It was that first week in college, when you first move into the dorm and seemingly make a new friend every five minutes, that I met a girl named Marty. She too was a PK, and I thought her roommate Cindy was particularly cute. We went down the checklist of freshman cliches — sitting on the dorm floor, making popcorn, trading life stories, checking each other out. I asked Marty what music she liked, and she replied “Ska.” I pretended to know what she was talking about.
Of course I’d already been listening to ska for years, even if I didn’t know the genre had a name. Thanks to The Clash, Madness and The English Beat (or just The Beat, if you’re a purist), everyone was swimming in it. Ironically, The English Beat only stood out for me after they broke up and became General Public and Fine Young Cannibals, and it was just a few years ago I realized I still didn’t have a copy of their last, best album “Special Beat Service.”
Like Modern English’s “I Melt with You,” “Save It For Later” wasn’t a big hit when released, and yet thanks to covers and movie soundtracks, it’s cache has only grown over time. It randomly popped back into my life a few years ago and steadily climbed up my list of favorites. For the first time I really listened to the lyrics — they’re about relationships, right? —and its themes of loyalty, indecision and fatigue ensures it will only get more popular with me as I get older.
Plus, there’s a sax and the video is a riot.