A song like this occupies a strange place in time. It was made in the 80s, so is already about 30 years old. But it was also made in emulation of an earlier style; it riffs of the late 60s Northern Soul scene.
Weirdly, it was more popular in the U.S. than the native U.K. of the Fine Cannibals. The song reached number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, but only number 7 on the U.K. Singles Chart.
The reason for the old school soul feeling is that the band played nightclub musicians in the 1987 film “Tin Men”, which was itself set in Baltimore in 1963.
The song has a ska feeling, but a distinctly soul backbone as well. The drums bounce and clap, powering the song forward. The bass is sharp and insistence, staying mainly on the beat.
The piano solo is one of the coolest things about the song, which owes a lot to the presence of Jools Holland, who adds a real touch of class to proceedings.
The song is an energetic, feel good bop. The lyrics are about a lost lover, but it isn’t a sad song at all.
The song was released on the 1989 album The Raw & The Cooked.