This is part of my ‘lost’ period when it comes to The Style Council.  As mentioned in the last posting, I hadn’t bought Wanted at the time of release and nor did I seek out any of the three EPs that came out in late 1987/early 1988:-

EP1 : Cafe Bleu : Headstart For Happiness; Here’s One That Got Away; Blue Café; Strength Of Your Nature

EP2 : The Birds and The Bees : Piccadilly Trail; It Just Came To Pieces In My Hands; Spin’ Drifting; Spring, Summer, Autumn

EP3 : Mick Talbot Is Agent 88 : Mick’s Up; Party Chambers; Mick’s Blessings; Mick’s Company

In May 1988, a new single was released, followed by the fourth studio LP the following month. I will be honest and say that up until a couple of years back, I had never heard Life At A Top People’s Health Farm as I’ve never been tempted to own a copy of the parent album, Confessions Of A Pop Group. The reviews were savage and this time I decided, having been bitten once by the contents of The Cost Of Loving, it was a case of twice shy. I’ve now got a 7″ copy, courtesy of a charity shop, and given I paid 25p for it I can’t grumble about there being a slight jump near the end, nor the fact that it is rather nondescript:-

mp3 : The Style Council – Life At A Top People’s Health Farm
mp3 : The Style Council – Sweet Loving Ways

The b-side is decent enough as a b-side but only for the jazzy guitar sound that was used to great effect on the debut album as the vocal delivery/arrangement is just soppy and clichéd.

It reached #28 in the charts which is evidence that I wasn’t alone in being a long-time fan who’d fallen out of love in a big way. The picture used on the sleeve however, would indicate that neither Paul or Mick really cared about any of that.


5 thoughts on “THE STYLE COUNCIL SINGLES (16)

  1. A great anti Thatcher rant. Weller’s attempt at subterranean homesick blues.
    Listen to the lyrics and imagine life back in 88.

    Sweet loving ways is the perfect song for a hungover hot summers morning.

    As for confessions of a pop group, it’s a masterpiece.
    I picked up a mint vinyl copy from Clampdown in Manchester last year. Since I’ve been re-collecting vinyl it’s my most treasured purchase.

  2. As much as I like (some of) The Jam and Weller’s solo stuff, I’ve never been able to get into The Style Council. Afraid to say that this post hasn’t changed that. It’s just not for me I’m afraid.

  3. Glad to see I have someone here to back me up. Both the single and album are just wonderful. I get that not many fans were ready for the seriousness of TSC’s move into jazz at the expense of pop, but I really loved this album in much the same way I felt about The Cost Of Loving. There really is a lot going on in the lyrics on Confessions Of A Pop Group and while it doesn’t contain anything as overt as Shout To The Top or Wall Come Tumbling Down, Weller was still plugged into what was wrong with things.

  4. As much as I love TSC, ‘Confessions’ was the musical embodiement of a band which at the time had completely lost the plot..

  5. This post got me to upload Confessions to the iPhone at lunch and play it in the car back to work from home and then back home from work. I fell in love with it all over again. And I will take back my previous comment and say that Iwasadoledadstoyboy IS as overtly engaging as any of their early classics.

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