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Thursday 10 February 2022

General Public

Last week Dr. Rob at Ban Ban Ton Ton, the one stop shop for all things Balearic and related, posted a mix he'd done for the Eclectics label, his Balearic Bargain Bin Mix. The post and the mix (free download while stocks last) can be found here, two hours chock full of hidden treasures and delights- Wendy and Lisa remixed by The Orb, a Mediterranean summer cover of Waiting In Vain by one of Adam's Ants, his wife and Trevor Horn, Blow Monkeys, Brian Eno, Djum Djum, Shakespear's Sister, 808 State's Graham Massey, Fred Wesley, an ACR B-side, some Germans before they became Snap!, early Steve Cobby as Ashley and Jackson, some Spaghetti Western synth action, The Beloved and, as they say, much more. As well as all of this there's an instrumental by General Public. 

General Public were formed in 1983 by singers Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger as a new band when The Beat broke up. Various members of other early 80s ska/ punk groups joined- Mickey Bellingham and Stoker from Dexys, Horace Panter from The Specials and briefly Mick Jones after he was sacked from The Clash by Joe and Paul. Mick left partway through the recording of the album but is credited on the sleeve. In 1984 they released a self- titled single- General Public- a six minute dub- punk song, funky bassline, lots of reverb on the snare, monotone, socially conscious Two Tone vocals, surging into the bridge and then the chanted chorus, 'General public/ Uh huh/ General public/ Uh huh'.

General Public (Longer)

The B-side, Dishwasher, is the one on Dr Rob's mix. Dishwasher is a guitar led instrumental, not a million miles as Dr. Rob notes from the sound on Combat Rock, that kind of funky, crunching sound that you can imagine filling the floor at the nightclub in town when they let the punks, rudies, goths and other assorted outsiders in on a Thursday night. The piano line running through it and the tom toms also plant Dishwasher half a decade later, playing in bars and clubs in the Med as the sun goes down/ comes up. 

Dishwasher (Longer)


JTFL said...

I remember being really disappointed with General Public. I was a big fan of the English Beat (as they were called in the States) and I'm not sure what I was expecting. It's nice to hear it again after so long, though.

Swiss Adam said...

The (English) Beat were a great band. I saw Ranking Roger a few years ago and a real highlight was when he played Save It For Later.

The Swede said...

I was a big fan of The Beat and initially followed on into General Public. This single was a terrific starting point, but it all became a bit inconsistent thereafter.

acidted said...

Loved the General Public single but what followed meant it's been unfairly lost.