English Beat ready to release some new music this year. Dave Wakeling has no problems playing the English Beat’s ’80s favorites such as “I Confess” and “Save It For Later.” But he’s really looking forward to getting some new music out — sooner rather than later.
“We have 17 songs, demos, and I’m really proud of them,” reports Wakeling, 54, who led the English Beat through its first three albums between 1978-83 and reactivated the band with different members in 2005. “We’ve had half a dozen picked out by various people as being hits.”
“Then, when you ask them what a hit is, they don’t know anymore!” he adds with a laugh. “But it’s a very exciting time.”
Wakeling plans to hit the studio in between touring jags during the summer, laying down songs such as “The Love You Give Last Forever,” “How Can You Stand There” and “Said We Would Never Die,” which have become favorites of live audiences in recent years. The more pressing issue, he says, is how the music will be distributed within a music industry “paradigm that’s in transition.”
“I’ve been talking with some record companies, trying to compare that to going about it independently by ourselves — and I’m sort of heading in the second direction, I think,” Wakeling says. He’s also thinking about putting out EPs that mix the new songs with live and acoustic tracks rather than more traditional albums.
“I’m tempered by realism,” he explains. “A lot of my friends, the ’80s peer group, have brought out albums ’cause they think that’s what you’re meant to do, but they forgot to check if there’s an audience there ready to buy it.
“I never fancied making a vanity record. I don’t want boxes of CDs in my garage or people embarrassed to talk to me about my new record. I think it’s presumptuous to just put out a CD and wonder where the limo is at the airport.”
The English Beat and 1592 perform Thursday, May 20, at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is $20. Call 248-544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.
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