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Beats International

This studio team of British musicians was formed by Norman Cook after the break up of The Housemartins. The core team was Cook (bass), Lindy Layton (vocals), Lester Noel (vocals), Andy Boucher (keyboards) and MC Wildski (rap). A group of additional occasional members ranged from Billy Bragg to Captain Sensible (of The Damned).

The group shot to prominence when Dub Be Good To Me reached #1 in the UK charts in 1990. Controversy followed when it was pointed out that the bassline was a note for note lift from Guns of Brixton by The Clash. In reality, the song also borrowed heavily from the SOS Band’s Just Be Good To Me.

This “creative theft” reduced the royalty cheques but became a deliberate strategy of Beats International. By this time, Cook was hotly in demand as a remixer for a variety of musical projects.