No group had such a powerful effect on me in the '80s, or maybe ever, as TSC. And this box set is a stellar document to a truly great band. I didn't get to know The Jam until later, but I can understand the Jam fans who slammed The Council during their lifespan, since it's a testament to the loyalty Weller inspires in his fans, regardless of which phase of his career we're talking about.
Pretty much every track you need is captured here, some in different versions (Money Go Round Parts 1 & 2 vs. the 12" UK single version; Soul Deep Bert Bevans Remix vs. the regular 12" UK version). More than anything, as other reviews have noted, it's the sheer depth of songwriting ability and fearlessness to try something new that's so gripping. The evolution of this band is truly something to behold.
The list of favorites is too large, but some key tracks for me are: The Paris Match (A Paris version), The Long Hot Summer, Le Depart, My Ever Changing Moods (LP version) with just vocal and piano, Headstart For Happiness (both Money Go Round b-side and LP versions), It Just Came To Pieces In My Hands, Spin'Drifting, The Big Boss Groove, Shout To The Top, Man Of Great Promise, Luck, Walls Come Tumbling Down, It Didn't Matter, Heavens Above, The Cost Of Loving, The Piano Paintings (entire side), Why I Went Missing, Confessions 1, 2, 3, and Promised Land (full version).
The huge incentive for this set all by itself is Modernism: A New Decade. Rejected by Polydor at the time, it actually has several terrific tracks. For me, they would be: Can You Still Love Me (even better than the b-side version from the Promised Land single), World Must Come Together, Hope (Feelings Gonna Getcha), Everybody's On The Run (also better than the b-side from Long Hot Summer '89), Love Of The World and Sure Is Sure, a bittersweet farewell track from my favorite-ever band.
Finally, the packaging itself is first-rate, with a lavish booklet full of photos and memorabilia, along with a lyric sheet.
For anyone who's followed the line that this was Weller's "wilderness period", it might be worth your while to give this a try. You may be pleasantly surprised.