The Style Council ‘Headstart For Happiness’

I find it really hard to pass a charity shop without going and having a rummage through their used vinyl. Sometimes there’s nothing, sometimes you find some real surprises and sometimes they turn up trumps. With the success of ebay, everyone who had the time and the patience realised they could sell their old vinyl, even if it was just for pennies. The charity shops, especially Oxfam, wised up and set up specialist branches selling books and records, at second hand record shop prices, with hand-written labels saying why it was good/rare. The stock and supply of vinyl in the ordinary, suburban charity shops seems to be dwindling as a result. I suppose also there’s a limited ammount of old records to go around. That Barry Gibb and Barbara Streisand album’s always there, you can rely on finding Terence Trent Darby’s first album gathering dust and sleeve damage, and Phil Collins is an ever-present.

Recently I realised that I’ve been buying vinyl in the charity shops that either I don’t really want or have already got. I bought a stack of Wah! 7″ singles a couple of months ago, who I was never really into, although they’ve grown on me. The buying duplicates thing has led me to having, off the top of my head, three copies of Rip It Up by Orange Juice (all in picture bags), two extra copies of Blue Monday (sadly not with the die-cut sleeve), 7″ and 12″versions of Love Missile F1-11 by Sigue Sigue Sputnik, two 12″ Beatmasters singles (the one with Betty Boo), S’Express’s Theme several times, and two copies of Cafe Blue by The Style Council (who are charity shop repeat offenders). I’m sure there are others but I can’t be bothered going to check. I hate the thought of these little nuggets of pop culture going unsold, unloved, scratched, sleeves knackered and ending up in landfill. I suppose I’m denying someone else the chance of owning Rip It Up but I can’t take the chance, so home it comes, causing storage and space problems, but safe and loved.

Anyway, back to The Style Council, who’s records frequently crop up in the charity shops. They must have been produced in their millions, and dumped in similar quantities, and I’ve said it before but early Style Council is as good as anything else Mr Weller has done (some examples-Speak Like A Child, Solid Bond In Your Heart, Shout To The Top, Walls Come Tumbling Down), including this one. This is off Cafe Blue, and is a cracking little upbeat pop song, wearing it’s Motown and Northern Soul influences proudly, and featuring great twin vocals from Paul Weller and Dee C. Lee. Get down your local high street and see if you can find a copy.

Headstart For Happiness.mp3

The Man From Delmonte ‘My Love Is Like A Gift You Cant Return’

It seems that we’re back under the rule of the Tories, after 13 years.

Let’s try to shake off that big black cloud with some super-jangly indie-pop from 1989, The Man From Delmonte with My Love Is Like A Gift You Can’t Return, one of the jauntiest and sunniest records ever commited to vinyl (or cassette more likely), very good stuff of it’s kind.

That cloud hasn’t gone away has it? As a friend texted me last night, the nightmare begins.

The Man From Delmonte – My Love Is Like A Gift You Cant Return.mp3