Paul Collins Beat: The 'King Of Power Pop' Returns to London's Dirty Water Club to Launch European Tour


Paul Collins Beat: The 'King Of Power Pop' Returns to London's Dirty Water Club to Launch European Tour

Paul Collins Beat

  Image result for Paul Collins Beat
PAUL COLLINS is THE formative figure in powerpop and, indeed, a major figure in rock’n’roll history. He's a man with an impressive résumé, even if he may not be a household name.
            Image result for The Nerves
He started out in THE NERVES, whose sole release, a 1976 self-titled four-song EP distributed by the independent Bomp Records, is most famous for “Hanging on the Telephone”, which went unnoticed when it was originally released, but turned into a UK top 5 single when covered by Blondie.
Related image
After The Nerves’ ended, Collins and bassist Peter Case briefly played in THE BREAKAWAYS before recruiting Steve Huff (bass & backing vocals) and Mike Ruiz (drums) into what would later become THE BEAT. Case, however, quit to go solo before eventually forming The Plimsouls. Collins now took lead vocals on all of the songs, with the addition of Larry Whitman (lead guitar & backing vocals), and The Beat were on their way.
                      Related image
The Los Angeles powerpop scene was beginning to garner national attention and Collins signed the band with Columbia/CBS and Bill Graham Management and their self-titled debut was released in October 1979. All 12 songs were Collins originals with other band members taking co-writing credits each, all on different songs.
Continuing in the style of The Nerves, the album consisted of harmony-laden, driving guitar pop songs. The album was critically acclaimed and is today remembered as a classic of the genre. The group appeared on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand and contributed a song to the soundtrack LP of the massively popular movie “Caddyshack”. Despite this promotion, diligent touring alongside such popular artists as Ian Gomm and The Jam and a tour of Europe, The Beat found limited commercial success.
(The British ska group of the same name were first to establish themselves as “The Beat” in Europe, however, which forced the American “Beat” to be referred to as “Paul Collins Beat” on that continent. The Collins’ “The Beat” was first to release their album in their home territory, though, forcing the British group to use the name “The English Beat” in the USA. In 2015, the two bands toured together as “Two beats, hearting as one”!)
                         Image result for Paul Collins Beat and the English Beat
After a second album for CBS, The Kids Are The Same, in 1982, with the group billed as “Paul Collins’ Beat”, the group self-financed the production of three videos, including “On The Highway”, which had been modestly promoted to AOR radio by CBS which was put on rotation for several months by the then fledgling MTV network, much to the chagrin of their former label.

"After one long tour out west we got back to NY and we really wanted to have one more cut to round out the EP To Beat or Not To Beat as it was being released in Europe, so we went back into the studio.We came pretty close a you can hear the slick production sound on this recording, thankfully the song holds up and it still sounds good today."
Image result for Paul Collins Beat
Paul hits Europe on tour from May, including a UK show at a special Dirty Water Club night at The Finsbury, London on Saturday 13 May. Support comes from LUCY & THE RATS and SEE NO EVILS.Tickets priced £8.50 are available here.
Special Thanks to Gerry Ranson and Vive Le Rock for contributing to this article.