The huge success of the first three singles by The Style Council, particularly the Top 3 chart position of Long Hot Summer, was clear evidence that Paul Weller wasn’t ever going to need to reform The Jam.
While some fans were really struggling to move on and accept the new band, I was one of those who thought TSC were producing some great stuff, albeit I was more than baffled by the overly pretentious sleeve notes that really made little or no sense at all.
Long Hot Summer and all the other tracks on that EP had been on very heavy rotation, and I was thrilled to read that the follow-up single was going to be called A Solid Bond In Your Heart, simply as I remembered that The Jam had, a couple of years earlier, given that very name to one of their UK tours. So I was expecting something really special….a song that would somehow blend the chic sound of Long Hot Summer and the funk/pop of the later singles by The Jam.
Instead, I found myself listening to a single that had the most appalling saxophone sound all over it. I remember playing it something like three or four times in a row looking for something to like about it….I mean Zeke Manyika was drumming on it so there had to be something my ears could pick up on…..but no, that bloody awful saxophone dominated everything. I was bitterly let down by it. It sounded as if was a record written by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley…
But clearly I was in a minority, for it was a record that sold very well, climbing to #11 in the pop charts.
mp3 : The Style Council – A Solid Bond In Your Heart
To be fair, I really liked the b-side which to this day is one of my favourite TSC compositions:-
mp3 : The Style Council – It Just Came To Pieces In My Hand
And I suppose I really should finish things off by shoving up the third track that came on the 7″gatefold sleeve version of the single….but I’ll warn you, that saxophone features prominently:-
mp3 : The Style Council – A Solid Bond In Your Heart (instrumental)
The Jam’s earlier version eventually appeared as a track on the Extras CD released in 1992 and then a slightly extended version was included in the Direction Reaction Creation boxset in 1997.
mp3 : The Jam – A Solid Bond In Your Heart (extended)
Seemingly a contender for the final ever 45 by the band, it was a late call instead to go with Beat Surrender.
Part 5 of this series will return in the new year with a tune that was, IMHO, a return to form.