Thursday, February 20, 2020

Hands Off : Another Top 10 hit for The English Beat

The English Beat : Hands Off...She's Mine

On February 20, 1980 The (English) Beat had a new single in the UK Charts, "Hands Off...She's Mine" b/w "Twist and Crawl", which had made its debut at UK#48. "It's good without being surprisingly good,"remarked David Hepworth, writing for Smash Hits.

Dave Wakeling's voice is an astonishment. You think he must be double tracking his vocals but I don't think that's the case. 

Like many Beat songs, there is a mixture of happy music and somewhat sad lyrics here. Wakeling explained to Consequence of Sound that's on purpose:

We wanted happy music to show that life is a joy; it’s a painful joy, of course, but it is a joy. But also, the stuff that goes on within our minds is often very, very painful, and I wanted that combination to happen in the same song, in the same three minutes. And I think that that’s how it connected to people, because people’s lives are complicated and often very painful. You know, life is a tragedy. It’ll all end in tears, as the Buddha said. And so, anything you can do to try and pick people’s spirits up, anything you can do to connect is a valuable aspiration, I think.

The single peaked at UK#9 and even hit #22 on the US Dance Club chart. When a high school girl played the song at her party, I don't remember anybody dancing but I was also worried that somebody was going to start up a game of Spin The Bottle. And at that age, I was a wreck.

The B-Side is "Twist And Crawl", another gem from the forthcoming I Just Can't Stop It.

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