General Public

General Public formed from the ashes of ska-poppers The Beat, (known as the English Beat in North America) in 1983, with vocalists Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger welcoming keyboardist Mickey Billingham (Dexys Midnight Runners), guitarist Mick Jones (the Clash), bassist Horace Panter (the Specials) and drummer Stoker (Dexys Midnight Runners/the Bureau) into the fold to create a UK punk-meets-ska supergroup. Signed to Virgin Records in the UK and I.R.S. Records in North America, the band released their debut studio album, All the Rage, in January 1984, which was a success in the US – ascending to Number 26 in February 1985 – as well as spawning a minor hit on home soil with the LP's eponymous single. Mick Jones had quit the band during the recording of the album and was replaced by guitarist Kevin White. General Public enjoyed another moment in the spotlight with second single "Tenderness" – one of their best-known tracks – which was featured in the John Hughes films Sixteen Candles (1984) and Weird Science (1985), also later appearing in Amy Heckerling's Clueless (1995) and in the horror film Devil's Due (2014). The band's second album, Hand to Mouth, arrived in 1986 and charted on the Billboard 200 at Number 83. The LP was preceded by a line-up change, with Kevin White and Stoker replaced by brothers Gianni and Mario Minardi on guitar and drums, respectively. The band bagged another hit in 1994 with their cover of the Staple Singers' "I'll Take You There", which was a Top 40 hit in the US and Canada and a minor hit in the UK, where it went to Number 73. By the time they got to their third album, Rub It Better, which was released via Epic Records in 1995, General Public had undergone multiple line-up changes and only original vocalists Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger remained. General Public disbanded after that, although they did release a compilation album, Classic Masters, in 2002. "Ranking" Roger Charlery died at his home in Birmingham on 26 March 2019 aged 56.

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Stations Featuring General Public

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