Special Beat Service

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Special Beat Service
Special Beat Service.jpg
Studio album by The Beat
Released 1982
Recorded Roundhouse Studios, London
Genre Ska, 2 Tone
Length 39:52
Label Go Feet
I.R.S. Records
Producer Bob Sargeant
except "Pato and Roger a Go Talk" produced by Ranking Roger & Mike Hedges
The Beat chronology
Special Beat Service
What is Beat?
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau A−[2]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[3]
Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[4]

Special Beat Service was the third album by British ska band The Beat. Like the rest of their material, it was released in the US under the name "The English Beat". It reached #39 on the Billboard 200 album chart in 1983 on the strength of two singles, "I Confess" and "Save It for Later," the videos for which received modest airplay on the fledgling MTV video network.

An instrumental version of the song "Rotating Head" had previously been released as the b-side of the single, "Jeanette", under the title, "March of the Swivelheads". It was used in the conclusion of the film Ferris Bueller's Day Off in 1986 and in 2015 it was used in Regular Show: The Movie.

The aircraft that the band appears to be disembarking on the cover is a Vickers VC10, a British designed four-engined jet.

Save It for Later[edit]

In 2005, Freaky Trigger placed "Save it for Later" at number 97 in their list of "The Top 100 Songs of All Time".[5]

"Save It For Later" was covered by Pete Townshend, who played it live from 1985[6] and recorded it for White City: A Novel (1985), though the recording was not released until 2006. Townshend and David Gilmour had trouble figuring out the song's guitar tuning of DADAAD.[7] This version was used on the soundtrack of the Netflix show 'Love', series 1 episode 10.

Pearl Jam, in their live concerts, often uses the song as an improvisational tag to their songs "Daughter" and "Better Man".

American rock band Harvey Danger covered the song for the soundtrack to the film 200 Cigarettes.

Ackee 1-2-3[edit]

The lyrics for the first half of the second verse, "Forward where the knocks are hardest, some to failure, some to fame; Never mind the cheers or hooting, keep your head and play the game", are from the King Edward's School, Birmingham 'School Song'[8] which was written by Alfred Hayes.

Track listing[edit]

  • Per label: All songs written by The Beat
except "Pato and Roger a Go Talk", words by Pato & Roger, music by The Beat
  • Per ASCAP: All songs written by Roger Charlery, Andrew Cox, Everett Morton, David Steele and David Wakeling
except "Pato and Roger a Go Talk" written by Charlery, Cox, Morton, Patrick Murray, Steele and Wakeling


Go-Feet FEET-5, 1982[9]

Side A:

  1. "I Confess" – 4:34
  2. "Jeanette" – 2:46
  3. "Sorry" – 2:33
  4. "Sole Salvation" – 3:05
  5. "Spar Wid Me" – 4:32
  6. "Rotating Head" – 3:24

Side B:

  1. "Save It for Later" – 3:34
  2. "She's Going" – 2:10
  3. "Pato and Roger a Go Talk" – 3:19
  4. "Sugar and Stress" – 2:57
  5. "End of the Party" – 3:32
  6. "Ackee 1-2-3" – 3:12

CD reissue[edit]

A 2 CD + DVD Deluxe Edition of this (and the earlier 2 albums) was released in July 2012. The DVD contains the performance of the band on the short lived ITV programme OTT. The CDs contain a version of the original album plus many bonus tracks of outtakes, extended versions, live versions and a John Peel session.[10]


Additional musicians
  • Bob Sargeant – Telephone, marimba
  • Marc Fox – Percussion
  • Jack Emblow – Accordion
  • M. Mishra (John Chao) – Tabla
  • Vince Sullivan – Trombone
  • Dave Lord – Trumpet
  • Steve Sidwell – Trumpet
  • Pato Banton – Toasting
  • Bob Sargeant – Producer
  • Trevor Hallesy – Engineer
  • Mark Dearnley – Engineer
  • Geoff Pesche – Engineer, Remastering
  • Mike Hedges – Producer, "Pato and Roger a Go Talk"
  • Ranking Roger – Producer, "Pato and Roger a Go Talk"
  • Marv Bornstein – Mastering
  • Bob Carbone – Mastering
  • Paul Fox – Drum Tech
  • Martyn Atkins – Art Direction
  • Brian Gaylor – Contributor
  • Nick Rogers – Contributor