I'm tired of this. I'm tired of the death of musicians who had a big impact on my life. The latest is Roger Charlery, better known as Ranking Roger, of the English Beat and General Public fame. RR died yesterday and with him went one of Two-Tones great artists. I'm bummed.
But I'm not going to let this turn into a damn dirge. Ranking Roger, along with Dave Wakeling, put out three fantastic albums as the leaders of the English Beat: I Just Can't Stop It, Wha'ppen?, and Special Beat Service. I have all three on CD. You want to hear a great track in honor of the man himself? Try this:
How cool is that video? I've seen the English Beat countless times, but mainly with Dave Wakeling leading the group and no RR. I did see them waaaaaaay back in the day with the original lineup. Let me tell you something: these guys are one of the most fun bands you will ever see live. Their energy, great tunes and stage presence just guaranteed a good time. Here's another EB song that I absolutely love and that I still listen to with some regularity:
Ranking Roger died at 56 years old suffering from two brain tumors and lung cancer. Crap. Why do humans have to suffer through that kind of stuff? It sucks.
But in life, Ranking Roger was fantastic, a true original, brilliant and inspired. He picked ska as his artistic outlet, and the world's a better place for it. Who doesn't love ska? People that don't like to dance, I guess. Truthfully, I don't really know because if you don't like ska, I don't hang out with you. The English Beat are one of the 10 best ska bands ever, and Ranking Roger was a key part of their success.
I miss my old musical friends. I'm sorry to see them go. The world isn't quite as good today as it was yesterday. Please join me in a moment of silence to honor Ranking Roger.
Done? Me, too. If you don't know me, I have a hard time keeping quiet, so that was hard for me.
Let's get back to it, ok? Ok! One more track to celebrate what RR did with his life that made me smile, laugh, sing, dance and live. God bless you, my man.
My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.