PAUL WELLER – In Magic: A Journal of Song

Posted: January 5, 2023 in MUSIC

‘There is talent and there is skill, but there’s a certain amount of magic attached to songwriting.’ – Paul Weller

“Magic: A Journal of Song” is a fascinating portrait of one of Britain’s most prolific songwriters. Magic combines a selection of over 100 lyrics from across Paul Weller’s musical life, proving him to be the ultimate shapeshifter: from The Jam’s punk sensibilities to the genre-defying Style Council, through to a remarkable 30-year solo career. His third Genesis edition, Magic is narrated by Weller and illustrated with more than 450 photographs and pieces of ephemera throughout. A revealing commentary garnered over a series of conversations with journalist and author Dylan Jones covers the songs, the stories and inspirations behind them, and all of the 28 albums of Weller’s ever-evolving musical journey.

‘As a songwriter, Paul Weller has proved that he is not only beyond reproach, in some senses he is quite possibly without equal.’ – Dylan Jones

‘The thing I have discovered is that music in its truest sense is beyond any trend or movement or category.’ – Paul Weller

The photography featured is pulled from a range of never-before-seen negatives and iconic shoots that chronicle Paul Weller in detail throughout his extraordinary career. 

From the early days of The Jam, when the band played local talent competitions in Woking, through to performing in London, Tokyo and New York, Magic captures both the energy of their live shows as well as behind the scenes, in the studio and backstage. Later experimental images of The Style Council in Normandy and Paris recall the band’s European influences. Weller’s extensive solo career is documented by a range of photographers and friends, whose work shows Weller rediscovering himself as an artist. 

Photography by globally recognised photographers is presented, including Janette Beckman, Julian Broad, Anton Corbijn, Jill Furmanovsky, Nick Knight, Mary McCartney, Pennie Smith, and many more. Together, their photographs capture historic performances, rehearsals, video shoots, and studio sessions. 

Each album is personally introduced by Weller, alongside the album artwork and photoshoot outtakes.

‘First and foremost, I try to satisfy something inside myself. And if other people get it and they share in it? That’s fantastic.’ – Paul Weller

Offering unprecedented insight into his creative process, Weller’s personally curated selection of over 100 song lyrics is accompanied by an illuminating commentary of over 25,000 words. As told to journalist and author, Dylan Jones, Magic: A Journal of Song presents Weller’s most candid and intimate account of his musical life to date. From founding The Jam as a teenager, through his time as one half of The Style Council, to his years as a solo musician, Magic is Weller’s definitive document of his songwriting career. 

Paul Weller is an award-winning musician with a career spanning almost 50 years. He has been an integral part of the British music scene since the early 1970s, when he founded The Jam. Following this, he teamed up with keyboardist Mick Talbot to create The Style Council, in which political statements were aired to nostalgic, summer-soaked melodies, and has gone on to have a hugely successful solo career. As a songwriter, Weller is considered on par with artists such as Paul McCartney and David Bowie and has received awards from the BRITs (Lifetime Achievement Award), NME Awards (Godlike Genius Award) and a GQ Award for Songwriter of the Year. 

‘Over the years, he has developed an encyclopaedic knowledge of dozens of different genres. But more importantly, he still writes and performs with the enthusiasm of a teenager.’ – Dylan Jones

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