Saturday, April 19, 2008

Indecipherable But Irresistible

In early 1981 I heard a song on the radio that so intrigued me that I just had to know more about it. Of course at the time I lived in a country backwater with no internet and 2 television channels to choose from. And Molly refused to elaborate on either this particular song or the group that performed it, via his Hum Drum segment on the ABC's Countdown.
The group was The Look, and the song 'I Am The Beat'. I was resigned to having but a cassette copy of the song ripped from the radio, until 20 years later I came upon this gem in the tracklisting for a CEL compilation entitled 'The Greatest One Hit Wonders Vol.3'.

Now strictly speaking The Look were 2 hit wonders in their native U.K., with 'I Am The Beat' reaching #6 and the follow up 'Feeding Time' scraping into the top 50 at, you guessed it #50. But I wasn't going to quibble over CEL's awareness, or lack therein, of chart history trivia. I had uncovered 80s gold!!! I've yet to see this song appear anywhere else since though for those of you wishing to explore the exploits of The Look further a compilation CD 'Pop Yowlin' is available in the U.S. and U.K. but by appearances is somewhat of a reunion effort by the original lineup with only 'I Am The Beat' included as a track from their original era.

The group The Look (not to be confused with the song 'The Look' by Roxette) were primarily a three piece outfit consisting Gus Goad, Jonny Whetstone and Mick Bass. I had no idea what 'the look' looked like until I came upon a DVD compilation entitled 80s DVD Jukebox. It's a collection of promo appearance from various 80s artists on a European TV show from that era called Musik Laden (a Euro answer to Australia's Countdown). Actually a fantastic collection of clips from bands such as The Police, Talk Talk, A Flock Of Seagulls digitally remastered and remixed in DTS surround. An 80s junkie's idea of heaven :)
I can tell you that the lead singer of The Look had a classic mullet (he may well have been one of the forefather's of the whole mullet movement), but overall the guys in the group looked like they were having a ball!

Before you have a read of the song lyrics below, have a listen to the song via the following link and see how much you can decipher yourself - actually by todays standards it's pretty easy to understand, but for a wide eyed 12 year old it was overwhelming.

And checkout the Video Bar at the bottom of the page for a You Tube clip featuring the Look performing 'I Am The Beat' on Britain's Top Of The Pops in 1980.


'I Am The Beat' - The Look - The Lyrics!!
Girls are dancing all around them just for me
And the party wouldn't swing if not for me
I've made you hearts jump, I've caused a heat
I'm in demand I am the beat

I've turned a girl into a heaving senseless wreck
Made the captain of a ship dance off his deck
I've made the old man jump to his feet
I'm in demand I am the beat

All round the world the people know my name
In heaven and hell they know me too
Across the world the people know me now
I am the beat and I know you

You always listen to me on your radio
I'll bet your buddy all he really needs to know
And who kept the lawman down on the street
I'm in demand I am the beat

All round the world the people know my name
In heaven and hell they know me too
Across the world the people know me now
I am the beat and I know you

When the martian came to earth I made him dance
And Mr. Crooper had to thank me for his chance
And who made the zombies all tap their feet
I'm in demand I am the beat
I'm in demandI'm in demandI'm in demand
I am theI am the beatbeatbeatbeat (repeat to fade)

2 comments:

Dub said...

A few corrections: ()
...
You always listen to me on your radio
I said to Buddy (Rich!) all he really needs to know

And Mr. (Gene) Krupa had to thank me for his chance

A. FlockOfSeagulls said...

Thanks for the lyrics corrections dub. Much obliged :)