Monday, May 2, 2011

The Style Council's Political Health Farm

The Jam's constant references to British politics and British working-class life in the late 70s-early 80s were probably contributing factors to their relative lack of success in the United States at the time.  Paul Weller's follow-up group, the Style Council (an outfit that in at least one critical respect, was comparable to McCartney's Wings) offered up blue-eyed, metropolitan soul with less heavy doses of political outrage and social sarcasm.

"Life At A Top People's Health Farm" is one of the exceptions.   While Mick Talbot cops a fantastic groove popularized by Stevie Wonder, Weller fills this rollicking song with acerbic jabs at the government, the economy, and the middle classes' aspirations for upward mobility while their brethren are getting "the shove" and the "iron glove."

Some things haven't changed much in 25 years, it seems, on either side of the Atlantic - and Paul Weller has always spoken his mind about it.  The Style Council, at least on this occasion, put a pretty clever, butt-wigglin' disguise on his commentary.

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