always had a special place in my heart for the English beat and General Public.  They always receive an ample amount of play time on my iPod, especially during bike rides and walks.  If you need your memory jogged as to some of the hits these guys put out, I've posted a few videos below for you to check out.  Enjoy..

The epitome of great 80s music

My absolute favorite General Public song..
"Never you done that"

Going back A little farther with the English Beat..

 "Too Nice to Talk To"
My favorite English Beat Jam

"I confess"
Now THIS is an 80s video!

"Save it for Later"


  1. Shoot, I have been googling and can not find a reference, but when I was at UCLA 1982 - 1985ish one day I came across my fav band, English Beat (or were they General Public by then?) performing FREE outside at the base of Janns's steps. It was so COOL!

    1. You know what? On my old blog.. someone once told me they stumbled across General Public the same way playing at their college in California in "The Quad". They MUST have been hitting the CA. colleges back in the day!

  2. I like your list of 1980s bands!
    I remember my friends + I, back in the years of [ahem, ahem], we liked: Peter Gabriel, The Eurythmics (sp?), Duran Duran, [the U.S. band named]- The Cars, and other bands like that. The heavy metals guys in our school usually liked Van Halen, and, [the even scarier 1980s heavy metal guy], Ozzy Osbourne.

    1. Great music! Man.. I loved Van Halen (W/ Roth). And talk about great music videos! I really do miss those good old days "Music Television" is truly an abomination now.


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