My introduction to the eagerly anticipated second single by The Style Council came via a performance on Switch, a short-lived music show on Channel 4 which was seen as the summer replacement for The Tube. This was broadcast in May 1983:-

So the rumours were true…. D.C. Lee had been recruited into the band. This was mind-blowing stuff as up to this point she had simply been a backing singer for chart pop band Wham! whom no serious muso took seriously. But as the clip demonstrated, she was going to be integral to how TSC were going to develop…and my gawd….check out the clobber being worn by Weller and Talbot.

I recorded this clip onto VHS tape and played it constantly for ages as I thought it was one of the most brilliantly conceived telly performances I’d ever seen. There was no holding me back and I rushed out and bought the 12″ version of the single on its day of release and helped it reach #11 in the charts:-

mp3 : The Style Council – Money Go Round
mp3 : The Style Council – Headstart For Happiness
mp3 : The Style Council – Mick’s Up

The 7″ single cut the main song into two parts and in doing so lost something in the process for, as the notes on the sleeve indicate, this was written as a six verse epic in which all sorts of questions are posed about society in the early 80s with Weller firmly nailing his colours to socialist principles. Oh and Zeke Manyika is again pounding the drums while the bass is courtesy of Jo Dwornial, something of a legend on that instrument in the UK jazz/soul scene of the early 80s.

The b-sides are well worth a listen.

The first track is an acoustic guitar/organ-driven jazzy love song which would later be revisited and given a full band treatment on the debut LP a year later but this original version is awfully nice.

The second track is a foot-tappin’, hand-clappin’ Mick Talbot composition that moves along at a decent enough pace. However, as time went on and more and more of these sorts of compositions began to appear on b-sides and as album tracks – but particularly when they were played live when they felt like the TSC equivalent of a five-minute drum solo – the novelty wore off. But this being the first of them made it interesting enough.


5 thoughts on “THE STYLE COUNCIL SINGLES (2)

  1. I remember thinking Paul looked a bit lost on stage without a guitar, which is maybe why he started with his hands in his pockets.

    Think this version of Headstart knocks the later album version into a cocked hat. Or, in Mick Talbot’s case, a blue trilby…

  2. My abiding memory of this is my mate At school Ian hating it. Ian had been a Johnny come lately to the Jam buying the singles from I think Absolute Beginners onwards. His plan had been to collect the Style Council singles from the beginning…..then this come out and I remember his face…. He thought it was crap.

    If I’m being honest though I thought it was a bit crap myself.

  3. This is where TSC really takes off for me. The seeds were planted and now the roots were growing strength. Oh and I kept that NME cover Jim shared as one of my favorites when I did a magazine and weekly purge 15 years ago. Classic – and strange.

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