This song has been posted at various blogs recently, many of them friends of this blog, but it seems tailor made for Bagging Area in many ways and it's a feelgood, upbeat dance song for Friday- and we could all do with a bit of feelgood and upbeat for Friday.
Hifi Sean (Sean Dickson) got hold of the master tapes of Fire Island's 1998 cover version of Shout To The Top. Finding the original vocal part, sung by legend Loleatta Holloway, Sean re-wrote the track from the bottom up, in the end providing three different mixes- house, soul/ disco and orchestral horses for courses. Bassline, four on the floor, lovely late 80s pianos, strings, gospel backing vox and then Loleatta. Hands in the air. Hugging strangers. Lights come up. End of the night. Crowd spills out into the night. Here.
Hifi Sean was in a former musical life the frontman of The Soup Dragons, the original indie dance crossover band. His journey from there to here shouldn't be too surprising given how enthusiastic he was about dance music back in 1989. The 1998 version of Shout To The Top isn't too shabby either, the work of Fire Island aka Terry Farley and Pete Heller (both men the subject of various posts here in the last eleven years, Boy's Own being one of the cornerstones of my record collection). Fire Island's cover has a more NYC, Salsoul flavour.
Back in 1984 Shout To The Top was the seventh single released by The Style Council. By this point Paul Weller had put significant distance between his then current band and his previous one. Shout To The Top is a classic Style Council single, the equal of most things The Jam released- those staccato strings, the thumping pace, Weller's vocal, the surge into the chorus. Shout To The Top, then and now, is hugely uplifting dance pop, a message of solidarity and determination and a refusal to beaten down in times of economic and political uncertainty- with a smile on its face.