The Faustian pact between popular music and fashion - and the unthinking sectarianism at its heart - is perfectly illustrated by the case of Secret Affair.
I loved their music from the first time I heard it, in the same way that I loved Dexys Midnight Runners. As a young punk rocker in the late '70s they were supposed to be outside my "tribe" but I didn't give a shit.
There was wonderful songwriting from Dave Cairns and Ian Page in a power punk meets soul vein, Page's striking voice and Dave Winthrop's sax straight out of Springsteen's E Street Band. And some clever lyrics about the fickle nature of the music industry as well.
Given what happened to Secret Affair, that's not surprising. They were the standard bearers of the fleeting late-'70s mod revival. For just about everyone else at the time that was the point - you loved 'em if you were a mod, you sneered at them if you weren't.
But me, I just loved the music. When their star waned I lamented the fact that the fickle finger of fashion had left what was ultimately simply a fantastic punk-pop-soul band out to dry. And played their stuff regularly for the next three decades ...
And now, blow me, they're back with a new album. Rather like Dexys, it's 30 years since the last one and, rather like Dexys, it is fantastic. But while Dexys' new offering garners rave notices all over the national press and beyond, the only review I can find for Secret Affair's Soho Dreams is on the Modernist Society's website.
Which is a shame, because Soho Dreams is an absolute belter of an album. The influences are the same as ever - '60s soul, RnB, pop-punk, that Springsteen sax - but these days they've added a full brass section and organ to Winthrop's solo saxophone. It's uproariously uplifting stuff, lavishly produced.
Walk Away and Land Of Hope are singalong anthems. Turn Me On and All The Rage are shitkicking R&B.
In Our Time is straight out of Quadrophrenia. Love's Unkind and Soul Of The City show off Page's fine voice to great effect. There's a blistering version of Ashford & Simpson's I Don't Need No Doctor. Ten of the 11 tracks are classics.
Soho Dreams is available on I-SPY. For tour dates visit www.secretaffair.info.