Monday, December 01, 2008

Headstart to happiness

I've decided to designate December 'Paul Weller Month' on the blog.

No rhyme or reason. I've already blogged about the fact that he turned 50 earlier this year.

I just happened to have the good fortune yesterday to catch the excellent 2006 BBC documentary, 'Paul Weller: Into Tomorrow' and, naturally enough, that propelled me into a Paul Weller music marathon immediately after it was over and I thought - whilst listening to All Mod Cons for the 1000th time - that as a new month was right round the corner, I'd use that as an excuse to post at least one Paul Weller related posted each and every day for the month of December.

As with the best laid plans, there are no plans as to what that actually means. Maybe post an mp3 here . . . upload an old picture there . . . throw an obscure factoid into the mix, etc etc. In the best traditions of the blog, I'll just make this shit up as I go along and the reader can groan over the consequences.

I hereby promise that I can make no promises over quality, chronology or accuracy. Thought I should throw that in, just in case any Weller die-hards' happen to stumble across the blog on their travels. I've noticed that they can be the intense types.

First up is a YouTube clip of The Style Council performing 'Headstart To Happiness' on some unnamed Saturday morning children's show dating from 1984.

I'd never seen this clip before yesterday, and still can't work why they'd be performing a track from Cafe Bleu on a kids show. (OK, now I understand, they performed this and the single 'My Ever Changing Moods' on the same show).

HTH definitely ranks in my Top 5 of Paul Weller songs penned during his Style Council period. My only dilemma is that I don't know if I prefer this version or the demoed version from 'Introducing The Style Council'. Both brilliant in their own way, and as good as anything he did during his time in The Jam. If prodded I'll opt for this version. If only because the divine Dee C Lee is featured . . . and I'm shallow enough to post a YouTube clip of Girls Aloud performing 'See The Day' as part of the PaulWellerMonth.

It's only two degrees of separation when you think about it.

11 comments:

harpymarx said...

I liked Headstart to Happiness. There's an acoustic solo version sung by Weller and the other version with backing vocals by Dee C Lee. Ahhh, Cafe Bleu.... and Tracy Thorne singing 'Paris Match'.

Introducing the Style Council was a great LP esp. the long version of 'Money Go-round'.

Darren said...

Yeah, Introducing . . . was a cracking lp and in all the years I've listened to it, I don't think I ever listened to the remix version of Long Hot Summer.

The shame.

I'm off to listen to Style Council's house album by way of penance.

J.J said...

I love Paul Weller Month already! Thanks Darren.

Reidski said...

Paul Weller is boring - nuff said!

Darren said...

JJ thinks you're talking pish.

Darren said...

PS - and he's no boring; he's moody and artistic.

Paulie said...

Being *Weller* month, you may excusably fail to mention Smithers Jones. But I just listened to it again and was bouncing of the walls as much as ever.

"Plenty more fish in the sea to fry."

The pathos of white-collar job-loss is something that it's easy to turn a tin-ear to. This song doesn't do that.

Darren said...

Foxton was always underrated.

PS - *Weller* month could mean anything. The more tangental the better.

Reidski said...

The Jam were fantastic - way up there with the best of them. The Style Council very good. Paul Weller on his own is boring. There can be no other description - I am right and you lot are wrong!

J.J said...

Well OK - Reidski knows that I saw Paul Weller a few years ago and very disappointingly bland he was too.

BUT - we ignore all that and celebrate the good stuff.Of which there is masses.

Darren said...

Reidski,

this matter of Weller's solo stuff being boring is something I might return to at a later stage. The month is still early and I'm already scrambling around for ideas.

JJ,

Never seen him in concert but I know that personal heroes can sometimes disappoint in live and in the flesh.

Think how gutted I was when I first met Reidski? However, happy ending, that soon melted away when he bought me that first pint. ;-)