I Just Can't Stop It: Ranking Roger biography - preview

I Just Can’t Stop It: My Life In The Beat by Ranking Roger with Daniel Rachel is set to be released on June 13th 2019 via Omnibus Press. With the untimely sad passing of Ranking Roger the release of the book is set to pull on the heart strings more so than ever. Matt Mead previews the release for Louder Than War.

Press article reads as follows: “I had a connection to The Beat – I cut two records with them in the Eighties and had the best time: their lyricism, charm and energy were part of my growing up. Watching them smash the audience to bits during the David Bowie Glass Spider tour was one of the highlights of my life. Roger’s story is one of struggle, fame and survival. Enjoy.”   Sir Lenny Henry

“The mid Seventies was one of the most influential periods in the history of British pop music, and my friend Roger was at the centre of this febrile and explosive clash of cultures – uniquely placed to document the excitement of those times – the heady joy of success, the political turmoil, the inherent racism, as well as the brotherly bond of musicians struggling to make themselves heard within it.”  Sting

The book’s special edition will include a 7” single featuring two previously unreleased Ranking Roger demos: Beatman b/w Inna England, originally recorded for The Beat in the 1980s. Also included are high quality limited edition prints and a selection of Beat badges.

I Just Can’t Stop It is the story of Ranking Roger’s life in one of music’s most influential bands at the centre of the 2-Tone ska revolution in Coventry and the Midlands in 1979. An original band member, Roger and The Beat went on to have era defining hits including Mirror in the Bathroom, Tears of A Clown, Ranking Full Stop and Hands off She’s Mine. November 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the release of their debut single Tears Of A Clown.

Roger first met The Beat when The Dum Dum Boys invited them to try out for a support. “After the first few numbers I thought, my God we don’t stand a chance, The Beat were that good.” After a few guest MC slots, and a flirtation with joining UB40, Roger signed up for The Beat full time, and began a breakneck three years when the band recorded the classic single I Just Can’t Stop It, and went from being a Birmingham club band to playing US stadiums with scarcely a break.

Also from Birmingham, Daniel Rachel wrote his first song when he was sixteen and was the lead singer in Rachel’s Basement. Daniel is the author of Isle of Noises: Conversations with Great British Songwriters, a Guardian and NME Book of the Year, and Walls Come Tumbling Down: The Music and Politics of Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone and Red Wedge, which was shortlisted for the Penderyn Music Book prize.

The Beat can be followed via their website and Facebook pages. Daniel can be found via his own website

Article by Matt Mead. Further articles by Matt can be found via the Louder Than War author archive pages.

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Matt Mead first took to writing for Louder Than War after compiling Flowered Up - A Weekenders Tale which received rave reviews across the board. Since then Matt has picked up the writing mantel composing impassioned album and live reviews plus conducting insightful interviews with a mixed bag of artists. If it has meaning and soul to it, then Matt will write about it!


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