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About The Beat

The Beat is an American rock and power pop band from Los Angeles that formed in 1979. Paul Collins' Beat resurfaced in the 1990s and continues to tour and record new material. Front man Paul Collins has released several projects with his alternative country group The Paul Collins Band, who play Americana music inspired by country rock and folk rock.

The roots of The Beat lie in The Nerves, a seminal power pop combo featuring Paul Collins , Peter Case , and Jack Lee. Collins played drums; all three members composed and sang. Collins contributed several songs to the band including "Walking Out On Love," "Let Me Into Your Life" and one song, "Working Too Hard", to the group's only release, a 1976 self-titled four-song EP distributed by independent Bomp! Records. The Nerves are most famous for Lee's "Hanging on the Telephone" later popularized by Blondie on their breakthrough album Parallel Lines. After The Nerves' demise Collins and Case formed The Breakaways which went through several guitarists until Case and Collins both moved to guitar and recruited Mike Ruiz and Steven Huff . Case left the group after a few months of rehearsals to pursue a solo career which led to the eventual formation of The Plimsouls. Collins, Huff and Ruiz officially became "The Beat", when pressed for a group name prior to an interview to promote the release of The Breakaways recording of "Walking Out On Love" , on Bomp's Waves Vol. 1.

The Los Angeles power pop scene was beginning to garner national attention and with the help of Collins' friend from The Nerves days in San Francisco, Eddie Money and his record producer Bruce Botnick, Collins was able to ink a deal with Columbia/CBS and Bill Graham Management. CBS released their self-titled debut in October 1979. All 12 songs were Collins originals; Peter Case, Steven Huff and Eddie Money had one co-writing credit each, all on different songs. Continuing in The Nerves' vein, the album consisted of harmony-laden, driving guitar pop songs, including a re-recorded version of "Working Too Hard". The album was critically acclaimed and is today remembered as a classic of the power pop genre . The group appeared on Dick Clark's American Bandstand, , The Merv Griffin Show and that same year contributed a song to the soundtrack LP of the popular comedy movie Caddyshack. Despite promotion, respectable airplay on commercial and College radio, diligent touring alongside such popular artists as Ian Gomm, The Jam and a tour of Europe, The Beat found little commercial success.

The band's second CBS LP, The Kids Are The Same was released two years later in 1982, with drummer Ruiz now replaced by Dennis Conway, who played for both Elton John and Alice Cooper. The group was now billed worldwide as "Paul Collins' Beat".

The British ska group of the same name were first to establish themselves as "The Beat" in Europe, prompting a voluntary decision for the U.S. group to be billed as "Paul Collins' Beat" in Europe. In the U.S., Collins' "The Beat" was first to release an album in turn forcing the British group to use the name "The English Beat" in the U.S., albeit only after the British group was threatened with a lawsuit by Columbia, Collins' record label.

Not as critically successful as its predecessor, The Kids Are The Same was also a commercial flop. A two-year lag between releases, a name change and this "sophomore slump" resulted in the group being dropped from CBS-Columbia. Undaunted, the group self-financed the production of three videos featuring songs from the LP now abandoned by their former label. One of these videos "On The Highway", which had been modestly promoted to AOR radio by CBS, was put on medium rotation for several months on the then fledgling MTV network.

With an overhauled New York City line-up , the group reclaimed the name "The Beat" and released the five song 12-inch mini-album To Beat or Not To Beat in 1983, on the independent Jem/Passport label in the U.S.. One song from the album, "Dance, Dance", was made into a music video in 1984 and received limited exposure on MTV. To Beat or Not To Beat, with an additional song, was released in Europe where the group relocated to promote the release and tour, this time featuring Paul's brother Patrick Collins on guitar and Fabian Jolivet on drums during that year of extensive touring and television appearances.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "The Beat", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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