Tenderness – General Public | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#27); 1985

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

In the wake of The Beat’s demise (known as The English Beat in America), members Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger quickly formed another band.

Gathering together Micky Billingham (Dexy’s Midnight Runners), Horace Panter (The Specials) and “Stoker,” Wakeling named this new ensemble General Public, after a phrase commonly used by politicians.

Although Mick Jones, recently of The Clash, was originally named as GP’s lead guitarist, he exited to form Big Audio Dynamite. Still, his playing graces many of the tracks on GP’s 1984 debut album, All The Rage.

Closer to pop than the Ska revivalist sound of early Beat releases, General Public succeeded where The Beat had not, placing Tenderness on the U.S. chart.

As for the rest of The Beat, two other members also formed their own group. Yet, it wasn’t until four years later that they managed to score a major hit – as Fine Young Cannibals – with She Drives Me Crazy.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Colin Fairley
  • Gavin MacKillop
  • General Public

Lyrics Written by:

  • Richard Page
  • Steve George
  • John Lang