Secret Affair were a British Post Punk Mod revival group who had three UK Top 40 hits in 1979-80 in the wake of the success of mod rockers The Jam and the film Quadrophenia. This song was their first and biggest hit and became an anthem for the late '70s Mod movement. Other band's that hitched onto The Jam's Mod revival bandwagon included Merton Parkas, the Lambrettas and Purple Hearts.
Vocalist and keyboard player Ian Page recalled to The Guardian August 6, 2009: "I was a 16-year-old kid when Punk was invented. I sat in the Roxy with Steve Strange and Siouxsie, but quickly realised that they were middle class and not really out for revolution at all. I caused a lot of controversy with the line 'I hate the Punk elite' in Time for Action, but that's what they were to me: dressing scruffily because it was a novelty, not because they were poor. People like me and Paul Weller liked the energy of Punk but didn't like out-of-tune guitars or people who couldn't sing. When I was really young my brother had been a suedehead and I'd loved the look – Ben Sherman shirts and Sta-Prest trousers. So I came up with this concept: smart London street kids into playing '60s-type music but in a more aggressive manner. We were aspirational – working-class kids saying we could look and feel as good as anybody with money. But the music press were incredibly hostile – I don't think they understood what made working-class people angry – and Pop was dividing into other camps, like new romantic. The scene both made the band and killed the band, but years later, when Blur and Oasis emerged with the same music and iconography, I felt vindicated. When we reformed we realised this Mod thing never really stopped."