Both the Beat and the English Beat, who have been operating as separate entities led respectively by founding Beat vocalists Ranking Roger and Dave Wakeling for about a decade now, will be releasing new studio albums this year.

We need to back up a bit. The original the Beat was formed by Roger and Wakeling along with Andy Cox, David Steele, Everett Morton and Saxa (aka Lionel Augustus Martin) back in 1978. Their peppy blend of ska, punk and reggae earned them a string of hit singles, most notably "Mirror in the Bathroom" and "Save it for Later."

For legal reasons, and to avoid confusion with America's Paul Collins-fronted Beat, the group were labeled the English Beat in America – and the British Beat in Australia. Whatever you call them in your home country, after three studio albums they split up in 1983, with Roger and Wakeling forming General Public and Cox and Steele teaming up as two-thirds of the Fine Young Cannibals.

In 2003, all of the original members except Cox and Steele reunited for a one-off show in London. As Wakeling told Goldmine, the group's unique transcontinental split sprang from a conversation at this time: "Roger was coming up against the same thing as me; he was being called the Beat over there regardless of what he tried to call himself. The same thing had happened with me. I’d just given up in the end; fine, English Beat, I liked the name anyway, I thought of it, so fine, I’ll be the English Beat.

"And so I said, 'If you want to use the name in England, that’s fine by me; just don’t screw the legacy, make sure that the shows are always great quality and the fans go home happy and it makes them like the records more rather than less.' And so that was quite an easy thing to sort out. It’s kind of cute, I think, that you can hear 'Mirror in the Bathroom' sung live by one of the lead singers on two continents!"

The Beat featuring Ranking Roger will release Bounce on September 30. You can hear the new single "Walking on the Wrong Side" below, and get full information on the new album at the group's official website.

Wakeling's new English Beat record, which he described in a recent interview as "somewhere between long awaited and well overdue," will be called Here We Go Love and is due out this fall. The band launched a PledgeMusic campaign to allow fans to pre-order the album and even participate in its creation, and to date have already reached 160% of their original goal. The English Beat are currently touring all over the U.S., and you can get the most recent tourdates and the latest on the new album at their official website.

The Beat featuring Ranking Roger, "Walking on the Wrong Side"

2016 Summer Music Festival Guide