The lazy simplistic critique of Paul Weller’s career says The Jam were great, The Style Council were shit and the solo stuff’s OK but a bit boring. And that’s complete bollocks. He’s done genius and rubbish throughout his career.
Despite The Jam’s punk frenzy, The Style Council had his most political lyrics and also some tremendous euphoric joy-of-life songs. Headstart For Happiness is one of my favourite things ever recorded. This version was done as an extra track for the B-side of the Money Go Round 12 inch.
It was laid down so soon after it was written that you can clearly hear that Weller’s performing it in the same mood that it was written in. There was a later version recorded with a full band for the Cafe Bleu album, but it's heavy, clunky and lacks the bubbling joy of this take.
The shine, the looseness of the fingerclicks and handclaps, the flying-free feeling are so contagious, and the giddy effervescent sparkling lyrics of new found love have a matching wonderful irrepressible carefree abandon to them.
The positivity and love in the words describing coming together after a week apart from a person who sets your heart aflame and who makes everything go wild and make sense all at the same time are exactly how I feel right now.
Here she is - how could anyone not fall in love with her?
She's the one on the left, I hasten to add.
[MP3 deleted to make way for new ones. Sorry!]