I went through a phase (still going) where I the music I listened to was all of a type. Paul Weller in The Jam and The Style Council, Dexys, Elvis Costello, Roddy Frame, lesser known bands like The Redskins, Joboxers, The Faith Brothers and Weller’s Respond Label. Then there were bands like 80s Mods The Truth and Makin’ Time. It was all left leaning Motown influenced pop, a little bit earnest, a little bit serious and with a lot of intelligence too.
I’m currently back into it, what with Weller’s latest and a new Dexys album being two of my favourite albums of this year. Some of it doesn’t sound as good as it did, but some of it still fires on all cylinders. Here’s a few choice cuts:
Big Sound Authority – briefly signed to Weller’s Respond label. Had a hit in 1985 with This House. Here’s Soul Man, one of their best songs, especially live.
The Faith Brothers, Country Of The Blind, fronted by Billy Franks, one of many great songwriters who never quite broke through. Damn shame too, cos they were excellent.
The Blades, Downmarket. Mod band from Dublin, did a few bits and pieces, some great singles that sat alongside Weller, Costello and Squeeze very nicely.
Joboxers with their version of Wilson Pickett’s Jealous Love. I’ve just picked up their remaster Like Gangbusters album, which is one of Cherry Red’s excellent series of reissues of lost 80s albums. Some glorious singles, and like the best bands some fantastic b-sides too.