The chasm that separated critics and The Jam's buying public was never greater than that which opened upon the release of this single. The journos were blind-sided by Paul Weller's rather obvious lifting of The Beatles's "Taxman" bassline in its entirety for "Start", and were unable to see or hear anything beyond that fact. Still, at least drawing Beatles comparisons did allow them to new some new territory. Previously, all they'd harped on about was Weller’s debt to Pete Townshend.
But their musical tunnel-vision insured they missed what the rest of Britain heard, the song's funky undertones, its splendid jangle around Weller's guitar chords, and the incredible crispness to the sound, producer Vic Coopersmith-Heaven at his best. Plundered in part the song may have been, but composer Weller gave it his own twist, his band their own unique take, and the single, released in August, 1980, started up the chart and didn't stop until it hit the top, to become the trio's second #1.