Wednesday, January 27, 2010


"Dave and Roger are the best duo in rock and Dave Wakeling is by far the best voice in rock and roll....."

"General Public's unusual blend of reggae, ska and pop is an extension of Roger and Wakeling's days with the English Beat. "

"They have a unique sound and killer style"

"General Public demonstrate clearly what pop music COULD be, if it makes the effort.Challenging, insightful and NEVER an insult to your intelligence."

Electronic, Hip Hop, Pop, Reggae, Rock
Electro, Synth-pop, New Wave, Pop Rap, Pop Rock, Reggae-Pop

Dave Wakeling (The Beat, Dave Wakeling & Bang!, Free Radicals, currently The US based The English Beat)- vocals & guitar (1984-1986/1994-1995)
Ranking Roger (aka Roger Charlery)(The Dum Bum Boys, The Beat, Big Audio Dynamite, Special Beat, currently the UK based The New English Beat) - vocals, keyboards, bass, drums and percussion (1984-1986/1994-1995)
Horace Panter (The Specials, Special Beat, Pama International) - Bass (1984-1986)
Mickey Billingham (Cryer, Dexys Midnight Runners, The Beat, The New English Beat) - Keyboards (1984-1986)
Andy "Stoker" Growcott (Dexys Midnight Runners, The Bureau) - Drums (1984-1985)
Mick Jones (ex-The Clash, Big Audio Dynamite see: - Guitar (1983-1984 and only a guest in 1995)
Kevin White - Guitar (1984-1985)
John Bradbury (The Specials, The Special AKA, JB's Allstars, The Selecter)- Drums (1984-1986) (???) Lionel Martin (aka Papa Saxa)(The Beat, International Beat, it is unclear that he was indeed a member of General Public or guested only) - Saxophone
Gianni Minardi - Guitar (1985-1986)
Mario Minardi - Drums (1985-1986)
Wayne Lothian (Back-A-Yard Music Production, The Smart Set, Special Beat, and he is also mentioned in many articles as "a member of General Public in the 1990s") - Bass

"General Public"

"Never You Done That"


Dave Wakeling - Vocals & Guitar
Ranking Roger - Vocals, Keyboards, Bass, Drums, Percussion
Micky Dillingham - Keyboards, Vocals
Horace Panter - Bass
"Stoker" - Drums
Kevin White - Guitar
Mick Jones - Guitar
Justine Carpenter - Vocals on tracks 2 & 5, 10?
Saxa -
Saxaphone on track 1
Gary Barnacle ( and - Saxaphone on track 10
Steve Sidwell ( - Trumpet on track 9
Bob Porter ( - Bassoon on track 2
The Aswad Brass Section (Eddie Thornton, see: // Michael Rose, see: and // Vin Gordon, see: and and - Horns on track 3

Engineer, Producer, Recorded By, Mixed By - Colin Fairley ( and, Gavin MacKillop (, General Public
Assisted by Tim, Johnny, Biggles, J.J., Barney and Carb
Recorded and mixed at Air London, The Townhouse, The Manor, Redan Genetic and The Lot
Mastered by Gordon Vicary (He's now retired) at The Townhouse
Cover by Chris Morton/Photography by Peter Ashworth (



01 Hot You're Cool
02 Tenderness
03 Anxious
04 Never You Done That
05 Burning Bright
06 As A Matter Of Fact
07 Are You Leading Me On?
08 Day-To-Day
09 Where's The Line?
10 General Public


11 Tenderness (Longer Version)
12 So Hot You're Cool (Hot Dance Mix)
13 Never You Done That (12" Extended Version)
14 Tenderness (Live)
15 Day-To -Day (Live)
16 Where's The Line (Live)
17 Tenderness (Remix)

GENERAL PUBLIC (12") (1984)

18 General Public
19 Dishwasher

Link to download:


Everything started when The Beat ( and The Clash ( split at the same time in 1983.

"Ranking Roger and Mick Jones: A musical mutual appreciation society:

There has always been a mutual appreciation society between Ranking Roger of The Beat/General Public and Mick Jones of The Clash/Big Audio Dynamite. The Beat toured with The Clash and it was on tour that Ranking Roger, who as a punk briefly played drums in a Birmingham-based punk band called The Dum Dum Boys, met Jones who along with Joe Strummer and Paul Simenon were incorporating reggae into their sound.

Both The Clash and The Beat broke up around the same time in mid-1983, with Joe Strummer and Paul Simenon "firing" Mick Jones from the The Clash and Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger leaving to start General Public. Wakeling and Ranking Roger joined up with keyboardist Mickey Billingham (Dexys Midnight Runners), bassist Horace Panter (The Specials) and drummer Stoker (Dexys Midnight Runners/The Bureau) to form the new band. Jones was originally announced as a band member, and based on his friendship with Ranking Roger agreed to come on-board. However, by the time the "All The Rage" album was released in 1984, Jones had left to form Big Audio Dynamite, although he did play guitar on the majority of the album’s tracks.


The Beat were all about inclusion, rather than exclusion, and this showed in their personnel and their music influences. The six member band consisted of Dave Wakeling on vocals and guitar, Andy Cox on guitar, David Steele on bass, Everett Morton on drums, Ranking Roger on vocals and toasting, and foundational first wave ska legend Saxa on saxophone. The band crossed over fluidly between soul, reggae, pop and punk, and from these disparate pieces they created an infectious dance rhythm. Along with their contemporaries The Specials, The Selecter, and Madness, The Beat became an overnight sensation and one of the most popular and influential bands of the British ska movement.

Dave Wakeling once told me that every great band only has three really good albums. And true to form, The Beat decided to call it quits after their third album, "Special Beat Service".

Ranking Roger:
"No - it definitely wasn't all down to me because everyone had their own magic and talent in the band. And everyone came from different backgrounds but everyone in The Beat got the same money - the democracy in the band, well nothing I've done since has ever surpassed it.

But I think we did it the right way and I think that we eventually split because of greed and because we were touring too much in the US and were getting too big.

We were massive but had no hits, which was the record company's fault, but we did a sell out tour of 20-30,000 seater stadiums and me and Dave [Wakeling] thought it would be better if we formed General Public because we would only have to split the money two ways and not seven.

Everyone in The Beat was well looked after but it's my honest opinion that it was a bit of greed from me and Dave that split us up. I've said that before and I maintain it.

I regret doing it, but now we're back and I can sort of put it right. And now it's very similar to how it was then but if anything we have more freedom of expression. But everyone knows their role and what's expected of them."


"There are several reasons why the Beat split up. One of the main reasons was that the drummer and the bassist quit communicating musically. You could feel the distance on stage between the bass and drums and just getting rehearsals together was tortuous. It got hard and took all the fun out of it.

David Steele was a punk with a clear idea of what he wanted and where he was going. Everett Morton was a left-handed drummer; he had his kit set up like a right-handed drummer but played it left-handed. His was an original style and if you worked with it, it sounded real unique. But if you didn't, it sounded like a train wreck. Instead of working with it, David just turned his bass up and went for gold.

We tried to sign a deal with Virgin Records. Every time we got close, the band came up with 10 new things that we needed. We carried on for a bit longer, but the record companies said 'You know what? The Beat are done and you don't want a deal.'

To be honest, the Beat split up in the beginning of '84, six months before I left. Andy Cox and I always promised each other that if it ever got to where it was like swimming uphill, we would pack it in. That's what we did.

Unfortunately, we were managing ourselves at that point and probably just needed three months rest, a big glass of milk and some cookies. But saying that, the Beat probably ran its course by then anyway.

I tied the noose around my neck publicly and took the blame for leaving the group and signing with Virgin to form General Public with Ranking Roger, which was a mix of pop and soul and reggae."


First about their famous "eye" logo:

ZANI How did the name of General Public come about?

Dave Wakeling
"It was 1984, the year of Big Brother. Mrs Thatcher would often misuse the phrase The general public have made it quite clear. When a politician says the general public are saying something, the general public are usually the last people to know.

I thought with General Public, you got it as the downtrodden masses, and you got it as a military dictatorship. The image of a boo
t continually stamping on someone’s face, could be the bloke putting the boot in or the bloke getting his head stamped on."

ZANI Was it General Publics aim to crack America?

Dave Wakeling
"I really don’t know, and I didnt care to be honest. I just wrote songs. The Beat was ready to crack America, before The Beat cracked up. General Public sold more records in the States than The Beat, and The Fine Young Cannibals went all the way."

ZANI – Yet General Public never reached the same critical acclaim as The Beat, why do think that was?

Dave Wakeling
"I think that socially The Beat said something about the times. It was more like blimey, I’ve never heard anything like that before. Whilst General Public and Fine Young Cannibals were a bit more traditional."

So how surprised were you when General Public pulled off a huge hit…well, relatively speaking, anyway…with “Tenderness”?

"Well, I was surprised, but not really to do with the song. It was more to do with IRS Records at the time. It had been based on college radio and sort of underground promotion, and they had never really gotten involved with what at the time…and I suppose it’s only gotten worse, really…seemed like a very expensive top-40 lottery, where you had to be willing to commit a hundred thousand dollars just to even enter the competition of being in the charts. And IRS had never done that during the times of the English Beat. If you look at the history of IRS, you can see there’s a certain point right about the time when “Tenderness” came out, just before, where all of a sudden songs on IRS were starting to enter the top 40. And I think that they’d had enough success with the college charts and the independent charts that they could now afford to enter the top-40 lottery game. There had been jokes running around IRS that the only way you could get a top-40 hit on IRS was if you had a vagina. (Laughs)" (saltyka added. Read this old article from 1984 here:

Way to prove the cynics wrong, Dave.

"Well, Miles liked his girl groups! But then it spread out. I remember that “Tenderness” first kind of broke in Boston on a top-40 radio station, and it spread across the country like wildfire at that point. And as it happened, I was stunned because the sales figures that we were seeing on a daily basis were now more than we’d sold in the previous week or, later, even in the previous month. It was an exponential success that a top-40 record brought at that time."

Something I’ve wondered about ever since reading the credits for All the Rage: what role did Mick Jones play in the history of General Public?

"Well, we did a bit of a barter deal. He had left the Clash and was starting Big Audio Dynamite, and he said to me that he had a load of lyrics, but he liked the way I played with the vocal melodies, and if he gave me a cassette of instrumentals, would I do some la-la-la and humming and ideas for melodies? And he would fit his lyrics around those, if they fit. So I did that for him, and in the process of doing that, I said where we were with General Public, and he was my favorite guitarist of all time, and would he be willing to play on some of the tunes? So we gave him the songs as they were demos and let him get a feel for them. And we asked about rehearsals and that, but he was a very intuitive player, and he said, “No, I’ve got an idea of the songs now. Wait ‘til you’ve got a finished song that’s begging for a lead guitar part, and I’ll just come down. I’m not precious about it. I’ll just play loads of things and you tell me what fits and throw away the rest.”

Although he had a very casual air about him, Mick was an incredibly hard-working musician. He would stay playing the guitar for hours and hours, searching as he played along with the track for what he thought resonated. And over the course of a few sessions, we got some of the most fantastic guitar parts for “Tenderness,” “Where’s the Line,” “Never You Done That, “Hot You’re Cool.” We got him mainly, I think, just to play on the songs that we thought might be potential singles or that had that smell of a hit about them. And then we let him pick some other songs that we played him, and he said, “Oh, yeah, I’ve got a part for that.” And we let him play on “As a Matter of Fact,” I think that was one of the ones he picked out.

I had to control Ranking Roger a bit, though, because…I wouldn’t say he was a control freak, but he had a very particular opinion about everything. So Mick Jones would be starting to play something, and Roger would be on the intercom straight away, “Uh, Mick, could you try something like…” And I could see Mick Jones start to get frustrated, y’know? I let it go on about two or three times, and then I thought, “Oh, no, this could spoil stuff.” So, eventually, Roger went to push the intercom button, and I grabbed his hand, and I said, “Here’s an idea, Roger: why don’t you let the best guitarist in the world play what he wants? And if, at the end of the night, you still don’t think you’ve got what you need, then come up with a suggestion. But as you can’t actually play the guitar, why not shut up?” (Laughs) And there was a tense little moment, but he let Mick Jones do his thing, thank God!"



"First out of the gate with a new band after the English Beat's acrimonious fracture in June 1983, General Public was the first post-punk supergroup, gathering the Beat's Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger, the Specials' Horace Panter, and other veterans of the U.K. ska revival. (Mick Jones, freshly booted from the Clash, was originally announced as General Public's lead guitarist; although he left the group very early on to start up Big Audio Dynamite and doesn't appear in the album photos, his guitar does appear on nearly all of the album's ten tracks.)
Frankly, All the Rage could quite easily have been the fourth English Beat album, as it's a clear continuation from 1982's Special Beat Service. The ska sounds are largely absent, replaced by a mixture of catchy Brit-pop — someone in the group is clearly a fan of both the Beatles and Elvis Costello & the Attractions — and occasional reggae influences. The closing track, "General Public," is a sneering putdown of British politics and the attendant old boys network, the most political song the boys had written since the days of "Stand Down Margaret" and one of their most effective reggae tunes ever, with echoes of the threatening throb of '70s classics like Culture's Two Sevens Clash. However, more of the album is along the line of the hit singles "Tenderness" (the biggest U.S. chart hit of any English Beat-related band until Fine Young Cannibals' "She Drives Me Crazy" five years later and one of Wakeling's best lost-love songs) and "Never You Done That": creamy commercial pop marrying Wakeling and Roger's well-blended vocals to a slick (but not too slick) blend of jangly guitars and the then-emergent MIDI keyboards. All the Rage is certainly an album of its time — those weedy synth-drums on the otherwise kinda funky "As a Matter of Fact" are a dead giveaway that this was recorded in 1984 — but it sounds less dated than many of its contemporaries due to Wakeling's keen songwriting skills."

" "All the Rage "showcases their creative musicianship to the full, weaving subtle rhythms and melodies with irrepressible dance beats (just check out Anxious and Never You Done That). The lyrical content is superb - acute and incisive political and social commentary,(Where's The Line, As A Matter of Fact) aeons away from the intellectually barren pop of recent years. Dave and Roger have two of the sharpest lenses for social commentary you'll find anywhere in rock music. Combine this with their ear for a brilliant tune, and you have the consummate band. If you buy one album this year, make it this one."

"Very good album. It sort of popped out of nowhere after the Beat broke up. Well worth adding to your collection. No word from them since 1995s Rub it Better, also very good. Will they reunite? Wait and see."

"1984 Brit pop group dabbling in funk and ska yielded one great song; "Tenderness", a jingly piano-driven, bassoon enhanced, unabashedly sweet, catchy song that contains maybe the most representative line of '80s suppressed left wing agenda, - "I open my mouth and out pops something spiteful.", it rises above the hyperactive vocals and dull routine funk of the other songs, although the song, "General Public", adds Middle Eastern and progressive elements in a grandiose album closing. Band member, Ranking Roger (vocals, keyboards), has put out at least one fine Motown influenced solo album, and Clash guitarist Mick Jones, plays some rough guitar on some of the tracks. The band needs to lean more towards it's tender side than it's frantic funk."

"Both this album and GP's later "Hand To Mouth" are simply a delight, light years above not just the schlock from the 80's, but above even the good stuff as well. Dave's voice is a slice of heaven and his lyrics are razor-sharp, filled with clever metaphors and double-meanings. (Example: "your friends get laid on stony ground"). Roger's harmonies play off him very well too. Musically, the songs are surprisingly intricate. For instance, "Never You Done That" has a structure much more complex than a standard pop song-- yet manages to be incredibly stick-in-your-brain catchy at the same time. And "Anxious" can't decide whether it is a pop song or a reggae song-- which is what makes it so great, because it is both at the same time. And who could forget the all-time classic "Tenderness", alone worth the price of the album. This album is essential if you're into 80's, and nevertheless a complete treat if you're not. DON'T MISS IT!"

"Songcraft notwithstanding, I find that the (English) Beat's (debut) ska and (follow-up) panafrobeat albums wear better than their (farewell) pop album, and I'm sorry to report that Dave Wakeling's and Ranking Roger's new group turn a tendency into an avalanche. Although they've managed a unique sound within current English pop fashion, which makes do with unintrusive dance grooves instead of beat and melody, they don't break out of its rut. Their new rhythm section is no more an improvement on David Steele and Everett Martin than Wesley Magoogan was on Saxa. They place too much weight on lyrics that even when they escape modern romance simply don't deconstruct clichés the way they propose to (viz. "As a Matter of Fact"). And the breathy expressionism of their vocals is fast evolving into affectation. B MINUS" (

"I bought this CD one day just because I was reminiscing about General Public when they played MTV's New Year's Eve bash. (Remember when MTV would celebrate New Years in each of the 4 time zones? Wow, I was really flashing back that day!)
What really surprised me was that I'd forgotten General Public was really a good band and this CD is the epitome of what was neat about 80's music. There's something to dance to. There's some alternative stuff. There's a little ska. There are those great duet vocals by Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger. I enjoy every song on the entire CD!"

"The Beat, to me at least, were one of the most under-rated bands of our time with some of the most uplifting ska music which, once combined with Dave Wakeling's ability to twist lyrics with double meanings and plenty of humour, meant you were always in for a treat.
When The Beat split up I felt compelled to follow the careers of all involved and General Public, with both Wakeling and Ranking Roger from The Beat, and members formerly of The Specials and Dexy's, were for me the most mouth watering prospect. I bought this album on it's release day, loved it, and have played it countless times.
Nearly twenty years after and to me it stands the test of time with ease. From the opening of Hot, You're Cool (with the obvious Wakeling sexual innuendo) through to the final track which is the self titled first single release you find yourself on a musical journey. Highlights include the anthemic Burning Bright, the wondeful Never You Done That and the US smash Tenderness ( I have never understood why GP flopped in the UK) This is a sublime album and I cannot praise the people involved enough.
Buy It."

"I was a big fan of General Public,still am. Dave & Roger's harmonies were as good as anyone around and the lyrics often far too sharp for the casual listener. This album is well worth a listen for anyone into pure pop(with a hint of reggae thrown in!)-however I think the production lets the songs down a bit.
I had a tape of the Radio One session they did shortly before the album (Hot You're Cool, As A Matter Of Fact and Burning Bright) and unfortunately the versions on All The Rage were not a patch on these. I also saw them live at the Coventry Apollo, where they blew The Style Council off the stage! The album is almost TOO polished, so you lose a lot of the dynamism of the bass legend Horace Panter, for example.
All in all, well worth buying, to hear an excellent and criminally-ignored band, but it doesn't quite do them full justice."

More review:


Dave Wakeling - Vocals & Guitar
Ranking Roger - Vocals & Keyboards
Micky Dillingham - Keyboards & Vocals
Horace Panter - Bass
Mario Minardi - Drums
Gianni Minardi - Guitar

Saxa - Saxaphone

Additional Musicians:
Justine Carpenter ( & Sandra Loban - Vocals
Pato Banton ( - Toasting
Gaspar Lawal (,,457038,00.html and Percussion
Chris Cameron ( - Brass Arrangements
Steve Brennan (Dexys Midnight Runners) - Violin
Digby Cleaver (Mick Jones guitar tech) - Rap

Produced & Mixed by David Leonard ( and, Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger
Engineered by John Shaw, Tim Baldwin (, Kent Wagner ( and Sidney Burton Jr.(
Assisted by Tim, Johnny, Biggles, J.J., Barney and Carb
Recorded at The Abattoir, Birmingham, U.K. and Genetic Studios, Streatley, U.K.
Mixed at Mission Control, Boston, U.S.
Cover painting by Martin Burgoyne (Madonna's friend, died of AIDS)
Photography by Peter Ashworth (
Design by C More Tone

"Come Again and interview"


01 Come Again
02 Faults And All
03 Forward As One
04 Murder
05 Cheque In The Post
06 Too Much Or Nothing
07 Love Without The Fun
08 In Conversation
09 Never All There
10 Cry You On Your Shoulder

FAULTS AND ALL (12") (1986)

11 Faults And All (Extended Mix)
12 Faults And All (7" Version)
13 Taking The Day Off

Link to download:

Read this article from 1986:

Were you surprised when General Public’s second album, Hand to Mouth, was not as big a success?

"In a way. But not, in a way. We actually recorded it for a second time. The first time had been done with a lot of programming, and the programming was a bit stilted and stiff, and it didn’t really blend with the songs very well. A lot of people said, “Ah, it’s all right. Just stick it out and get on with the next one.” But it didn’t feel right and it didn’t sound right, so we recorded it again. And in those days, you had to have a record out every year, or else the crowd had moved on to another thing. So we took an extra year to record it and brought it out…and we left our audience waiting a bit too long. These were in the times of top-40 mass marketing, and you were either in the game or you were completely forgotten. And we just left it a bit too long. Because we’d been recording all that time, we hadn’t gone and toured, so we kind of left our fans waiting, hanging there a bit too long, and they’d moved on. And it was difficult, I think, playing the top-40 game to jump straight back in two years later. And the record company tried, and it didn’t work in the first few weeks, and, sadly, what happened in those days was that if they didn’t feel a bite at the end of the hook in the first month, then they just dropped your record and moved on to the next one. It was very cutthroat.

So it was kind of sad, because there were some really good songs on the record, but the process that we’d taken, and then the process that we had to commit ourselves to with the record company…? Now they were coming off the back of “Tenderness,” “Never You Done That,” and “Hot You’re Cool,” which had been top-40 hits, and it meant that they were going straight to top-40 with the new songs. They weren’t going to try and build it up through college or alternative radio. So they threw it at top 40 and it didn’t catch, so we dropped pretty quickly. So it was sad and a lesson to be learned, but you also have to be able to separate the making of music and the making of chart positions. They’re not the same thing. The people who had stayed with us as General Public fans liked the record, and they seemed happy with it. And although we hadn’t cast such a wide top-40 net and collected all of these other ‘80s pop fans was sad in one way, we had to remember that it wasn’t the end of the world. As my mum put it to me, “There’s kids down the street, Dave, who’d give their right arm to play guitar in your band.” And I said, “Well, they wouldn’t be able to play much guitar with one arm, would they, mum?” (Laughs)

So had the album been a success, do you think you and Roger would’ve stuck it out as General Public for another album immediately thereafter, or were you already ready to call it a day?

"No, unfortunately, the seeds of destruction had already been set during the process of the recording, because Roger…the record company hadn’t picked a lot of Roger’s songs to be on the album, and Roger had been upset by that and wanted to make a solo record. So all the way through making the album, we didn’t hear much else out of Roger except how he wanted to make a solo record. And it really got on everybody’s nerves and kicked the spirit right down, kind of. Then we went on a promotional tour, and I remember it was between Boston and Philadelphia, and he mentioned it again as we were taking off, just me and him. And my blood was kind of boiling. And as we were landing, I said, “Yeah, I think you’re right: I think you should make a solo record.” And he was getting all excited when I said, “‘Cause that’s what I’m going to do.” And he said, “No! No, no, no, I don’t want to split the group up!” And I said, “Well, you just did.” (Laughs) Bad luck."

One more interview from 1986: "England's General Public keeps the beat going strong ":

"To paraphrase the English Beat's second album, wha'ppen? General Public's first album, released just over a year after the English Beat's split, was a solid piece of candy-coated pop featuring several terrific songs by singer/primary songwriter Dave Wakeling. Hand to Mouth, released barely a year and a half later after a couple of personnel shakeups, is a huge stumble in comparison. Continuing All the Rage's trend towards slick pop production, but finally tipping over into bland anonymity, the album makes absolutely no musical impression even after several listens. Even worse, the songs are a uniformly dire lot, replacing the reggae and Brit-pop influences with newfound interests in American R&B and chart pop. Even the few moderately catchy songs are flawed; the gospel-influenced single "Come Again" moves along cheerfully enough until an absurdly over-emphasized "boop boop!" shout in the chorus makes the whole thing sound simply ridiculous. Unsurprisingly, General Public broke up shortly after this album's release. The belated CD issue includes several negligible B-sides and remixes."

"This one was never a huge success commercially. Why? I have no idea, because this album is simply brilliant. Even more evolved than GP's first album (_All the Rage_), yet still just as catchy, and still sounds great today. As with their first album, the lyrics are wickedly clever, and come at you from within songs that are at once both musically complex and sing-along catchy. The complexity is evidenced in the striking horn arrangements sprinkled throughout the entire album-- the way the horns interact with the vocals is evidence that there was a lot of talent and thought behind the songwriting. This version of the cd (which I thought was out of print? ) comes with EIGHT bonus tracks-- including an obscure one that alone is worth the price of the whole CD: "Taking the Day Off", a bouncy gem that conks you over the head with fun and isn't otherwise available, aside from being heard in the background in "Ferris Bueller" (in the Cameron Swimming Pool scene, I think). So don't miss this album! "

"Hand To Mouth is an outstanding example how well written, performed pop music from the mid-eighties should've sounded like. Forget about the over produced, heavily synthesized Euro schlock. This is the real fun stuff. At times some of the tracks had almost a retro feel or throwback to the music styles of the 50's and 60's. Love Without The Fun resonates with the 50's drive-in, soda pop sound while Come Again has a 60's (almost Burt Bacharach feel with early Motown undertones) sugar coated infectious groove. The reggae cloaked Forward As One is a special throwback to General Public's days with their old group English Beat. The last track, Cry On Your Own Shoulder is a smooth and suave r&b/dance track which closely resembles something witten or performed by ABC off the Lexicon of Love album.
My consensus on General Public's Hand To Mouth is that of other reviewers; It was an underrated and underpromoted project that could've soared back then !"

"Though none of the individual tracks are "unforgettable singles", somehow the net effect of all the songs together achieves that rare impact that distinguishes really great albums. It's not a bunch of happy kids making silly dance music here (not that there's anything wrong with that!) These are rockin New Wave laments by disillusioned (but undefeated) adults coping with the agony of an imperfect world of flawed relationships--yet determined to plow on through it with style, grace, wry humor, poetry, and a solid 80's beat! And somehow, the whole is more than the sum of the parts... you have to listen to the entire album--preferably after a breakup, job loss, etc. Good medicine for bad times.

One of the other reviewers thinks "Come Again" is about the return of J.C. Heh heh... er, no. :) Listen again... second time'll be twice as nice... :)"

"This cd is great. The first time I listened to the cd it sounded kind of dead but then I sat down and listened to the whole cd from beginning to end and I have to say that its one of the best Cd's I've ever heard. This Cd also contains some of the music from the General Public Concert which includes one of their greatest songs, Tenderness. If you want to buy one of General Publics Cd's I recommend this one."

"So even though RAGE is currently rated lower, that's the one to get. It's a classic 80's party album that's also much more than just a party album. HAND TO MOUTH is more for committed fans. I do especially like "In Conversation" and "Come Again!" is a plea for Jesus Christ's return as well as a very fun, upbeat song. I no longer subscribe to Christianity, but I can still appreciate the tune."

More review:


Toasting - Pato Banton ( (track 11)
Co-producer - General Public
Mastered By - Ted Jensen (
Mixed By - Tom Lord-Alge ( and and

Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals (bckgr) - Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads, see: and, General Public
Engineer - Baraka (, Larry Brewer , Karl Derfler ( and, Mike Exete (, Jeff Lord-Alge (, Tom Lord-Alge, Doug McKean (, David Vartanian, Stoker
Norton Buffalo ( and - Harmonica
Vocals (bckgr) - Andrea Gaines, Arlene Newson (Poi Dog Pondering, see:, Sharon Celani (
Daniel Chase - Drums, Engineer
Josh Cheuse ( - Art Direction, Design, Photography
Saxophone - Tom Fabre (passed away in 2007, see:, Andrew Gayle (, Saxa
Norman Jones ( - Percussion, Vocals
Guitar - Alex Weir (, Chris Karn (, Chris Manos (, Chris Spedding (, Mick Jones (The Clash, see first album)
David Longoria ( - Trumpet/ Greg Smith ( - Trombone
Wayne Lothian (The English Beat, see:, and plays also with Duane Neillson see: and The Smart Set, see: - Bass
Michael Railton (Live, Nsync, see: - Keyboards, Programming, Vocals
Ranking Roger - Synthesizer, Programming, Vocals, Toaster
Dave Wakeling - Guitar, Vocals

Credits for "I'll Take You There" (12") (1994):
Mixed By - Brian Malouf/Producer - General Public , Ralph Sall , Tony Phillips
Tracks 01 and 03:
Programmed By - Johnny Vicious , Lem Springsteen/ Remix - Satoshi Tomiie

Credits for "Rub It Better (12") (1995):
Remix - Gordon Williams / Vere Isaac (track 18)

"I'll Take You There"


01 It Must Be Tough
02 Rainy Days
03 Hold It Deep
04 Big Bed
05 Punk
06 Friends Again
07 It's Weird
08 Never Not Alone
09 Handgun
10 Blowhard
11 Warm Love
12 Rub It Better


13 Rainy Days (Radio Edit)

I'LL TAKE YOU THERE (12") (1994)

14 I'll Take You There (Extended 7" Mix)
15 I'll Take You There (Sunshine Club Mix)
16 I'll Take You There (Hoya Tribe Trip)
17 Save Its For Later
18 I'll Take You There (Baby Says Huh? Dub)

Link to download:

Read this article from 1995 on their reunit:,5365354

After spending nine years apart, General Public have finally re-united to release a new album, "Rub It Better." Comprised of former English Beat members Ranking Roger and Dave Wakeling, General Public are masters at creating catchy pop songs with a strong ska influence. The duo originally decided to start working together again about two and a half years ago, and while shopping for a new record deal landed a spot on the "Threesome" soundtrack with "I'll Take You There."

"It was a bit surprising to me when we finally got back together," says Roger, whose full name is Roger Charlery. "It was a lot to do with the original drummer of General Public, because me and him had always been good mates. He said he didn't want to play drums for the band anymore but he wanted to produce the band and he'd make sure that me and Dave didn't fight if he was the producer, I thought 'brilliant, it would work then.' For me, I always wanted to make a third General Public LP. When we split up just before we started, I was very disappointed."

...Though he isn't sure why General Public originally broke up, he can look back and explain why the duo split from the English Beat. Wakeling intended to leave and asked Roger to come along, and while he could have continued on a singer for the English Beat, there were also financial considerations.

"For me, it was through fear, but at the same time we also realized that things wouldn't get split up seven ways but would get split up two ways and there would be like 3 times as much," he says. "When in reality, there wasn't because the Fine Young Cannibals proved us wrong a couple of years later by selling 20 million copies of their album. If that was the English Beat, then we would have sold 20 million albums, and General Public only sold like 1 1/2 million or something like that. There you have it - because we did it through greed, that was like our punishment."

Well, I have to say that, as far as the third General Public album, Rub It Better, I’ve always been a big fan of “Hold It Deep” and could never figure out why that didn’t get released as a single.

"Well, thank you very much for that, as I felt exactly the same way, and so did the top-40 guy from Sony. So also did the chap that was managing Madonna at the time: Freddy DeMann, who was running that record label she had. Maverick. And we nearly signed with Maverick. I can’t remember why we ended up with Sony. But he said that he thought that was the best song he’d heard in years, and that if we didn’t have a single, he’d convince Madonna to put it out as a single, and she’d have a number one with it! (Laughs) I thought it was the most obvious single, and I presumed it was going to be picked as one, so when Sony picked something else, I was shocked. And we went into Sony, and the top-40 guy was so mad about it that he…I don’t know how he did it, but on their internal computers, he got this message running across everybody’s computer in the whole building, saying, “It’s ‘Hold It Deep,’ stupid!” It was there for hours! So, yeah, I think that would’ve been a hit single myself."

Also, it was kind of insult to injury that it should have followed “Rainy Days” on the album, which was the single.

"No, that didn’t help any. And thank you for bringing that up. (Laughs)"

I have a General Public question for you. When your cover of “I’ll Take You There” landed in the American Top 40, be honest: you were totally shocked, weren’t you?

"Yes, I was. Totally shocked. I think the only thing that was more shocking was on Election Day [in 1996], and the TV was on in the other room. Somebody grabbed me and said, “Quickquickquickquickquick!” And they’ve got a film of President Clinton getting off of Air Force One to go and vote in Little Rock, Arkansas. And the door opens, and [humming opening notes to “I’ll Take You There”] dum dum dum dum dum, and I was singing as he walked down the stairs, and I thought, “Wow, that’s about as ironic as it gets, isn’t it?” And Clinton used that song a few times. He used it at the New Hampshire primaries, he used it as the final song at the Democratic National Convention, and then he used it on Election Day. And then I wrote and said “Really glad you like the song. We have a spare 16 bars if you know anyone who’d like to play a saxophone solo at one of the inaugural balls.” And we got a form letter back saying, “The only bands considered for inaugural balls needed to have played at least 15 fundraisers.”"

"General Public earned a second shot with its Top 40 cover of "I'll Take You There" in 1994. But the group took a year to complete this reunion album, which did not include the hit. Instead, Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger alternated tracks, with Wakeling's employing the dense, multi-rhythmic sound found on producer Jerry Harrison's solo albums and Roger's in a more conventional reggae-with-toasting style. Only occasionally (for example, on "Handgun") did Wakeling display the talent for catchy pop he had previously displayed on songs like "Save It for Later" and "Tenderness." Rub It Better suggested that General Public had reformed without a clear idea of what kind of music it wanted to make or who its audience was. Wakeling and Roger remained a talented twosome, but one in need of direction."

"General Public broke up after this 1995 album do it being considered a 'let down' for people expecting a 'better' come back from the British dynamic duo of Dave Wakeling and "Rankin'" Roger. It is instances like these where I distruss the public as well as the critics. The only other person who loved this album besides me was a critic from Rolling Stone who also gave it five stars, which means a classic. Every song on this album certainly sounds like a classic and the entire album will resonate in your brain even after the first listen. With it's catchy synthesiser and guitar riffs and melodic hooks, this would make for a masterpiece for those of you who a)liked the English Beat, Genral Public's former incarnation or b)genrally love the fusion of Reggea and Pop. With Roger's Jamaican-style rapping and Wakeling's romantic lead vocals, 'Rub It Better' is a must-have in your record collection."

"I have to agree with the previous reviewer and rolling stones on this one. It's nearly impossible not to tap your feet and bounce around to wonderful tracks like "Never Not Alone" and "Punk". They also mix in some nice slower tracks like "Friends Again", which displays their wide range of talents and ability to create different moods. I'm not even sure how to classify "It's Weird" which is just plain one of the coolest songs ever made. This may not have been their most popular album but it's far and away their best. Any fan of English Beat should like and enjoy this album. The only weak track in my opinion is "Big Bed", but that's just weak in comparison to how great the rest of this album is. I saw these guys live in San Diego back in 1995 and they were awesome, it's a real shame they didn't have more success with this album and continue to put out more. Definitely worth buying. Enjoy."

3.5 Stars - Very Good -'s Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger's breezy ebullience, intelligent musicianship, and obvious relief in their own reconciliation that shape RUB IT BETTER into an exhilarating comeback...
Rolling Stone (05/18/1995)

More review:

CLASSIC MASTERS - Compilation (2002)

Producer: Cheryl Palewski
Remastered by Robbie Robertson (


01 General Public
02 Tenderness
03 Hot You're Cool (Live)
04 Never You Done That
05 Too Much Or Nothing
06 Taking The Day Off
07 Come Again
08 Murder
09 Cry On Your Own Shoulder
10 I'll Take You There
11 Save It For Later (Live)
12 Limited Balance

Various - Starvation / Tam Tam Pour L'Éthiopie (7") (feat. General Public)

13 Starvation
14 Tam Tam Pour L'Éthiopie

Link to download:

more info foe the bonus tracks: and

"As an off-shoot of the English Beat, General Public scored some big hits initially, particularly on their eponymous lead single and "Tenderness," an effervescent piece of sunshine that stands as a great single of its time. They never had hits as big as that again, although their debut =All the Rage= was very good,= and they faded by the end of the decade. Their edition of Capitol's catch-all 2002 best-of series =Classic Masters= comes close to tracing that evolution, but it takes a couple of weird turns in its song selection, particularly by including a live version of "Hot Your Cool" and a previously unreleased version of the English Beat's big hit, "Save It for Later." This still is a pretty enjoyable, fairly representative overview, but it could have been better." ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

"I found this CD to be the ghost of groups past. English Beat's album "Special Beat Service" comes to mind, with the reggae sounds and bouncy music. I had General Public's "All The Rage" tape and this does not sound like that style music. More funky is a good way to put it. Well, I liked both, and really liked English Beat, but they also try to convince you that this is a comeback album with at least 2 of their songs. Also, what is the deal with the photos? I couldn't decide whether they were trying to be nasty or not with the title combined with the photos. Well, anyway, you will enjoy the bouncy songs -if not, at least it isn't full price, and they are ok to exercise to."

"After General Public's second album failed to set the world alight in 1986 they split up with Dave Wakeling working for Greenpeace whilst Ranking Roger recorded a solo album before taking part in the Special Beat pension plan touring band. Tempted out of retirement in 1993 they recorded a cover of lolly pop reggae `I'll Take You There' for the soundtrack of the largely forgotten film `Threesome' and performed live at the KROQ Acoustic Christmas Show.

Obviously enjoying the return to the Limelight they co-opted ex-talking head Jerry Harrison as producer and returned to the studio to record this surprisingly good album. Although they recruited previous guest's Mick Jones and Panto Banton to help out none of the original band where used in any of the sessions for this album including the one in old mates UB40's Dep International studio.

Although the quality varies from track to track we do have some classic tracks such as `Rainy Day's', `Big Bead' and `Punk'. Although the writing is as good as General Public when they first recorded the most telling fact about this album is that it's best track is a cover, Van Morrison's `Warm Love' is the penultimate track and leaves the finale `Rub it Better' with too much to do."

"What a great bargain price for a remarkable album from General Public. Their trademark sound is still there but presented in a more mature and refined form ! Some slight ska or reggae tracks are reminiscent of the groups'heyday when they were a part of the English Beat ( Ranking Roger being the lead singer). The rest of the tracks are of a soft-alternative nature with nothing displeasing to the ears.It's pop at it's best for the mid 90's.As for the pictures and photography,as one previous reviewer pointed out, are surely questionable ! This is truly a hidden treasure that never received any proper airplay,advertising, or recognition.This is one title not to be missed just because it never saw the light of day. If you see it in an el cheapo cutout bin at any local music store,get it. You won't regret it (what's a few dollars)..."

"What a swinging good time this cd is. Great when driving. Upbeat and perfect to toe tap too."

General Public was a rock band, formed by The Beat vocalists Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger.

After the 1983 break-up of The Beat (known as The English Beat in North America), Wakeling and Roger decided to continue working together in a new venture. They joined up with keyboardist Mickey Billingham (ex-Dexys Midnight Runners), guitarist Mick Jones of The Clash, bassist Horace Panter (The Specials) and drummer Stoker (ex-Dexys Midnight Runners/The Bureau) to form a quasi-"supergroup" of the UK punk/ska/mod scene. The band was dubbed General Public, and was signed to Virgin Records in the UK and I.R.S. Records in North America.
The band recorded and released the album All the Rage in 1984. Jones left General Public part way through the recording process, but is listed in the album's inner sleeve credits as a group member (although he did not appear in any of the band photographs). Jones' replacement, guitarist Kevin White also played on the album, and was also listed an official group member. White's picture also appeared on the album's back cover.

In the UK, General Public had a minor hit with the eponymous track called "General Public", which reached # 60 in the UK Singles Chart in 1984.[1] As well, the B-side "Dishwasher" became a surprise top 40 in the Netherlands, after its use as a theme tune to the then popular pop radio show Avondspits.

Later in the year, the band fared even better in North America, where their second single "Tenderness" was a Top 40 hit in Canada (#11), and the U.S. (#27).

For the follow-up album, White and Stoker were replaced by brothers Gianni and Mario Minardi on guitar and drums, respectively. Despite featuring a track from the soundtrack to the movie, Weird Science, Hand to Mouth was significantly less successful than their debut album, and the band split up.

Their song "Taking The Day Off" was featured in the 1986 comedy film, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, by film director John Hughes.

Roger and Wakeling worked on various solo projects for the next few years, before reuniting as General Public in 1994 to perform a cover version of The Staple Singers hit , "I'll Take You There" for the Threesome film soundtrack. The song was a Top 40 hit in the U.S. and Canada, and a minor hit in the UK (#73).

The duo (now the only members of General Public) stayed together to release the album Rub It Better in 1995, recorded with the aid of record producer Jerry Harrison. Sales were poor, and Roger was tired of travelling to America, and they soon broke up again.

Since 2004, Dave Wakeling has toured the U.S. as The English Beat, and he often performs General Public tracks in his set list with a full backing band.

Considered by many as nothing more than an offshoot of the better-known '80s British outfit the English Beat, General Public still enjoyed several substantial hits on their own during their short career. Immediately after the split of the ska-pop outfit the English Beat in 1983, former members Dave Wakeling (vocals, born February 19, 1956) and Ranking Roger ("toaster," born February 21, 1961) formed General Public, which turned out to be more pop-based than its predecessor, with elements of classic Motown soul thrown in for good measure. Once former Dexy's Midnight Runners keyboa
rdist Mickey Billingham, former Specials bassist Horace Panter, and a drummer known simply as Stoker were all enlisted, General Public was officially up and running. Signing on with the IRS label, General Public's debut album, 1984's All the Rage, was a commercial success back home, as it featured a guest appearance by former Clash guitarist Mick Jones and scored a Top 40 single with the track "Tenderness." 1986 saw the release of General Public's sophomore effort, Hand to Mouth, which failed to match expectations set by its predecessor despite spawning a pair of popular singles, "Too Much or Nothing" and "Come Again."

With both Wakeling and Roger unable to agree on a musical direction, General Public split up shortly thereafter. Roger issued a solo debut in 1988, the more ska-based Radical Departure, while Wakeling contributed the title track to John Hughes' 1988 film She's Having a Baby and issued a solo album as well, 1991's General Public-esque No Warning. Roger would go on to form another outfit, Special Beat, which included musicians from the late-'70s English ska scene, but in 1994, Roger and Wakeling were asked to reunite General Public for a track on the Threesome motion picture soundtrack. A UB40-like interpretation of the Staple Singers' "I'll Take You There" was offered and became a surprise Top 40 hit. The duo remained together for a third General Public studio album, 1995's Rub It Better (produced by former Talking Heads keyboardist/guitarist Jerry Harrison), but when it sunk from sight upon release, the band split up once more. 2002 saw the release of the duo's first best-of collection, the 12-track Classic Masters.

This duo stayed together and are now the only original members of General Public left. In 1995 they released album, Rub It Better, with the producer, Jerry Harrison. They broke up soon after because the album did not sell many copies and Roger was tired of touring. In 2000, Dave Wakeling reunited his backing band and toured North America. The backing band did not have any of the original members of The Beat or General Public, although Roger and a few of the other members of The Beat performed as guests on a few of the shows. Wakeling and Roger reunited again in 2005 and The Beat officially reformed.
( and

All The Rage (1984)
Hand To mouth (1986)
Rub It Better (1995)
Classic Masters - Compilation(2002)
Demos And Unreleased (Unofficial) (Donload here:

More info: (Lyrics)


RANKING ROGER - Radical Departure (1988)

Electronic, Rock
Ska, Synth-pop

Bass - Horace Panter
Organ - Micky Billingham (track 06)
Co-producer - Timm Baldwin ( (tracks: 07)
Drums - Fuzz Townshend ( and, Stoker (tracks 08, 10)
Guitar - Bobby Bird (
Keyboards - Nigel Darvill (played keyboards with the likes of Ruby Turner, Edwin Starr, Mean Street Dealers, Steel Pulse, Fine Young Cannibals and former toaster with The Beat, Ranking Roger, see:
Saxaphone - The Mighty Saxa (tracks 06,11)
Percussion - Charge (tracks 03, 06)
Backing Vocals - Paulette Marshall (tracks 04, 06)/ Equilar Charlery (track 06)
Mastered By - Aaron Chakraverty (
Producer - Ranking Roger
Producer, Mixed By - Colin 'Superjock' Fairley (
Technician [Programming] - Ranking Roger
Written-by [Co-writer] - Dave Wakeling (track 06) , Micky Billingham (track 01)

"So Excited"


01 Falling Down
02 One Minute Closer (To Death)
03 Time To Mek A Dime
04 In Love With You
05 Smashing Down Another Door
06 So Excited
07 Mono Gone To Stereo
08 Your Problems
09 I Told You
10 Point Of View
11 I'll Be There
12 So Excited (Alternative Mix) 5:52 (from "In Love With You" 12" 1988) Remix - Keith Cohen , Steve Beltran Producer - Colin "Superjock" Fairley* , Ranking Roger
13 So Excited ("Come Into My House" Mix) 6:06 (from "So Excited" 12" 1988)

Link to download:

I regard this album as the third General Public release (in this case "Rub It Better" is their fourth album), as Horace Panter, Stoker, Saxa and Micky Billingham all played on it. Even Dave Wakeling is appered here although with a song only as a song writer. (saltyka)

There was a song, "So Excited", [Ranking] Roger did it...


Okay, you are listed as a songwriter on it.

"I was indeed."

Was there a General Public album in the works at the time, before you and Roger decided to go your separate ways?

"There was talk of one, and that was one of the songs we'd been working on, and in my opinion at the time Roger had gone kind of Napoleonic. He wanted to be in control of everything.

He'd end up giving me demos with all the vocals done, and backing vocals, and percussion, and he'd say, "Have a listen and tell me what you could do with this." So I'd have a listen and tell him what I thought we could do.

And he'd say, "Oh, no. Well, I like that bit." I think this is your chorus here and this is your catchiest bit, and you should stick... "No, I like it the way it is."

So he'd give me some new demos and say the same: "Have a listen, tell me what you think you could do."

And eventually I said, "Well I know what I can do."

And he's like, "What?"

And I'm like, "Well, I can bloody well listen to them, give you them back and tell you they're great, 'cause you don't want me to do nothing anyway."

But I said, "Why don't you give me a go with an instrumental?" And there was one tune. I said, "Give me that instrumental, just let me have a go with that, see if I can come up with something, and then you add around it," which is how we'd written "Never You Done That." And so he gave me the instrumental and I wrote "So Excited", and it was about condoms. (Singing) "You got me so excited, you got me, I'm going to wrap it up and give it all to you, Ha-ah!"

It was meant to become humorous and light and stuff. And then he sort of ran off with the song, and I think he thought it was really good anyway… and so he ran off with it for his solo record, and poetic justice, the record company picked it as the single. Ha ha! So his record's called "Radical Departure" and the first he had to do is sing a set of my lyrics just the same as he always had done."

"This is a really great ska/pop/rock record by the ex-(English) Beat member. I really don't know why this didn't do better and get more heard. I got it used about 16 years ago and It's on my iPod right now. I was going to list my favorites, but I can't because EVERY song is great. Snag this."

"Nice vibe, sounds a lot like General Public, but for the most part the songs aren't all that."

"The music is bouncy, well played and sung. There's a Pet Shop Boys meets The Specials; late 80's sound, that you might have loved if you were around 20 years old in 1988. Still fun to listen to in 2004. Roger has a lovely voice."

"Ranking Roger’s solo album Radical Departure has a great liner-notes gimmick: all the band members are holding up different numbers of fingers so you can match them with the numbered names printed beneath. The back cover used the same finger photo, and the front cover art is a different picture of Roger with one finger aloft. As Leopold Kronecker said, “God created the integers; all else is the work of man.”

By the way, I like this record better than both the General Public albums (as always, excluding the league-of-its-own “Tenderness”)."

More review:

RANKING ROGER (Roger Charlery)
first played in the punk band The Dum Bum Boys, later joined The Beat, General Public, Big Audio Dynamite (1996 - 1998, see:, Special Beat (, currently the leader of UK based The New English Beat (the USA based The English Beat is the band of Dave Wakeling, so there are two different Beat currently)
Also worked with Blue Riddim Band (early 80's, see:

Interview about The Beat, music and politics:

He released some solo single since the late 70's and collaborated with Pato Benton (since 1982 on few records), The Special AKA (1984), Children Of The Night (1989),
Busters Allstars (1990), Sting (1993), Pop Will Eat Itself (1993), Death In Vegas (1997), JImmy Nail (1997), Fuzz Townshend (1998), Lava Baby (2002), Smash Mouth (2003), DubXanne (2008), Snakestyle (2009), Easy Star All-Stars (2009)

Radical Departure (1988)
"Toaster and co-songwriter. Roger joined the band after opening for them with The Dum Bum Boys. Roger joined General Public with Dave in 1984, and since GP's last album Roger recorded with Death in Vegas, Big Audio Dynamite, Jimmy Nail, Fuzz Townshend, and the King of the Mods, Sting.
In 1998, Dave and Rog reformed GP to play the SWEET RELIEF concert to benefit ailing rockers. Currently, Roger and his son Ranking Jr. tour the UK with Everett and fine backing musicians as The New Beat." (
More info:

DAVE WAKELING - No Warning (1991)

Dave Wakeling - Guitar, Vocals
Additional recording and mixing by Derek Holt and Pete Haycock (both played in Climax Blues Band, see: and
Producer- Mark Goldenberg (


01 I Want More
02 No Warning
03 Remember in the Dark
04 Everytime You Look at Me That Way
05 Sensation
06 Freedom Fighter
07 One+ One+ One
08 Sex With You
09 I'm Not Ready
10 She's Having a Baby


SHE'S HAVING A BABY (12") (1988)

11 She's Having A Baby ("Pow-uh" Mix)
12 She's Having A Baby (Natural Childbirth Mix)
13 She's Having A Baby (Test Tube Baby Mix)
14 She's Having A Baby (Dub)

Link to download:

For his part, Wakeling whipped out the sprightly title track to the 1988 John Hughes film She's Having a Baby and then turned to an activist career in Greenpeace while dithering with a solo album for three years. In 1991, he finally released No Warning (originally announced in 1989 as The Happiest Man in the World; even sardonics have their bad days). The lack of musician credits, the presence of canned drumming, the prevalence of piano and the liner-note references to "additional recording and mixing by" all suggest an inorganic creative process, and the record — despite typical intelligence, perspective, sensitivity, politics and a shot of soul — is drowsy and dull. (Even "Sex With You" is a snore.) But it does lead off with a wry and winning anti-materialist tract, "I Want More," which is a worthy companion to "Save It for Later."


Fans of the rock-ska-soul bands the English Beat and General Public might still be wondering where Dave Wakeling, a former singer-songwriter for those acts, has been these last few years.

He never actually disappeared, although he says now that he did try to "hide my head under a rock."

That was just after the release of his first solo record, "No Warning," an event that would normally be an occasion for celebration. But Wakeling had never actually finished the thing.

"I made the fatal mistake of thinking if I walked away, it wouldn't exist anymore," Wakeling says of that record's raw demo tapes, which had left him deeply dissatisfied. "The record company proved me wrong because they gave the unfinished tracks to other guys and brought it out under my name.

"It was really painful at the time. But you get a new band together, and you get a new set of songs, you learn from it and go on."
Read more here::


...a friend of mine phoned me and said, “Oh, I hear you’ve got a new album coming out.”

"I said, “I certainly do not.” And he said, “Well, you certainly do, because I have a CEMA number for it right here!” (Laughs) The guy worked at CEMA, and he said, “I have a number for it. It’s in the pipeline. You have a record coming out called No Warning. It comes out in a month!” And I went, “Oh, my God.” And it turned out that the half-finished tracks that IRS had got, they’d given them to another band, who owed them money, and said that if they finished this record off for them, they would forgive them their debt. It was…well, I wouldn’t mention their name, because I know how embarrassed they were about it.

...And, so, they finished up the record and put some really odd guitar parts on it. Some of the vocals were just the original demo vocals, some of those were just bits of la-la-la, some have got no vocals at all, and they just put a guitar solo there instead. (Laughs) And they brought the record out, and I tried to stop it. I found a litigator in New York, because certainly what IRS were doing was a breach of every contract or clause ever, and it would’ve been preventable, but at some point, the litigator said, “Look, here’s your options. You can take on a megalomaniac millionaire in a New York court for the next two years, and you’ll win, but you’ll be broke for the rest of your life. Or you could just put your head under a rock and cry for three months, then it’ll all be over and we’ll get you off IRS Records, because what they’re doing is a total breach of contract as well as being totally disgraceful morally, and you’ll never have to deal with them again.” And, so, I thought about it for a minute, and I said, “Okay, pass the rock!” (Laughs) And so we did that. I had nothing to do with the record, I didn’t promote the record, I didn’t do any interviews about it. I just pretended it wasn’t happening. And at least I was off of IRS Records…although the battle still ensues, because they haven’t paid any publishing monies since the early ‘90s, like most groups that were on IRS. None of us have been paid for 15 years or more."

You can continue this awesome interview here:

"Dave Wakeling's solo album No Warning, recorded after the dissolution of General Public, followed that group's pop sensibilities rather than the purer ska direction of Wakeling's first group, the celebrated English Beat. These are his first solo recordings after he and longtime cohort Ranking Roger collapsed under the pressure of trying to keep a group together and pursued their own musical directions. Included on this collection is "She's Having a Baby," which Wakeling wrote and recorded for the John Hughes film of the same name. Wakeling's trademark, likable baritone is showcased here, as is his sweet lyrical ingenuity, but this album certainly doesn't hold up to the standard Wakeling set with either of his previous groups. Shortly after this ill-received effort, the British native would drop out of sight for a long period, living in California and pursuing his environmental interests."

"Dave Wakeling, formerly of English Beat and General Public has put together a collection of catchy songs that are all readily listenable and memorable. "I Want More" and "Sex With You" are standouts while "She's Having a Baby" from the treacly movie is less moving.

If the Beat and GP got your feet moving this will too."

More Review:


was a member of The Beat, Free Radicals (early 90's, see:, Dave Wakeling & Bang! (1998), General Public. He regularly performs as The English Beat in North America.(the UK based The New English Beat is the band of Ranking Roger, so there are two different Beat currently)

He released a single in 1988: She's Having A Baby (12") , in 1998: Dave Wakeling & Bang! - Two Swords, and in 2009 under his own name: Never Die (2009), which appeared on va- Believer Music Issue

He also worked with
The Equators(1998), Supreme Beat (2002)and Mr. Anonymous (2005)

BE: I see that you represent the Beat in the States, while Ranking Roger and Everett Morton represent the band in the UK.


"They do, indeed, and we’re great friends, and so I’m proud to say that they’re the best cover band I’ve ever heard."

BE: I was going to say that kind of arrangement smacks of litigation. You guys still get along?


"We do, indeed. We’re all good buddies and everybody’s gotta pay their rent. We might even work together. It’s a bit difficult now, because there are two bands and two sets of musicians with mouths to feed at home, so if you did try to work together, you’d put one bass player and one of everything out of work for a minute. But at least in theory, we have no problem with working with each other. Let’s just say we wish each other the best of luck until that comes."

Is there a difference between your American and English fans?

"There are differences in the way English and American fans appreciate the Beat. The English fans talk to me about the philosophical effect I've had on their lives and how their outlook about their bleak circumstances was uplifted.

The American fans talk to me about the social effect I've had on their lives. Where they were when they first heard one of our songs, or that they lost their virginity in the backseat of a car while the Beat was playing on the radio.

To a lot of people, particularly in America, Ranking Roger and I were the first black and white singing duo they'd ever seen, sort of a latter day Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. We were a symbol of inclusion."

Read the whole excellent interview here:


More Info: (lots of interesting interviews there if you browse his blog)

HORACE PANTER(Sir Horace Gentleman)
He played in General Public, Pama International (guest since 2006, see:, Special Beat (, The Specials

"1990s. Since then, Panter has been playing in blues bands ex-The Selecter Neol Davies's Box of Blues ( and Future Swamp (2002) album and his own band Blues To Go (, and he leads the Coventry Ska-Jazz Orchestra. He is now teaching art to special needs children in Corley Special School ( in north Warwickshire. He has written a well-received autobiography called "Ska'd for Life"

Currently he plays with Coventry funk&r&b band Realife (

More info:

Drummer of the bands NACK-ED-EN (a Coventry heavy rock band in 1970, see:, The Specials ( The Special AKA (, Special Beat ( also played with General Public, JB's Allstars (, and the later reformed The Selecter ( among others. He currently plays again with the reunited The Specials.

"Bradbury decided to have a go at running his own record label. He launched the short-lived Race Records in February 1981" See:

More info:

SAXA(Lionel Martin)
According to some sources he was also a part of General Public, but other sources don't mention him as the member of the band. I don't know what is the truth, but since he is not a keyfigure of the Brittish ska movemet but even plays a total unique style, must to talk about him some. He played in The Beat, International Beat (1988-1992 or 1995?, see: and, and guested on Fine Young Cannibals 1985 album and also on their single "Love For Sale" (1990). As there is stated in some sources, he also played with Bad Manners and The Selector. If you can confirm it, let me know please. In 2007 he toured with The New English Beat. In the recent years he retired from music due to his illness (anyway he is now 80 years old), but according to an interview with Dave Wakeling in 2009 "He was ill, and he recovered. And it was a miraculous recovery." Thank God! So we can expect him on the staege soon-i hope.

"Saxophone. Saxa was and is the heart and soul of The Beat. A foundational first wave musician who played with everyone from Prince Buster to Elvis to The Beatles, he provided the band’s musical link to its roots. In later years Saxa joined both International Beat and Twist & Crawl. Currently, Saxa is peacefully spending his days in and around Brum, keeping the spirit of ska alive."


"But one of the key components of The English Beat was Saxa. Now 80, he lives in England is still very close with Wakeling and a source of divination, almost like a spiritual adviser. I asked Wakeling about Saxa he became very emotional as he discussed the man’s influence on him.

“He’s like the Dali with a saxophone in his hand. When he’s talking to you, you feel like the only person in the world because he can focus all his energy on you, and he just touches you by the way he moves a hand or speaks; it’s almost as though you’re receiving transmitted knowledge. Being in his presence allows you to understand what he’s talking about more than just reading it in a book, you just get it.”

Wakeling went on: “I would throw up before shows; [one time] I’d just thrown up and he grabbed me. He said, ‘You see all them people out there? They’ve all come on the bus in the rain…soaking wet, waiting to have a good time with you. You don’t understand—you’re the lucky one.’ I never threw up after that. He put it into perspective…the only thing you can really do that’s gonna work consistently is sing the song from your heart to theirs.”

More info:

STOKER (Andrew Growcott)

Stoker Drummer with Dexys ( from December 1979 through to the break-up of the first band in November 1980. Became part of The Bureau (1981, see:, before working with Steven "Tin Tin" Duffy (1982) and then joining General Public (1983). Later embarked on a successful career as a producer (with production credits including Pato Banton's hit single "Baby Come Back").

In the 90's produced Sting, For Real, Lighter Shade Of Brown, Hepcat and remixed some songs for Sting, Havoc & Prodeje, Lighter Shade Of Brown, DFC, Montell Jordan, Hepcat, For Real, Dance Hall Crashers, Wild Orchid and Angelique
Engineered Kool G. Rap & D.J. Polo, Sting, Dance Hall Crashers

"From Birmingham, England, Stoker has an extensive background in production, engineering and recording. Prior to crossing over to production , Stoker achieved notoriety as a drummer in several well-known UK bands. Stoker's drum credits include, Dexy's Midnight Runners, which featured the hit singles "Come On Eileen" and "Geno", Tin Tin's "Kiss Me", General Public's debut album featuring "Tenderness" and "Never You Done That" and The Bureau.

1990, Stoker received the Alternative Producer of the Year Award from the Philadelphia Music Association and while in Philadelphia hosted his own music video/interview television show, Gosh.

1995, Stoker produced "Baby Come Back" the 5.3 million selling international hit by Pato Banton featuring Robin & Ali Campbell of UB40." More here with a detailed discography:

More info:

played in Cryer ( and, Dexys Midnight Runners (, The Beat, The Blue Ox Babes (

Keyboard player with Dexys from December 1980 through to late-1982. Co-wrote the tracks "...And Yes We Must Remain The Wildhearted Outsiders", "The Celtic Soul Brothers" and "Love Part Two" and is sometimes included on the writing credits for "Come On Eileen" and "Let's Make This Precious". Joined General Public after leaving Dexys and later performed briefly with The Blue Ox Babes.

Micky Billingham Ex-Dexys keyboard player who performed with The Blue Ox Babes for a brief period around 1987 (playing organ on an unreleased version of "Take Me To The River") but was unable to commit to the group long-term. Previously enjoyed a two-year tenure as a Midnight Runner (from December 1980 through to December 1982) co-writing hit-single "The Celtic Soul Brothers" and the B-side "Love Part Two". Joined up with Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger in General Public after leaving Dexys and is currently performing with The Beat on their 30th anniversary tour.

Mickey Billingham (also credited Micky Billingham) is an English keyboardist. He was the former keyboardist of the band Dexys Midnight Runners. After the band split, he and another member, Andy "Stoker" Growcott became co-founding members of General Public, contributing to the album All the Rage (1984).

Mickey Billingham now plays in The Beat with Ranking Roger & Everett Morton.

As well as being in The Beat, Mickey Billingham also teaches singing and performance techniques at Dudley College (\Pg0.asp) in the West Midlands.

More info:

I have no more info than he played in C Chord in 1992. Since then whereabouts unknown.

both played in their Calif. band the Basics ( before joined General Public. Mario is now a worship pastor at Twin Oaks Church.

"Mario comes from a background of Music. As a professional drummer, he was part of a band called General Public. After his time of being a "rock star", Mario settled in to a career of teaching. For a number of years, Mario taught high school kids in Orange County. Fortunately for us, Mario was persuaded by a good friend of his (Jon Talbert - South Hills Church College Pastor) to move up here and take a job as the South Hills Singles Worship Leader.

Four years later, Mario received a call to reach out to the Evergreen area of San Jose. As our Worship Pastor, Mario has a multitude of duties. Beyond the obvious job of putting together the music and shepherding the Worship Band, Mario is involved in every aspect of a Sunday Morning Service. Mario oversees the Multi-Media Team, the Sound Team, the Site Team, the Performing Arts Ministry, the Programming Team, and the Creative Team.

Mario has a passion for reaching people where they're at and works hard to provide an environment where today's Silicon Valley resident can enjoy service as well as connect with God. Mario lives in San Jose with his wife Cheryl and their three children, Madeline, Emily, and Gian."

More info:





Blondes Brunetts

Calling All Boy

Question Of The Heart

Born To Flirts

AU PAIRS - Equal But Different - BBC Sessions 79 - 81 (1994)

GRADUATE (pre Tears For Fears) - Acting My Age

THE QUICK -International Thing (1984)

T42 - Intruder (1992)

GO WEST - Dancing on the Couch (1987)

ZERO ZERO - Herzklopfen (1982)

ALDEN TYRELL - Maxis (Love explosion Ep (1999)/Phaze Me (2001)/Disco Lunar Module Ep (2004)/Other Worlds Robots (Disco Lunar Module Remixed) (2005)/Knockers (2006))


Aufriss (1982)

Energie (1983)

MAGAZINE 60 - Collection (ZIP format) (RAR format)


EIGHT WONDER - Im Not Scared (1988) (maxi)

EVERLIFE - Everlife (1981)

TI-THO - Collection (Traumtanzer (7") (1981)/ Elefantenjager (7") (1983)/L.C.B.A.P. (Love Can Be A Pain) (12") (1985))


Tony Esposito (1987)

Kalimba De Luna - compilation (1999)


The State Of Play (1992)

Tony Hadley (1997)

True Ballads (2003)

Live (with peter Cox)

Passing Strangers (2006)

THE ADVENTURES - Sea Of Love (1988)

RULES OF ROCK by guitarist Robert Strain 1) All sax players look the same 2) All drummers are mad, and are always late 3) All singers are vain and precious 4) All keyboard players are slightly eccentric - 'boffins' 5) All bass players are sensible (van driving, arranging gigs, doing the accounts) 6) All guitarists are handsome and brilliant - well, I would say that ;-) Actually, all guitarists just want to play guitar (we can't be bothered with all the other nonsense). Well, that and attend to all the women the singer rejects! :)