(And so to the second posting of the day, held over from last week)

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Is it or isn’t it?

Technically, it’s a single by The Council Collective, but the a-side is a Weller/Talbot composition and it is in effect The Style Council supplemented by guest vocalists (Jimmy Ruffin, Junior Giscombe and Vaughan Toulouse) as well as guest musicians (Dizzi Heights and Leonardo Chignoli). Oh and Martin Ware was involved in the production and mixing.

As the rear of the sleeve explains:-

The aim of this record was to raise money for the Striking Miners and their families before Xmas but obviously in the light of the tragic and disgusting event in South Wales resulting in the murder of a Cab driver, some of the monies will also go now, to the widow of the man.

We do support the miners strike but we do not support violence. It helps no one and only creates further division amongst people.

This record is about Solidarity or more to the point – getting it back! If the miners lose the strike, the consequence will be felt by all the working classes. That is why it is so important to support it. But violence will only lead to defeat – as all violence ultimately does.

The single was released at the end of 1984 but proved to be the band’s poorest selling record thus far, stalling at #24 in the UK charts. This was likely down to a combination of it not getting as many radio plays as previous singles (the stations being disinclined to mix pop and politics….well for the time being!!), that some of the natural fan base weren’t as politically inclined as Paul Weller had thought and sadly, just the fact that it wasn’t all that good a song. But in 1984, reaching #24 in the singles chart would have meant tens of thousands of sales and so decent enough amounts of monies will have been raised:-

mp3 : The Council Collective – Soul Deep (12″ version)

Here’s the b-side:-

mp3 : The Council Collective – A Miner’s Point

It is a fascinating piece of social history. It is a near 17-minute long spoken piece in which Paulo Hewitt interviews two striking miners.  I say fascinating, but it is also very sad.  These two quietly spoken men are determined to see things through and firmly believe that they are going to win.  They articulate very well their reasons for taking such action and while critical of those who are still working, they hold out olive branches to all concerned.  That it didn’t work out as they hoped or anticipated makes it in fact that rare artefact – history as recounted by the eventual losers.

The b-side is also listed as a Weller/Talbot composition – I’m assuming this is as much to do with the payment and collection of royalties (and subsequent donations to the causes) as anything else.