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english beat mirror in the bathroom 7

english beat mirror in the bathroom 7

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The English Beat's first hit single, "Mirror in the Bathroom" is one of the pinnacles of the British ska revival, up there with any of the best Specials singles. Unlike the loose funkiness most commonly associated with ska, "Mirror in the Bathroom" is as coiled, paranoid and jumpy as Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures, only with a more danceable beat. Singer Dave Wakeling has since admitted that the lyrics are about cocaine addiction and its attendant paranoia, making sense of the almost creepy self-absorption of the song, but its real power comes from the knife-sharp interplay of the band, who were easily the tightest and most exciting of the ska revival acts. Decades later, "Mirror in the Bathroom" is still as musically exciting as it is lyrically disturbing.


Sign in or Register to post commentsComments: 6There's an error in the lyrics of the third verse. The line should be "Cures you WHISPER", not "wiser".Keith - Aylesbury, UkTo me it wasnt the lyrics "mirror in the bathroom" that made me think of cocaine . It was the lyrics about glass tables what can you do on a glass table circa earlys 1980Robert - Chicago , IlThis song appears in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Grosse Pointe Blank". The band was known simply as "The Beat" until they learned of an American band of the same name, so they added the "English" to set themselves apart.Vince - Salisbury, MdThis song has a really groovy bassline. It's by the same bass player from Fine Young Cannibals.Synchpedro86 - Edinburgh, Europei used to think the song was about narcisissm. the dude wants to take himself out. the ska beat in this song and on the whole album is awesome. reggae/ska rocksJim - Seattle, WaIt was the mid 80's and a fraternity at a large California campus had a problem. There was a two way mirror that was installed in the women's bathroom. Actually, it had been there for years and brothers would pass down the dirty secret to the new brothers who took over the room the following years. The mirror was hidden by hanging towels in the room. Eventually, some gal figured it out and it became a huge scandal that made headlines in the local media. This song had been out for a few months proir to the scandal and it was an ongoing gag that the song was written about the incident.Steve - Chino Hills, Casee more comments


Comments: 6There's an error in the lyrics of the third verse. The line should be "Cures you WHISPER", not "wiser".Keith - Aylesbury, UkTo me it wasnt the lyrics "mirror in the bathroom" that made me think of cocaine . It was the lyrics about glass tables what can you do on a glass table circa earlys 1980Robert - Chicago , IlThis song appears in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Grosse Pointe Blank". The band was known simply as "The Beat" until they learned of an American band of the same name, so they added the "English" to set themselves apart.Vince - Salisbury, MdThis song has a really groovy bassline. It's by the same bass player from Fine Young Cannibals.Synchpedro86 - Edinburgh, Europei used to think the song was about narcisissm. the dude wants to take himself out. the ska beat in this song and on the whole album is awesome. reggae/ska rocksJim - Seattle, WaIt was the mid 80's and a fraternity at a large California campus had a problem. There was a two way mirror that was installed in the women's bathroom. Actually, it had been there for years and brothers would pass down the dirty secret to the new brothers who took over the room the following years. The mirror was hidden by hanging towels in the room. Eventually, some gal figured it out and it became a huge scandal that made headlines in the local media. This song had been out for a few months proir to the scandal and it was an ongoing gag that the song was written about the incident.Steve - Chino Hills, Casee more comments


The same mirror played a part in another track on I Just Can't Stop It. Says Wakeling: "In the song 'Best Friend,' I'm actually singing it to myself in the same mirror that 'Mirror In The Bathroom' was written in. It was actually my sister's bathroom in Birmingham. But I kept that mirror for a long time, eventually lost it."


This was written by The English Beat singer and guitarist Dave Wakeling. He told us the story of the song: "I was working in construction at the time, and it was the winter. I had forgotten to hang my jeans up to dry overnight, so when I got into the bathroom to shower up, I noticed my jeans were still on the floor, soaking wet, covered in sand. So I hung them up thinking well, it's probably best to have them steaming hot and wet. I went to shave, and it was snowing, and I really, really didn't want to go.So I started talking to myself in the mirror as I was shaving up. And it was weird, because I looked deeper in the mirror, and I could see the little caption on the door behind, and I said to myself, Look, David, there's just me and you in here.The door's locked. We don't have to go to work. Of course we did. Got on the motorbike, and I just started pondering as I skated my way to the construction site on this motorbike. And that's how it started. It was thinking about how self-involvement turns into narcissism and how narcissism turns into isolation, and then how isolation turns into self-involvement again, and how what a vicious cycle that can become.So then I just started thinking about different situations where people would ostensibly look like they were doing something, but in fact they were checking their own reflection out. And you'd see it perhaps on Saturday afternoon with people window shopping, half the time they're actually just looking at their own reflection. Then this restaurant opened, and it was a big deal at the time because it had glass tables, and I was like, oh, you can watch yourself."


The English Beat's record label wanted to release this as their first single - and keep the publishing rights for five years. Not a good arrangement for the band, as Wakeling explains: "We said, 'We'll do 'Tears Of A Clown' then.' Because that always goes down great. And you can tell the fellows at Chrysalis they can argue with Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson about whose song it is. And so we just insisted, and as luck would have it, our song came out in October, and by December 6 it was #6 in the charts, and it was the runaway dance party hit of the Christmas of '79. It was on every jukebox and every turntable for every Christmas party. So I think it probably worked out really well, because I don't know if 'Mirror In The Bathroom' would have been that cheery as a Christmas single. A British song about isolation and narcissism that will morph into a song about cocaine in the bathroom, you know?" (Read the full Dave Wakeling interview.)


It was the mid 80's and a fraternity at a large California campus had a problem. There was a two way mirror that was installed in the women's bathroom. Actually, it had been there for years and brothers would pass down the dirty secret to the new brothers who took over the room the following years. The mirror was hidden by hanging towels in the room. Eventually, some gal figured it out and it became a huge scandal that made headlines in the local media. This song had been out for a few months proir to the scandal and it was an ongoing gag that the song was written about the incident.Steve - Chino Hills, Ca


I was working in construction at the time, and it was the winter. When I got into the bathroom to shower up, it was snowing, and I really, really didn’t want to go. So I started talking to myself in the mirror as I was shaving up. I said to myself, Look, David, there’s just me and you in here. The door’s locked. We don’t have to go to work. And that’s how it started.