The Beat emerged from Birmingham, England, in 1979. Buoyed by Dave Wakeling's impassioned, socially aware lyrics, the sextet fused reggae and ska rhythms with a soul-based backbeat. Wakeling's songs mixed the heart-on-sleeve tenderness and emotional complexity favored by the best singer-songwriters, but his love of Motown and reggae dictated that the beat should come first. The song "Doors of Your Heart" is a prime example of his talent for conflating the head and the heart: It mixes romantic declarations with a call for racial unity, all under the sway of a... More >>>