MARTHA and the MUFFINS have THE (English) BEAT, covered
by Walter Price
The earliest music moments of the 1980s were an exciting time, indeed. In the unencumbered post-punk era when literally anything was possible and bands were coming out of the woodwork with a cacophony of sounds, styles, and blends. And none did the lo-fi mix of ska, new wave, and pop-tinged punk than The Beat (English Beat for us American folk).
And, if you were there, the outfit’s 1982 album, “Special Beat Service”, was an absolute awe-inspiring treat and for many, an introduction into the vast British world of anything is possible alt-pop-rock. Deep cuts like “March of the Swivel Heads” and the rocksteady “Pato and Roger a Go Talk” had their moments, but for most in North America, the subtle bounce of the single “Save It For Later” was what we and Pete Townshend fell in love with. Why not, Dave Wakeling reminded us of Andy Partridge, the music video was a bizarre french cabaret scene full of weirdos, and, for whatever reason, Ranking Roger (RIP) popped in and out like a mirage of hipness. It was an artistic free-for-all 1982 by all means, odd was the new cool.
This is now and seminal Canadian outfit Martha and the Muffins have dropped a groovin’ cover version that’ll take you back in time. Created for a possible Sex Education (Netflix) promo, the band shared this backstory, “We pitched a cover of it to the Sex Education producers who were looking for a new version to use in their third season trailer. We recorded it in three days, and normally we would spend a lot more time refining things like the vocals. However, the lack of time actually contributed to capturing the spirit of the song while adding our own colours. The music supervisor loved it, but the whole idea was discarded by the producers.”
While this may sound like a loss for the hit Netflix series, it isn’t one for fans of the hallowed time when alternative music changed the world. As the band has announced that this poppin’ redux will feature on the Popguru/Confidence Emperors compilation, “Coverama”, expected on May 20. So much winning!
You can stream the original as well as Martha and the Muffins’ “Save it for Later“, here at the GTC.
Save It For Later
Martha and the Miúffins photo and quote courtesy of Auteur Research PR
Written by Dave Wakeling
Produced by Bob Sargeant
Redux performed by Martha and the Muffins (Martha Johnson and Mark Gane)
“‘Oh, hello Dave, this is Peter Townshend here and I’m sitting with David Gilmour, and we’re trying to work out your song ‘Save It For Later,’ but we can’t work out the tuning.’ They presumed it was DADGAD as well, and couldn’t make it work, and so I had to explain that I’d made a mistake and it was not DADGAD, it was DADAAD. And he laughed and said, ‘Oh, thank heavens for that! We’ve been breaking our fingers trying to get our hands around these chords.'” – Dave Wakeling (AV Club)