Happy 25th Birthday All The Rage.

Carrying on after the breakup of The Beat, Dave Wakeling and Roger Charlery formed General Public with Micky Billingham, Horace Panter, Kevin White, and Andy "Stoker" Growcott. General Public released their debut album in September 1984 on IRS Records.

The entirety of All the Rage is filled with brilliantly crafted songs, social commentary you could dance to, and musical surprises best appreciated upon 25 years of listening.

"Hot You're Cool" features the legendary Saxa on saxophone, whom some have said was the heart and soul of The Beat. Track 3, "Anxious," features reggae greats' Aswad's brass section. Mick Jones, newly ejected from The Clash, was the band's original lead guitarist and appears on many of the album's tracks.

The first single from the album, "Tenderness," a danceable love song, went to #27 on the US charts and to #2 on KROQ's
Top 106.7 Songs of 1984. All the Rage's second single, "Never You Done That," is a Waist High favorite, and a perfect vocal mix of Dave and Roger. "As a Matter of Fact" is a dead "giveaway that this was recorded in 1984 -- but it sounds less dated than many of its contemporaries due to Wakeling's keen songwriting skills." The closing track, "General Public," made it to #88 on KROQ's Top 106.7 Songs of 1984, and is a "sneering putdown of British politics and the attendant old boys network, the most political song the boys had written since the days of 'Stand Down Margaret.'"

The greatest honor this humble blogger can give to All the Rage comes not with descriptions or praise, but with time. Unable to listen to my original tape this evening, now worn out and rendered un-listenable, my copy of All the Rage has undoubtedly been overplayed in the 25 years since it's release, each play bringing with it all the wonderful feelings associated with a really wonderful period in time. "Challenging, insightful and NEVER an insult to your intelligence," All The Rage is everything you could want in an album, and does what any good music can do; produces a "kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without."

Photo: The Waist High Collection
Quotes: Stewart Mason, All Music Guide via
montreal.virginradio.ca, amazon.com, and Confucius