On My Turntable No.1: The Style Council – Walls Come Tumbling Down!

THE STYLE COUNCIL – WALLS COME TUMBLING DOWN!

FORMAT:  12” SINGLE
BOUGHT FROM:  STAY LOOSE, FARMERS FOLD, WOLVERHAMPTON
COST: £4

The Jam?
“Class.” 
Paul Weller? 
“The Modfather, mate.”
The Style Council?
“All that 80s jazz nonsense?  Naah!

Well I love The Style Council.  I love The Jam to the point of having written a book about them (Pop Art Poems – £5.99 on eBay if you need another copy), but I equally adore The Style Council and their blend of clothes, politics and French sleeve-notes… oh, and music.  To a pretentious pubescent poet with delusions of hipness TSC were, as those of us with a French GCSE say, tres cool

People not digging The Style Council as much as me means you can find their 7” singles for a couple of quid each and explore this rewarding corner of Weller’s discography for yourself.  The 12”s are harder to find so a little dearer – maybe £5 – but worth seeking out for the great B-sides and different sleeves.

This 1985 12” was a rare gap in my collection and I was chuffed to find it cheap (although you’ll pay more if it’s got the free poster).  One of TSC’s last big hits, it has all their classic traits:  Besides the socialist call-to-arms of the A-side (the closest TSC came to sounding like The Jam?) there are three equally strong B-sides that encapsulate the eclectic nature of Weller’s songwriting:  ‘Spin Drifting’ is breezy, spring-like pop; ‘The Whole Point II’ – a reworking of a track from their debut LP – matches introspective lyrics with jazzy guitar and vibes.  Finally, the acoustic ‘Bloodsports’ is an impassioned attack on fox-hunting.

But it’s more than just the music with TSC and the sleeve is worth the money alone, featuring the humorously pretentious touches that graced their work:  Keyboardist Mick Talbot pays homage to Noel Coward on the front cover and there are sleeve-notes by the mysterious ‘Cappuccino Kid’.  More pointedly, there’s a message of support and contact details for the Hunt Saboteurs Association.

PS.  Say what you like, Weller’s wedge haircut and pink cardigan in the video are les chien’s

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