Posts Tagged ‘Paul Weller’

On May 14th, Paul Weller releases his 16th solo album since his self-titled debut in 1992, which comes in just under twelve months following June 2020’s magnificent, chart-topping “On Sunset”. It’s not hyperbole to state that this new album, titled Fat Pop (Volume 1), is among his most compelling collections. 
The record comes less than a year after last year’s On Sunset and features the song ‘Cosmic Fringes’ which you can preview below. Paul has already revealed that the Pet Shop Boys have remixed this song for some future release.
 
During spring last year, after his tour dates were postponed, Paul Weller needed something else to focus on. With many ideas for new songs stored on his phone, Paul started to record them on his own with just vocals, piano and guitar which he’d send to his core band members (drummer Ben Gordelier, Steve Cradock on guitar and bassist Andy Crofts) to add their parts. Despite it being strange not being together, it kept the wheels rolling and sanity prevailing. The band reconvened at Weller’s Black Barn studio in Surrey when restrictions were lifted to finish the work with the shape of the album becoming clear to all.

“Fat Pop (Volume 1)”Paul adding the “Volume 1” to keep options open for a second volume in the future –  is a diverse selection of sounds. No one style dominates. There’s the synth-heavy, future-wave strut of Cosmic Fringes, the stately balladeering of Still Glides The Stream (co-written with Steve Cradock), the chunky percussive groove of Moving Canvas (a tribute to Iggy Pop no less), and the kind of dramatic immediate pop symphonies on Failed, True and Shades of Blue with which Paul Weller has hooked in generation after generation of devotee.
 
As ever, “Fat Pop”, sees a number of guests contributing including Lia Metcalfe, the young Liverpudlian singer with The Mysterines who combines her tremendous vocal as well as a song writing credit to True. Andy Fairweather Low adds his distinctive vocals to superfly strutting Testify and Paul’s daughter Leah co-wrote and features on the classic 3 minute pop kitchen sink drama Shades Of Blue which will be the first single taken from the album. Hannah Peel is back in the fray adding her classic string scores to Cobweb Connections and Still Glides The Stream. 
The new album from Paul Weller was recorded in Spring 2020 whilst unable to hit the road and tour. Locked-down at Black Barn studios, Paul initially recorded vocals, piano and guitar on his own, before sending to the core band to add their parts remotely. Eventually the full band were able to reconvene as restrictions lifted and finish the record.
 

Out May 14th & available to pre-order on multiple formats – including deluxe vinyl and deluxe CD, LTD picture disc, merch bundles & more… There is also a limited edition orange vinyl available exclusively from Amazon. First track ‘Cosmic Fringes’ out now. Music video by Paul Weller performing Cosmic Fringes. A Polydor Records recording; © 2021 Solid Bond Productions Ltd., under exclusive licence to Universal Music Operations.

A brand new record from Paul Weller. ‘Fat Pop’ is out 14th May through Polydor Records.

Paul Weller: Fat Pop Deluxe Vinyl Boxset

Album artwork for Wake Up The Nation

Paul Weller’s incendiary Mercury Music nominated album “Wake Up The Nation” 2020 remastered edition is out now. Remastered by Jan ‘Stan’ Kybert and Paul himself, “Wake Up The Nation” includes the hit singles – No Tears to Cry, Wake Up the Nation, Find the Torch Burn the Plans, & Fast Car/Slow Traffic. Featuring re-styled cover artwork and packaging (with colour poster ), this version of “Wake Up The Nation” is available on CD and digitally now. The vinyl version is coming early 2021. 

Buzzing with guitars and gurgling effects, and built upon a succession songs that barely crest the two-minute mark, Wake Up the Nation doesn’t share much with the follow up “22 Dreams”, apart from that sense of adventure with Weller cramming a suite’s worth of twists into a song. As packed as these tunes are, they’re drawn with crisp lines; for as busy as these are, nothing feels cluttered, they’re all teeming with life. Many of the left turns arrive via the arrangements — witness how everything careens out of control after the chorus of “Grasp & Still Connect,” the elastic psychedelia of “Andromeda,” the updated New Orleans shuffle of “Trees’ — or the unexpected collaborations, whether it’s the tightly wound reunion with the Jam’s Bruce Foxton on “Fast Car/Slow Traffic” or bringing in My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields to craft the dense dangerous heartbeat of “7&3 Is the Strikers Name,” but this isn’t window-dressing: the entire effect is 22 Dreams in reverse, contracting where its predecessor expanded, substituting introspection for action, swapping contemplation for excitement. Wake Up the Nation pulsates with an energy considerably different than the stomping rock & roll of As Is Now.

That was all musical muscle, but this is music of the mind that remains fiercely visceral, music that feels of a piece of Weller’s entire body of work, but is quite unique in its execution and impact.

“I was never happy with the mix on Wake Up the Nation, so when someone pointed out that it had been 10 years since it’s been out I thought it was a good opportunity to try a re-mix on it. I liked the chaos and intensity of the original but I could hear how much you couldn’t hear in it. I think the new mix reveals lots more parts that you didn’t hear in the original while still keeping the energy.” – Paul Weller

Wake Up the Nation was the tenth studio album from Paul Weller and was released on 19th April 2010. It was nominated for the 2010 Mercury Music Prize. The albums was dedicated to “absent friends – John Weller, Pat Foxton and Robert Kirby. It is the first of Weller’s albums since 1982 to feature contributions from Bruce Foxton, formerly of The Jam. Weller told Mojo magazine: “We’d both lost loved ones and without getting too spiritual that was the spur of it. I spoke to him this time last year when his wife Pat was ill and that broke the ice, then I invited him down to Black Barn (studio).

There was no big plan, it was easy, a laugh, and nice to see him and work together again. We just slipped back into it.” Wake Up the Nation received great acclaim from most music critics. In Metro, John Lewis awarded the album 4 stars out of 5 and commented: “Since turning 50 two years ago, the Modfather seems to be making the most adventurous music of his career, astounding even the most Weller-phobic critics … Most of the 16 tracks are short, sharp, clever and often wonderfully odd: check out bonkers music hall epic “Trees”, “In Amsterdam” or militaristic sound collage 7&3 Is The Strikers Name (an unlikely collaboration with My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields). Weller loyalists will be reassured by the copper-bottomed dad-rock staples, while Style Council fans will love Aim High, his finest blue-eyed soul ballad in ages.

The Jam – “Sound Affects” is the fifth studio album by the Jam, released on this day (28th November) in 1980.  It is the only Jam album to be co-produced by the band themselves, and contains the only album track co-written by the entire band, “Music for the Last Couple”. Unhappy with the slicker approach of Setting Sons, the Jam got back to basics, using the direct, economic playing of All Mod Cons and “Going Underground,” the simply brilliant single which preceded Sound Affects by a few months.

“Sound Affects” is The Jam’s magnum opus. From beginning to end, it is their most consistent and inventive album, filled as it is with compelling, mesmerizing songs. Here the Jam develop into a legitimate post-punk outfit, taking cues from contemporaries, Mixed with this fresh sounding development of their sound is the Jam’s already familiar love for 60’s music. The emphasis here is more often than not found in the psychedelic aspects of the album. Songs like “That’s Entertainment” and “Monday” paint brilliantly vivid pictures of everyday working class life through a psychedelic lens. 

Thematically, though, Paul Weller explored a more indirect path, leaving behind (for the most part) the story-song narratives in favour of more abstract dealings in spirituality and perception — the approach stemming from his recent readings of Blake and Shelley (who was quoted on the sleeve), but more specifically Geoffrey Ash, whose Camelot and the Vision of Albion made a strong impression. Musically, Weller drew upon Revolver-era Beatles as a primary source (the bassline on “Start,” which comes directly from “Taxman,” being the most obvious occurrence), incorporating the occasional odd sound and echoed vocal, which implied psychedelia without succumbing to its excesses. From beginning to end, the songs are pure, clever, infectious pop — probably their catchiest — with “That’s Entertainment” and the should-have-been-a-single “Man in the Corner Shop” standing out.

On the more post-punk side of things, there is “Music for the Last Couple” and “Scrape Away,” where brilliantly unconventional production, jagged guitar licks and existential lyrics collide to awesome effect.

The lyrics are up to the standard one would expect from Weller, which is to say they are completely brilliant. The ability of Weller as a young man to dissect the true nature of the world was always astounding, arguably on this album more than ever before. There is the usually scathing social commentary combined with a thoroughly existential, philosophical tone. “Sound Affects” is one of the greatest albums of all time, and arguably the best album The Jam ever made.

THE JAM’s“Sound Affects.”

It features the single “Start!,” plus new tracks, “Pretty Green,” “Monday,” “But I’m Different Now,” “Set The House Ablaze,” “That’s Entertainment,” “Dream Time,” “Man In The Corner Shop,” “Music For The Last Couple,” “Boy About Town,” and “Scrape Away.”

The cover of the album is meant to be a parody of the ’60s BBC Sound Effects LPs. As expected, it’s a huge hit the UK, going up to #2 on the album charts. In America, where the band has never found a foothold, it becomes their first charted record, but stalls at #72. In the NME Paul Du Noyer writes that, “…it’s a brave departure and an earnest effort to break new ground. ‘Sound Affects’ is the Jam today and that’s what we need most of all. The new songs represent a band that’s as vital and as capable of anger as ever; but more than ever be.
The Jam’s attacking spirit is being allied to melodic invention, and to lyrics that are increasingly thoughtful. Ignore any suggestions that they’re going soft of ’67.”

In Sounds Dave McCullough writes that this is, “…their best album yet…a truly stirring record. It has a depth that appears impenetrable. My head is still going round with the possibilities.”

Through these strange and uncertain times it is sometimes a little hard to see any light at the end of the tunnel but this is where The Moons have stepped in. This long player is an album full of colour and raw song writing recorded live in the legendary Studio 2 at Abbey Road Studios. With cinematic string arrangements and masterclass song writing from the pen of singer/songwriter Andy Crofts this album will be your happy escape.

“Most of this album had been unintentionally sat in my pocket for quite some time. Songs that I had written and forgotten about or had just lost their way and left unfinished. So that is why I wanted the album to simply be named Pocket Melodies. I had this inner feeling to pull them all together and it turned out my favourite Moons record.” Andy Crofts

Pocket Melodies takes you on a journey of glorious melodies leading you through love, romance, nostalgia, regret and unity.

Congratulations to the Paul Weller band members of The Moons on the release of their new album, ‘Pocket Melodies’ out today. Featuring a Weller/ Crofts composition called ‘Tunnel of Time’ recorded at Abbey Rd.

“I wanted to be true to myself with this record. My best strength is writing melodic pop songs so I just let it all flow as I wanted this album to be soaked in colour and completely natural. There’s no pretence, it’s just straight up pop songs. I have always worn my heart on my sleeve when it comes to my feelings and I think you can hear this in the lyrics this time.” Andy Crofts

The album features singles Riding Man and Today which received high praise and championed on BBC London and Radio X and a collaboration with Paul Weller on the song Tunnel Of Time.

“I wrote all of the songs on the album except Tunnel Of Time which is a collaboration between myself and Paul Weller. He once approached me with a little idea and we slowly worked at it in dressing rooms etc until I took it away and put it all together. Its a nice little song and i’m glad it found a home with The Moons.” Andy Crofts

Taken from the forthcoming album ‘Pocket Melodies’ out 23/10/20

When Paul Weller announced the Style Council’s arrival in march 1983, he’d come a very long way. in fact, at the age of just 24, he was already a musical veteran with six albums and nine top 10 singles under his belt with the Jam. as their leader he had become a deity-like figure and for his fans, the Jam’s split was unimaginable. but creatively restless and of inquisitive mind, Paul jettisoned them at their height to form a collective with an eventual core line-up of Paul with Mick Talbot, Dee C Lee and Steve White. in a quest for new sounds, the group travelled to realms previously unchartered for a pop group incorporating musical influences as wide ranging as Blue Note jazz and Chicago soul, Claude Debussy and Erik Satie, Chicago House and Jacques Brel.

At the same time, as battle lines were drawn in a decade under Margaret Thatcher culminating in the miner’s strike of 1984-85, Paul’s lyrics spoke with the language of the activist and his state of the nation addresses were both fierce and eloquent. over four albums and 17 singles, The Style Council made a stand and became the standard bearers of progressive soulful pop and social comment. The Style Council was emblematic of its creator. Paul Weller, smart, fearless, audacious, with a social conscience and totally unafraid to push the possibilities of pop. this is their story… “we set out to have fun, document the times and at the same time we wanted to elevate pop to an art form – I think we did that.” Paul Weller

Ahead of a forthcoming documentary on the second famed band of Paul Weller’s career, the revered British rocker has co-compiled a new collection devoted to The Style Council.

Long Hot Summers: The Story of The Style Council provides an extensive overview of Weller’s work through the ’80s after the dissolution of The Jam. The 37-track collection, available across 2 CDs or 3 LPs, includes a healthy mix of the group’s biggest singles, album cuts, B-sides and two unreleased tracks: an extended version of 1984’s “Dropping Bombs On The Whitehouse” and a string-laden demo of the band’s biggest worldwide hit, “My Ever Changing Moods.”

Working with Dexys Midnight Runners keyboardist Mick Talbot, drummer Steve White and vocalist Dee C. Lee, Weller’s work in The Style Council largely eschewed the punk leanings of The Jam for more overt New Wave, slick soul and sophisti-pop influences. But Weller’s signature song writing was still at the helm – as well as a growing political bent. (Along with Billy Bragg and Jimmy Somerville, Weller was active in Red Wedge, a collective of Labour-sympathetic musicians working to drum up support against England’s prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

The group earned three straight gold records in England with 1984’s Café Bleu (released in America as My Ever Changing Moods – the title track of which became a U.S. Top 40 hit), 1985’s chart-topping Our Favourite Shop and 1987’s The Cost Of Loving. The latter’s mixed critical reception was followed by the experimental Confessions Of a Pop Group (1988); the following year’s Modernism: A New Decade was rejected by Polydor Records, after which Weller called the group off for a solo career.

Long Hot Summers will be available from UMC October 30th – the same day a new documentary about The Style Council, featuring interviews with Weller, Talbot, White and Lee, will premiere on Sky Arts in England. The compilation, remastered at Abbey Road Studios, features new notes by Weller, essayist Lois Wilson, and actor Martin Freeman (star of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy and the U.K. version of The Office), a professed “superfan” of the group.

Into Tomorrow by Paul Weller

Paul Weller has personally reviewed thousands of prints to decide the photographs that make up Into Tomorrow.

Weller’s recording sessions are seen from an insider’s perspective, at work on albums such as Wild Wood. Similarly, his tours – from Amsterdam to New York and from the O2 to 100 Club. Shoots have produced album covers such as Modern Classics 1 and 2, As Is Now and Studio 150. Videos have included ‘The Changingman’ and ‘Out of the Sinking’.

Paul’s always very involved; he’s got a great eye.’ Lawrence Watson, Weller and Watson’s working relationship started in 1988, with a chance opportunity for Watson to photograph the Style Council.

Weller was impressed with Watson’s photography, so much so that the work was used for the Confessions of a Pop Group album cover.

‘Much water has flowed, up and down.’  Paul Weller Since the Style Council, Paul Weller has released 11 studio albums, five live albums, 39 singles and three EPs – nearly all of which feature Watson’s photography.

Published in a limited edition of only 2,000, each numbered copy is personally signed by Paul Weller and Lawrence Watson, quarter-bound in leather and housed in a translucent red perspex slipcase. A unique, limited edition vinyl record is discreetly housed with the book in the protective slipcase. This 10″ disc shares previously unreleased live recordings from a performance at the Hammersmith Apollo, selected by Paul Weller. ‘It’s a document of nearly 25 years of work. I am happy to see it documented and collected for posterity’. Paul Weller

‘What I try to do in my pictures is make them quite honest. Hopefully fans will see a true reflection of Paul’s solo years encapsulated in this book.’ Lawrence Watson

‘I thought it’s time to do a book. Me and Lawrence have been working together for more than twenty years. The weirdest thing is that it doesn’t seem that long.’ Paul Weller

Paul Weller introduces Into Tomorrow and provides a narrative commentary throughout. In commenting on more than 20 years of photographs, he revisits his entire solo career for the first time. Lawrence Watson tells the story from behind the camera, adding recollections of gigs, recording sessions and tours, from London to San Francisco, to Tokyo and back.

‘The book is an absolute work of art. I am very pleased with every aspect.’ C.Baker, USA
‘I especially like Paul’s comments which give such a personal insight.’ A. Bates, UK
‘This is my first purchase from you – I am now busy saving for my next!’ M. Bonhomme, Jersey
‘I’m always looking at what’s going on, to see whether I can use it, and write about it. Lawrence is the same. He is always thinking ahead, looking for a backdrop or a certain light, looking for ideas.’ Paul Weller
Paul and Lawrence are signing each of the 2,000 numbered copies in their new limited edition book and vinyl set. Find out more at http://www.WellerBook.com
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The latest album from the veteran singer-songwriter and style icon is an eclectic mix of electronica, psychedelia, pop, balladry and orchestral music. On the album, Paul Weller is aided by his regular cohorts Ben Gordelier, Andy Croft’s and Steve Cradock as well as his old Style Council partner, Mick Talbot, who contributes his Hammond organ mastery to three songs. Singer songwriter Hannah Peel did the string arrangements for the album, and The Paraorchestra perform on four tracks. In addition, other guests perform on individual songs. The album opens with the experimental “Mirror Ball,” a track recorded during the sessions for True Meanings, Weller’s previous studio album. It sounds like bits of different songs pieced together but is quite effective. It is followed by “Baptiste,” a smooth and soulful tune with a strong vocal by Weller. The strings and organ add a great deal to it.

Some of the tracks on the album have Weller looking back on the past with the wisdom and insight of his six decades. “Old Father Tyme” is one of those songs. It’s quite delightful, and Weller sounds like he’s having a blast singing it. The title track is another of the songs that takes a glance to the past. Weller was inspired to write the song when visiting his son in Los Angeles and spending some time on Sunset Boulevard, where he had stayed when he first came to the City of Angels in 1977 on The Jam’s first American tour. It’s an easy going song that flows quite nicely. “More” is something of an off -kilter track that features a verse sung by the French singer Julie Gros of the band Le Superhomard as well as guitar work from Josh McClorey from Irish rockers The Strypes. The strings, flute and horns add lushness to it.

The jaunty “Equanimity” sounds like it could be a Madness song. It includes a measured vocal by Weller and violin by Jim Lea, formerly of Slade. The album’s lead single, “Earth Beat,” looks forward and not to the past. The American singer Coltrane, who Weller met through his daughter, is a guest vocalist on the track. On Sunset is a solid and fascinating piece of work, particularly for an artist 43 years into his recording career. Weller has delivered an interesting and enjoyable album with quite a few standout tracks.

Paul Weller shows few signs of slowing down, fewer still of resorting to lazy repetition. A staggering 43 years since The Jam‘s In The City heralded the beginning of a career that now spans 15 widely diverse solo albums, he retains a restlessness that has seen recent outings make forays into acoustic folk, krautrock, exploratory electronica and music concrete.

Yet a new unlikely theme is beginning to cement itself in Weller’s work, one of mindful domestic contentment. On Sunset witnesses a man who has over the past decade given up the booze and drugs casting a misty eye over one of the most illustrious and varied careers in the British music history. Reflections on his past aren’t new to the 62-year-old, of course. There was much of that on the sonically varied pairing of Saturns Pattern and A Kind Revolution and 2018’s acoustic folk collection True Meanings. What is new is how irrepressibly upbeat, at peace and downright happy the famously spiky one-time king of mod sounds here.

“A lot of the lyrics are about looking back, from the point of view of a 60-something man, not with regret or sadness, but with huge optimism,” Weller explains.

Opening track Mirror Ball has a hopelessly romantic sentiment. It’s Weller’s ode to the timeless joy of the dancefloor, from 1920s ballrooms through Wigan Casino and the Twisted Wheel to present-day techno clubs. It also underlines emphatically Weller’s commitment to experimentation across nearly eight minutes, with a full minute of ambient instrumental sound-scaping housed in its mid-section.

Originally destined to be a B-side for True Meanings, Weller included the song here after friends advised him it was too strong to be thrown away. His weathered voice resembles, not for the last time on this record, David Bowie’s as pulsing synths and a snatch of Spanish guitar open out into a shimmering disco groove, with a devilish octaved guitar riff making ostentatious interjections.

There are more familiar moments to be found, with “soulful” the predominant mood. Several of the songs on Weller’s 15th solo album were written with a diverse set of singers in mind – notably Bobby Womack and Pharrell Williams.

On Baptiste, a song Weller calls “a celebration of soul music’s universality” the inspiration is Bobby Bland. The New Orleans-style stomp positively glows with analogue warmth, Weller and Steve Cradock’s rootsy playing backed up by parping horns as the singer emotes “from the mountains high to the valleys low”.

Across On Sunset‘s 10 tracks, the palette is fuller and more colourful than on True Meanings – Games Of Thrones composer Hannah Peel’s orchestrations melding with Weller’s regular sidemen Cradock, bassist Andy Crofts, Tom Van Heel on keys and drummer and additional guitarist Steve Pilgrim. Indie-folk trio The Staves also contribute backing vocals.

On Old Father Tyme, the air is thick with nostalgia and fond reflection. “Time will become you, you will become time,” Weller acknowledges, piano chords, horns and acoustic guitar fusing with electronic percussion and gurgling synth textures, Weller at once glancing in his rear-view mirror and striding into the future.

Style Council mate Mick Talbot adds Hammond organ to the wistful Village, co-written with producer Jan ‘Stan’ Kybert. With an ample dose of wah in the mix, Weller brims with contentment, “heaven in my sights”, recognising that utopia can be the people and places closest to home. He sighs blithely, “Not a thing I’d change if I could/ I’m happy here in my neighbourhood.” It is ever so slightly cloying.

The silky tones of French singer Julie Gros from space-pop touring partners Le Superhomard are a pleasing counterpart to Weller’s oaky timbre on the lovely, cinematic More, the sweeping strings adding drama to an arrangement that sparkles with flute, sax and Weller and Cradock’s darting guitar runs. Lyrically, it’s a rare deviation from the convivial mood, Weller critiquing avaricious consumer culture before cutting loose on a wanton solo in the final moments.

The jaunty music hall of Equanimity is the most eye-opening moment. In Weller’s words, it’s “a bit Berlin cabaret, a bit Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band” if that’s something you can imagine, Slade’s Jim Lea contributing a sweet violin solo. Town Called Malice it ain’t.

Just as far out of Weller’s existing wheelhouse is the future-gazing funk of Earth Beat. His admirable appetite to remain current sees emerging British R&B artist Col3trane adding his hushed vocals to an upbeat electro-pop romp co-written with Jim Jupp, founder of Ghost Box Records.

On Sunset‘s high point, though, is the closing Rockets, a Bowie-esque acoustic ballad with strings and sax rising tastefully into the picture, and a stately Weller reminding us he maintains some punk fury as he rails against social injustice, poverty and corrupt power structures. “All our lives, the system all decides/ The institutions old but still in control,” he rages. It’s really rather beautiful, an affecting end that shows Weller wearing his 62 years well.

Yet it’s notable that amid all the reflective serenity and happiness this impressively multifarious album is bathed in, it’s when Paul Weller gets angry again that On Sunset is most incisive.

The bonus tracks for the deluxe CD edition of Paul Weller‘s new album On Sunset have been confirmed. The deluxe CD (which comes in hardcover book packaging rather than jewel case) will actually have FIVE bonus tracks, not three as originally thought. That takes the track count from 10 to 15. The songs are as follows: 4th Dimension, Ploughman, I’ll think of Something, On Sunset (Orchestral mix), Baptiste (instrumental version)

The Japanese version of the deluxe CD is a 16-track edition. It features the five tracks above, plus a Japan-only bonus track called ‘Failed’.

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The Style Council formed Woking in 1983 by Paul Weller  the former singer, songwriter, and guitarist with the rock/new wave band The Jam following the break up Weller and keyboardist Mick Talbot, previously of Dexys Midnight Runners and Merton Parkas,  The line-up also included drummer Steve White and Weller’s then-wife, vocalist Dee C. Lee. Other vocalists such as Tracie Young, Tracey Thorn (Everything but the Girl), and later drummer/percussionist Steve Sidelnyk They released 6 albums and had 19 hit singles before disbanding in 1989.

The band showed a diversity of musical styles. Singles like “Speak Like a Child” (with its loud soul-influenced style), the extended funk of “Money-Go-Round”, and the synth-ballad “Long Hot Summer” all featured Talbot’s  keyboards and organ. Near the end of 1983, these songs were compiled on Introducing The Style Council, a mini-album initially released in Japan, the Netherlands, Canada, and the US only.

In their lyrics, The Style Council took a more overtly political approach than The Jam, with tracks such as “Walls Come Tumbling Down!”, “The Lodgers” and “Come To Milton Keynes” being deliberate attacks on ‘middle England’ and the Thatcherite policies of the UK government during the 1980s. In 1985, Weller was persuaded by Billy Bragg to let the Style Council play a leading role in Red Wedge, a youth-oriented political campaign associated with the British Labour Party.

The Style Council

A1: Money Go Round
B1: Headstart For Happiness
B2: Mick’s Up

Style Council debut Money-Go-Round released 1983 UK 3-track 12″ vinyl single, also including the acoustic version of Headstart For Happiness and Mick’s Up, glossy flipback picture sleeve TSCX2) Money Go Round was available on 7” with a picture insert and for the first time a 12” (with 2 extra tracks) The 7” Cover of a coffee machine from Linda’s Cafe on Edgware Road, around the corner from the studio, which the band frequented.

à Paris

A1: Long Hot Summer (Extended Version)
B1: Party Chambers
B2: The Paris Match
B3: Le Départ

Long Hot Summer” was a song by the English band The Style Council which was their third single to be released, composed by lead singer Paul Weller, recorded between 12th and 17th June 1983 in the Grande Armée Studios in Paris, and released on 8th August 1983. In addition to being sold as a conventional two track 7″ single, “Long Hot Summer” was also simultaneously released as a four track 7″ and 12″ EP titled Á Paris which also contained the song “The Paris Match” plus two keyboard instrumentals, “Party Chambers” and “Le Depart”. It was also included on the 1983 mini-album “Introducing The Style Council”.

Mick Talbot, Style Council: I met Paul in ’79. I was in a band called The Merton Parkas. There was talk of Paul producing us but that never happened. By the time he contacted me in August ’82, saying he was going to wrap up The Jam, I hadn’t seen him for quite a while. But he already knew what he wanted to do and asked if I wanted to be involved. He was conscious of wanting to work outside the restrictions of a standard band line-up – to the point where there are quite a few early instrumental tracks on which Paul might not even be playing. He was overseeing things, more like a film director.

 á Paris – Again a different sleeve for each version. 7” was photographed at Place De La Concorde and 12” at The Trocadéro in Paris.

On “Long Hot Summer”, we wanted to combine very contemporary synth sounds with Hammonds and electric pianos. We were both into close-harmony groups and in our minds we’d have liked to have The Delfonics cover “Long Hot Summer”. The video was us punting down the Cam as if we were Cambridge dons, with echoes of Brideshead Revisited. Tim Pope was directing and said, “If you lie down I can get both your heads in shot,” so we were getting closer and closer and we thought it funny to stroke each others’ ears. There was a hoo-ha at the record company and the video was leaked to the press. Next thing you know, we’re both out the closet!. The song reached the position of number three in the UK singles chart making it the Style Council’s biggest hit, and it remains a staple of Paul Weller’s live concerts.

By coincidence the British summer heat wave of 1983, most notably July, turned out to be one of the hottest on record – something that would not have been known at the time the song was written and recorded.

My Ever Changing Moods

A1: My Ever Changing Moods (Long Version)
B1: Spring, Summer, Autumn
B2: Mick’s Company

My Ever Changing Moods” is a song by band The Style Council which was their fifth single to be released. It was composed by lead singer Paul Weller, recorded at Weller’s own studio Solid Bond Studios, and was released in 1984. It is the first single from the band’s début album, Café Bleu (1984), which was renamed My Ever Changing Moods in the United States to capitalise on the success of that single. A much needed breather after the claustrophobic funk of “Money Go Round”. In its place, a Smokey Robinson-inspired vocal, ersatz latin percussion and the arrival of the cycling shirt as the item du jour for the discerning Wellerphile. This is another delightful release. 2 absolutely stunning sleeves by Simon and intentional or otherwise none of them mention the tracks within or indeed that it had extras..

Steve White, Style Council/ Paul Weller band: Originally, it had a completely different feel. Paul and Mick had recorded an early version just with the piano. It was very melancholy. Then they performed it with Elvis Costello on a TV show, and had the idea to make it more lively. I suggested we make it feel more like War or Curtis Mayfield. Suddenly this song – very dark, lyrically – became very positive sounding and upbeat, more like an old soul record. In those days we did everything quickly – it didn’t matter if there were a few fluffed notes – it was all about the feel. Oddly, it was one of our few successes in America . Number 29, I believe! The cycling shirts? We were doing a lot of work in Italy at the time, and Paul saw these kids riding scooters wearing cycling shirts with jeans, and he thought he’d use it. A great look when you’re 18. As you get a little older, not so great!

Composed by lead singer Paul Weller, this song is a homage to Curtis Mayfield with overtones of nuclear threat. Weller told Mojo: “It started from the title. I thought, ‘What a great title, My Ever Changing Mood. But it’s about nuclear holocaust as well. ‘The hush before the silence, the winds after the blast’ and all that. I think it’s probably like a lot of songs I’ve done… they start of being about myself and then I get bored with it and I make it into something else.”

“My Ever Changing Moods”, backed with the Hammond organ instrumental “Mick’s Company”, peaked at No. 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 the week of June 9th, 1984, in the US. The song remains Weller’s greatest success in the US (including his efforts in The Jam and as a solo artist)

Groovin’

A1: You’re The Best Thing (Long Version)
A2: You’re The Dub Thing
B1: The Big Boss Groove

“Groovin”  – We better call it that but in essence You’re The Best Thing & The Big Boss Groove. The first double A sided single. Again we got different sleeves for both releases, the 7” being an inspiration from what?

STYLE COUNCIL Groovin’ (1984 UK 3-track 12″ vinyl EP, includes You’re The Best Thing Long Version & You’re The Dub Thing plus the non-album track The Big Boss Groove, housed in a glossy picture sleeve. TSCX6)

Shout to the Top!

A1: Shout To The Top
A2: Shout To The Top (Instrumental)
B1: The Piccadilly Trail
B2: Ghosts Of Dachau

Shout to the Top!” by the English band The Style Council which was their seventh single to be released, composed by lead singer Paul Weller, and was released in 1984. It appears on the Vision Quest soundtrack in the United States.

The song also appears on the deluxe edition of Our Favourite Shop (1985), and features in the film Billy Elliot (2000) and on its soundtrack. Paintings representing the 1984 miners strike feature in the video.

STYLE COUNCIL Shout To The Top (1984 UK 4-track 12″ vinyl EP, also including the Instrumental Version plus two superb non-album tracks: Ghosts Of Dachau and The Piccadilly Trail. TSCX7

Walls Come Tumbling Down!

A1: Walls Come Tumbling Down!
A2: Spin’ Drifting
B1: The Whole Point II
B2: Blood Sports

Walls Come Tumbling Down!” song by the English band The Style Council which was their ninth single to be released. It was composed by lead singer Paul Weller, and was released in 1985. It is the first single from the band’s second album, Our Favourite Shop (1985). Our Favourite Shop was renamed Internationalists for the U.S. market.

Mick gets his first solo sleeve, there’s been a few stories around of its origination & why it’s a calming contrast to the anger of the single. The song “Blood Sports”, which appeared on the single, is about anti-hunting and anti-animal blood sports. Its writing royalties went to the Bristol Defence Fund for two hunt saboteurs jailed for anti-blood sports activities. The first single from the forthcoming album Our Favourite Shop, which would topple Dire Straits and enter the chart at Number ONE

Billy Bragg: The first time I met Paul, we were doing a gig for the Young Socialists on a tiny stage on the South Bank, where the London Eye is now. It must have been 1984 . Later, he invited me to open for The Style Council on one of their early tours. The gigs weren’t dour and political at all, they were a celebration, like the Stax/Volt revue. The sensibility of using music to put across political ideas was one thing Paul carried over from The Jam. “Walls Comes Tumbling Down” best summed up what we were trying to do in the mid-’80s. All of us were very inspired by the civil rights-era in American soul music. The Paul I knew then was very political, supporting the likes of the Young Socialists and Youth CND. I thought it was worth trying to work with the Labour Party. I’d done a Jobs For Youth tour in early 1985 that was kind of like a dry run for Red Wedge. We started having meetings at their HQ in Elephant & Castle with the likes of Peter Mandelson, Charles Clarke and Patricia Hewitt. Paul was crucial – he was such as big star that people took us seriously. Paul’s presence drew the crowds, allowed us to play bigger venues and pulled in other artists, so his commitment was key. He had a broad audience – he was the only person to do Live Aid and Red Wedge.

STYLE COUNCIL Walls Come Tumbling Down! (1985 UK 4-track white label promotional vinyl 12″, also including Spin Drifting, The Whole Point II and Blood Sports. Housed in a custom stickered die cut sleeve, TSCX8

Come To Milton Keynes

A1: Come To Milton Keynes
A2: Our Favourite Shop (Club Mix)
B1: (When You) Call Me
B2: The Lodgers (Club Mix)

In an interview given at the time of the song’s release Paul Weller states that the song was inspired by the “Red Balloon” Milton Keynes advert which was produced on behalf of the Milton Keynes Development Corporation. “Come To Milton Keynes”. There were 3 releases for this single so I need to split the front & back sleeves. A single 7” sleeve, a gatefold 7” showing off the now famous shop and a 12”.

Paul Weller biographer John Reed argues in ‘Paul Weller: My Ever Changing Moods’ that: The song’s lyrics suggested a reality of drugs, violence, and ‘losing our way’ behind a façade of ‘luscious houses ‘ where the ‘curtains are drawn’, the idea being to create a musical pastiche which matched the supposed artificiality of Milton Keynes itself.”

The Lodgers

A1: The Lodgers (Extended Mix)
B1: The Big Boss Groove (Live)
B2: Move On Up (Live)
B3: You’re The Best Thing (Live)
B4: Money-Go-Round Medley (Live)

The Lodgers” also known by the full title “The Lodgers (Or She Was Only a Shopkeeper’s Daughter)” song by the English band The Style Council, which was their eleventh single to be released. It was composed by lead singer Paul Weller and keyboardist Mick Talbot, and was released in 1985. It is the third single from the band’s second album, Our Favourite Shop (1985). Our Favourite Shop was renamed Internationalists in the United States. The Lodgers, A totally new recording from the album version and badged as featuring Dee.C.Lee on the Sleeve for 7”/12” slightly remixed. There was also a double pack 7”

THE STYLE COUNCIL The Lodgers (1985 UK 5-track 12″ vinyl EP featuring a newly recorded version with Dee C. Lee, also includes live versions of The Big Boss Groove, Move On Up, You’re The Best Thing and the 3-track Medley of Money-Go-Round, Soul Deep & Strength Of Your Nature. Housed in a front laminated picture sleeve with double-sided photo insert. TSCX10

Have You Ever Had It Blue

A1: Have You Ever Had It Blue (Uncut Version)
B1: Have You Ever Had It Blue (Cut Version)
B2: Mr Cool’s Dream

“Have You Ever Had It Blue”. From the Absolute Beginners movie. The only single from 1986. On 7”, 12” 7” cassette pack , CD video single and an exclusive version on the official Soundtrack. The labels from the 7” and 12” and a nod to the book of the same name – Mr Cool’s Dream – “Cool” was a character in the book and movie. Now you know. The 7” cassette pack had a live track. There was a CD video single released, a high quality video of the time that played on a laserdisc only – it also contained the audio from the 12” release. Lastly, the soundtrack contained an exclusive mix, but is not described as such anywhere within. Worth tracking it down,

STYLE COUNCIL Have You Ever Had It Blue (1986 UK 3-track 12″ vinyl single, features Uncut Version, Cut Version and Mr Cool’s Dream, CINEX1

It Didn’t Matter

A1: It Didn’t Matter
B1: It Didn’t Matter (Instrumental)
B2: All Year Round

It Didn’t Matter” is a song by The Style Council which was their fifteenth single to be released. It was composed by lead singer Paul Weller, keyboardist Mick Talbot, and was released in 1987. The song was duetted by Weller and his then-wife Dee C. Lee. It is the first single from the band’s third album, The Cost of Loving, also known as the Orange album. Backed with “All Year Round”, it became a hit, peaking at No. 9 in the UK, and No. 48 in both Australia, and New Zealand. It has remained one of their most enduring hits.

It Didn’t Matter – 7” and 12” which came in 2 sleeves, Traditional and die cut. The Style Council Soared into the Top 10! A superb band cover photo. We have moved into 1987.

STYLE COUNCIL It Didn’t Matter (1987 UK 7″ vinyl single also including ‘All Year Round’, front-laminated flipback picture sleeve. TSC12

Waiting

A1: Waiting (Vocal)
A2: Francoise (Vocal)
B1: Francoise (Theme From “JerUSAlem”)
B2: Waiting (Instrumental)

“Waiting” was the 2nd & final single from The Cost of Loving The tweets will sharply decline as the numbers buying it in 1987 were greatly reduced. Simon has introduced the shield logo seen on badges and socks at the General Election tour.

Wanted

A1: Wanted
B1: The Cost
B2: The Cost Of Loving

“Wanted” or “Waiter, There’s Some Soup In My Flies” was the 3rd and final single of 1987 to meet their contractual obligations. Not from The Cost of Loving & not from the next album. A pop chart hit. This also came out as a CD & Cassette Single, The labels on the 7” and 12” the 12” from a Japanese show filmed in front of the houses of Parliament. So essential to have all 4 for the completist. for Wanted the 12” has a marvellous glossy colour internal sleeve. STYLE COUNCIL Wanted (1987 UK 3-track 7″ vinyl EP, also including The Cost Of Loving Vocal & Instrumental Versions. TSC14

Life At A Top Peoples Health Farm

A1: Spank!
A2: Life At A Top People’s Health Farm
B1: Life At A Top People’s Health Farm (Um And Argh Mix)
B2: Sweet Loving Ways

Life At A Top Peoples Health Farm. The first single of 1988 & from the forthcoming album. An Iconic sleeve, pic by Mick’s partner Shane on a 2 week trip abroad with Paul and Dee

1 2 3 4 EP A Summer Quartet (How She Threw It All Away) 

A1: How She Threw It All Away
A2: Love The First Time
B1: Long Hot Summer (Tom Mix)
B2: I Do Like To Be B-Side The A-Side

How She Threw It All Away the 2nd and final single from the album Confessions Of A Pop Group; classed as an EP “A Summer Quartet”

Promised Land

A1: Promised Land (Longer Version) (Juan Atkins Mix)
A2: Promised Land (Pianopella Version)
B1: Can You Still Love Me? (Dub)
B2: Can You Still Love Me? (Vocal)

The cover version of “Promised Land” (originally by Joe Smooth) was the only release which surfaced from the Modernism sessions. The Style Council released a cover of the song in 1989. Along with the track, “Can You Still Love Me”, “Promised Land” was the group’s only entry on the US dance chart, where it peaked at number nineteen

A1: Promised Land (Joe Smooth’s Alternative Club Mix)
B1: Can You Still Love Me (Club Vocal)
B2: Can You Still Love Me (12 O’Clock Dub)

Promised Land” is a 1987 single by American producer and DJ Joe Smooth. It is one of the most acclaimed house classics.

A1: Long Hot Summer 89 Mix (Extended Version)
B1: Everybody’s On The Run (Version One)
B2: Everybody’s On The Run (Version Two)

 

 

A: Sure Is Sure (Go Foward Mix)
B: Love Of The World (Free Love Mix)

In December 1984, Weller put together an ensemble called The Council Collective to make a charity record, “Soul Deep”, initially to raise money for striking miners during a long-running industrial dispute, and subsequently also for the family of David Wilkie. The track featured The Style Council and a number of other performers, notablyJimmy Ruffin andJunior Giscombe. In spite of the song’s political content, it received airplay on BBC Radio 1 and was performed by the group on Top of the Pops,as well as (live) on Channel 4’s The Tube.

Members Paul Weller / Mick Talbot / Dee C. Lee / Steve White

The Style Council broke up in 1989. About the breakup, Paul Weller said (in 1990): It’s something we should have done two or three years ago. We created some great music in our time, the effects of which won’t be appreciated for some time. All of The Style Council’s UK releases (including singles, 12″ maxis, albums, compact discs and re-issues thereof) featured the work of graphic designer Simon Halfon, who often collaborated with Weller to hone his ideas into a graphic form. Weller and Halfon began working together at the end of The Jam’s career, and continue to work together on Weller’s solo material.

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I think I’ve been suffering from Paul Weller fatigue in recent times. The ex-Jam and Style Council man has been knocking them out regularly for quite a while and although there’s been nothing really wrong with the likes of Saturns Pattern and A Kind Revolution, it feels like ages since I really loved one of his solo efforts (probably 2008’s 22 Dreams). But True Meanings has reversed that trend. It’s a beautiful record. I’m a sucker for that pastoral, folky vibe, but crucially, the songs are also very good. ‘Gravity’ and ‘Glide’ drip with acoustic regret while ‘Old Castles’ has a wonderful jazzy lilt. Best of all the mood and tone is consistent throughout and therefore this feels like a proper album, to sit back and enjoy.

The former Jam and Style Council man continues to rack up Top 10 albums at home in the UK. His music these days is more acoustic-based and rustic than it was, but his writing remains vital, and Bowie fans will want to hear Paul’s tribute to their man.

setting

The Clash’s ‘London Calling’ wasn’t the only shapeshifting punk record released in 1979. That honor also went to the Jam’s ‘Setting Sons.‘ The rabble-rousing “Girl on the Phone” and “Private Hell” are puncture-wound Britrock, while the surging standout “The Eton Rifles,” one of the Jam’s best songs, is a ferocious, biting piece of class commentary. Still, the graceful, strings-driven “Smithers-Jones” and the note-perfect, power-pop trifle “Thick as Thieves” reveal maturity and sophistication the Jam would soon embrace even more.

Having released four albums in two and a half years, The Jam had become one of the most prolific – and insightful – bands of the late 70s. By the time Setting Sons came out, on 16th November 1979, they had developed far beyond their initial punk/mod revivalist beginnings and were beginning to explore ever more ambitious themes in their work, with frontman Paul Weller stepping out as the new wave’s answer to The Kinks’ Ray Davies.

The only single to be released from the album, ‘The Eton Rifles’ recounted events of June 1978, when a fight erupted in Slough between Right To Work marchers and Eton pupils. Reaching No.3 in the UK – the group’s highest placement yet – it epitomised Weller’s knack for putting social commentary to catchy tunes. The song was initially part of a broader patchwork, as Weller had intended for Setting Sons to be a concept album of sorts, telling the story of three friends who, after having gone their separate ways and lived through a war, reunite only to discover how much they’ve changed. The concept didn’t survive to the end stages, yet the album remains a high-water mark in The Jam’s career.

Almost a year after Setting Sons was released the group were on stage at Newcastle City Hall, on 28 October 1980, showing fans how much they had changed in the preceding months. With their forthcoming album, Sound Affects, just a month away, The Jam tore through all but two of the then unknown songs (curiously leaving future classic ‘That’s Entertainment’ off the setlist), revealing the even more ambitious sonic palette they were working with. The album’s nods towards British psych and Weller’s beloved R&B rightly took the group to No.2 in the UK charts.

That Newcastle gig was recorded for posterity, offering fans an unparalleled insight into the band’s development at this crucial time in their career.