The English Beat: Tears of a Clown
The sad clown is an irony that many artists have found irresistible. Smokey Robinson took it and created a pop music classic. But, for me, this version by The English Beat really does the job. The opening rat-tat-tat of the drums sets the stage musically, and that figure reappears throughout the song to push it forward. Tears of a Clown was the first ska cover I ever heard. The sheer surprise of it, plus the undeniable energy of the performance made this version a classic in its own right. Since then, I have noticed that many ska bands include an unlikely cover in their repertoire, and many of them are great. But, for, me this one has never been topped.
12 hours ago