I don’t own any of the final two TSC singles that were released in 1989. What I have done is fish around other sites for various tracks and convert them to mp3s to wrap things up. But I can’t make the claim that they are from the 7″, 12″ or CD singles. What I can provide is factual info and a wee bit of commentary.
It was February 1989 when the 18th single was released.
It was a cover.
Not only was it a cover, but it was a cover of a house tune and The Style Council sounded like they’d never sounded before, especially on the extended mixes.
Promised Land was the work of Joe Smooth, a Chicago-based songwriter. It had been a minor hit under his name (although the vocal was delivered by Anthony Thomas, another member of the Chicago house scene) but had made such an impact on Paul Weller that he wanted to issue his own version.
mp3 : The Style Council – Promised Land (7″ version)
It was a hit in the clubs and of course there were still TSC fans who would buy the records, all of which helped it reach #27 in the singles chart and an appearance on Top of The Pops. The b-side and the alternative mixes are totally different from anything else that has appeared beforehand in this series:-
mp3 : The Style Council – Promised Land (12″ mix)
mp3 : The Style Council – Promised Land (Joe Smooth’s Alternate Club Mix)
mp3 : The Style Council – Can You Still Love Me (Club Vocal)
mp3 : The Style Council – Can You Still Love Me? (12 O’Clock Dub)
And here’s the original:-
mp3 : Joe Smooth – Promised Land
Promised Land is hugely popular among many fans of the band and I can see why given just how different it is from anything else they ever did. It also introduced them to a new and more diverse audience, those from the dance/club scene. And there’s no denying that the tunes provide an uplifting and very happy few minutes, akin at times to New Order, especially via the 12″ version and club versions.
The following month saw the release of The Singular Adventures Of The Style Council (Volume 1) which, as these things invariably do, became a bit of a success story with a Top 3 appearance in the album charts. In order to maintain the momentum, the label re-released the best known song in a re-mixed format, together with a new b-side. Given that it was only a few years after the original (and that it’s a far inferior version), it’s no surprise that it didn’t light up the charts, stalling at #48. What’s an ever bigger insult however to fans, is that the mix is identical to that which had been made available less than a year earlier on the 1234 EP
The b-side, was another house tune and was rumoured to be typical of the material that the band, thoroughly determined to quash those break-up rumours of late 1988, were working up for a new album.
mp3 : The Style Council – Everybody’s On The Run
In July 1989, on the back of the success of the greatest hits chart success, the band announced a one-off gig at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Fans snapped up tickets eager to hear all the old classics linked in with maybe a few new songs – what they got was a 21-song set, much of which was not yet released, with just one single and even that was Promised Land. There were loads of guest vocalists used on the night which only added the confusion. The band was booed off the stage. This was the set list:-
1. Can You Still Love Me?
2. Move (Dance All Night)
3. Promised Land
4. Sure Is Sure
5. Everybody’s On The Run
6. Tender Love
7. It’s A Very Deep Sea
8. I Can’t Deny Myself
10. Little Boy In A Castle
11. Mick’s Blessings
12. A Woman’s Song
13. Now You’re Gone
14. Mick’s Company
15. Cost Of Loving
16. Waiting On A Connection
17. Depth Charge
18. Like A Gun
19. Changing Of The Guard
20. You’ll Find Love
21. That Spiritual Feeling
I’m still not sure if was deliberate sabotage or a total misjudgment on the part of Paul Weller. The record label felt the signals were that the fan base would not buy into the new sound and when the band presented the fruits of their labours – entitled Modernism – Polydor Records rejected it.
This was a mere 12 years after In The City and it was unthinkable that things had completely broken down. Paul Weller was upset and angry…he was proved to be right in respect of house music soon becoming part of mainstream radio and moving out of the clubs. He genuinely felt he could make good house music and that it was a natural progression for him and his band and this act was the final straw. The Style Council broke up before the end of the year. The Royal Albert Hall had been the last gig.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey; as I mentioned at the start of the series, it made sense to have if follow on immediately after the The Jam singles given how short a gap there was between the end of the old band and the beginning of the new one.
The comment from Neil after the previous posting in this series about how he was hoping I would be featuring a single called Like A Gun intrigued me as it wasn’t one I knew anything about. So it was research time and this is what I found….
In February 1989, the Acid Jazz label pressed up copies of a single called Like A Gun by an act called King Truman. It was a 12″ single with four versions of the title track. It soon became clear that the band were The Style Council masquerading under a different name and before too long the bigwigs at Polydor were threatening all sorts of action against the indie label. The single was very hastily withdrawn with only a few hundred copies making it into shops. If you want a copy nowadays, then there’s currently nine for sale on Discogs, none of which are from UK sellers, and the lowest asking price is approx £50 plus shipping. Needless to say, I didn’t pursue things further. But I have managed to track down an mp3:-
mp3 : King Truman – Like A Gun
And with that. I’ll sign off by saying that next up in the Singles series will not be Paul’s solo stuff. I haven’t liked anything other than Wild Wood…..