A Los Angeles-based power pop outfit formed by Paul Collins (ex-Nerves), the Beat recorded its self-titled debut LP after signing to Columbia Records in 1979. Despite good reviews and some regional success, the album failed to make much impact. A second attempt, 1982's The Kids Are the Same (this time credited to Paul Collins' Beat), also failed and effectively broke up the band. However, Collins returned the following year with a harder-rocking lineup including Patti Smith Group drummer Jay Dee Daugherty. Their EP, To Beat or Not to Beat, was again ignored; it proved to be the band's last recording. While it seemed that the Beat's only claim to fame would be forcing the (English) Beat to change its name in the U.S., their albums are now seen as classic examples of power pop. Paul Collins returned to a solo career into the '90s, signing to Wagon Wheel Records. ~ Chris Woodstra
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