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paul weller
Seriously nice work Lloyd! 'Bitterest Pill' is a forgotten gem in Weller's back catalogue. Infact I'm gonna give it a spin right now! Keep them coming!
"Blogging like Jesus, tweet like a Pope
Site traffic heavy, I'm YouTubing hope" - Wire- 'Blogging' 2015

"But me and you were not to blame
Love always returns from where it came
Back to black and in the end,
It's all the same."- Terry Allen 'Back to Black' 1996[URL=""][/URL]

liza radley***(b-side of 'start!' 1980)
a good little acoustic track,very mid 1960s Lennon feel to it,it could of been an 'a' side of a single quite easily, one of the best Weller composed songs even to this day. a far superior track than 'start!' live

tales from the riverbank***(b-side of 'absolute beginners' 1981)
another mainly acoustic track with Weller looking back on his childhood in rural Surrey, he has re-recorded this song as a b-side to one of his solo singles also with an extra verse.this should have been the a-side of the single and 'AB' the b-side. live

the butterfly collector**(b-side to 'strange town 1979)
good subtle song based loosely on the Kinks 'shangri-la' but the lyrics are about a groupie that used to hang around the punk groups in 77-78. live

stoned out of my mind***(b-side to 'the beat surrender'1982)
a very good cover version of the Chi-Lites mid 1970s classic soul number,i dont believe anyone could have done a better version of this song then or now,again, a superior track to its a-side. audio

pity poor alfie-fever**(b-side to 'the bitterest pill'1982)
this medley of a PW composition and the classic 'fever' in uptempo jazz style,'alfie' is the story of a teenege suicide at a private school and no-one saw it coming.this was Weller's first dabble at jazz, a style he repeated on early Style Council records audio

shopping**(b-side of 'the beat surrender 1982)
another jazzy based track,this one shows how much Weller's guitar playing had improved since 1977s punk style chords into complex jazz playing,again,he used this style in The Style Council circa 1984ish. audio

the great depression**(b-side to German import 'just who is the 5 O'clock hero 1982)
a loose funk based tune comparing life under Thatcherite Britain to 'the great depression',this one shows the political side of Weller's left wing views which developed over the next three or four years. live

a live album "dig the new breed" was released in december of 1982 and is also worth checking out, it contains 14 tracks from various points in the Jam's career,it has no overdubs,just raw Jam music at its powerful best.

there are also three compilation albums worth buying:
"snap!" released in 1983 which contains all 18 UK singles and several other tracks.
"extras" released in 1992 which contains mainly b-sides and unreleased songs.
"direction,reaction,creation" a five disc retrospective released in 1997 containing all six studio albums,b-sides and a disc of unreleased on demo songs.

after the Jam split at the end of 1982,the NME readers poll for that year,published in feb.1983, The jam took out almost every award.
best singer,best group,best live act,best guitarist/bass/drummer,album cover,single,dance song,best dressed male,best haircut,most adorable person and 'event of the year'(for the split) beating the falklands war by a vote of two to one.

in January of 1983 sixteen of the Jam's 18 UK singles re-entered the Uk singles charts on 22nd January, a record of entries on the same week that still stands to this day.

to be continued,next...The Style Council 1983-1989.
"The Style Council:

the name TSC was the cause of much conjecture in the UK music press for some time.
however here is the official meaning of the name as per Paul Weller's comments in 1991:
"STYLE" is for the clothes,music and Euro feel of the sound.
"COUNCIL" is for a democratic mix of musicians,much like a 'council/local government'...a nucleus of personell with others brought in to consolidate when required.

The Style Council nucleus:

initially TSC were a duo made up of Paul Weller and 'merton' Mick Talbot.
Mick Talbot is a keyboard player,he was highly regarded in the UK in the late 1970s and early 1980s, he played keyboards on The Jam's "setting sons" album in 1979. initially Paul Weller was turned on to him because he used Hammond Organ,something The Small Faces used, a sound Weller liked. Talbot was a member of three UK bands in late 70s early 80s: Dexy's Midnight Runners, The Bureau & Merton Parkas.

Dexy's "geno"
Bureau "only for sheep"
Parkas "you need wheels"

by the end of 1983 TSC nucleus had grown to four members: Paul, Mick along with female vocalist Dee C Lee, a former backing vocalist for pop group Wham! and Steve White,who earlier in the year at age sixteen sent a demo tape of himself drumming to Weller's publishing company. Weller so impressed with his jazz drumming hired him on the spot, he stayed with Weller through TSC days and on into his solo career until 2007 when he left to teach drumming and lecture music freelance to UK universities,which he is still doing to this day.

to be continued,next...the first year,1983, three singles, one 'ep',no guitars and no album???
TSC 1983-the first year:

during 1983 TSC released three singles and one 'ep' but no album. this is because Paul Weller grew up primarily listening to singles and prefered the excitement of a three and a half minute song to get across his ideas rather than taking 45 minutes via an album.
during this time Weller was determined to exorcise his Jam demons,thus the first four releases he didnt play guitar,neither was guitar driven sound the main focus of the songs,rather keyboards and drums/percussion.
he also gradually changed his appearance to distance himself from the Jam, whereby he didnt wear his trademark mohair suits. he instead went more Euro in his appearance wearing Ben Sherman shirts,slacks, italian brogues,polo necks etc, he also started growing his hair to grease it and slick it back,very 1940s style. in the process he lost a lot of his fans from the Jam days....this continued right through until about 1993ish.
that aside,the four releases of 1983 were all different from the previous release,musically speaking.

speak like a child***, the debut single had a distinct upbeat Motown sound,the message of the song was 'staying true to yourself and not conforming to what society expects'.this single has stood the test of time and aged well,he now occasionally plays it live and more guitar based.the single reached a respectable #4 on the UK charts,it also sold reasonably well across euorope,asia and australasia. video

money-go-round pts 1+2**, is a rant against the exteme capitalistic policies of Reaganomics and Thatcherite 'iron fist' social policies. it is a tight funk grooved song with Weller coming close to rapping the vocals!....yes,i did say 'rapping'!. UK radio opted not to play the song because of its political nature,thus, the single stalled at #11 on the UK charts. live

the style council:a paris-EP***,sophisticated is definately the word that describes this four track single,the lead track 'long hot summer' sounds like a cool breeze gently blowing through trees on a hot summers day,a beautiful song of 'lost love' with an infectious groove of 1980s synthesizers. "party chambers" is a jazz instrumental reworking of the b-side of the first single. "the paris match" a classy piano based song of 'lost love' complete with accordians and a verse sung in french,one of the best songs of Weller's career. the final track is another instrumental, 'le depart', written by Mick Talbot and features some beautiful piano work,now im not a fan of instrumentals,as a rule, but this is one i enjoy.outside of the UK this was released as a two track single: long hot summer b/w le depart,however the 12" version of the single did contain all four tracks. the 'ep' reached #3 in the UK charts,it also became Paul weller's biggest selling single outside the UK to date reaching the top 10 in several Euro countries,Japan and Australia.

the first three single releases along with their b-sides were released as a mini lp outside the UK under the name 'introducing TSC'

A SOLID BOND IN YOUR HEART**, another soul based song with a good beat, this was going to originally be issued as the Jam's final single, but for some reason 'beat surrender' was chosen at the eleventh hour. this has been re-recorded to avoid the Jam sound,nevertheless it is a very good song.Paul Weller's sister,Nicki,appears in the video. this one reached #11 on the UK charts. live video

to be continued,next...the debut album "cafe bleu". 1984
[Image: 51jCcODK1cL._SL500_AA300_.jpg]

THE STYLE COUNCIL "Cafe Bleu". 1984.

this, the first TSC album is eclectic and ambitious to say the least. the album is divided up into two distinct halves, the first side is a collection of five jazz instrumentals,one jazz and one blues vocal song and a soul song. the second side is more uptempo consisting of a single upbeat jazz instrumental and five other tracks in the genres of rap,funk,soul,pop and jazz.
TSC's US record company,Geffen, felt like they couldnt market an album with so many styles so they insisted Paul Weller alter the tracklisting for the US record buying public. so three instrumentals were removed as was the sublime piano track 'my everchanging moods' to make way for the Curtis Mayfield sounding upbeat version of 'my everchanging moods',also the bands previous single 'a solid bond in your heart' was added to give the album a more coherant sound. Geffen also wanted the album title changed as 'cafe bleu' was too European for America, Paul Weller chose the title of one of the instrumental tracks...'dropping bombs on the whitehouse',being the awkward bastard that he is. the album was eventually named 'my everchanging moods' to coincide with the single of the same name,which was a good decision for sales as the album reached #56 on the US charts and the single #29 which is his highest US thus so far in his career.
Paul Weller's original concept for the album was for it to be a double album consisting of four seperate themes,the first 'mood music', the second 'dance remixes', the third 'all tsc singles to date' and the fourth side 'new pop songs',Polygram didnt see Weller's big picture and vetoed the idea.
the instrumentals are good tracks,with several being written by Mick Talbot.
'the paris match' is a re-recording of the 'a-paris'EP song of the same name, sung by Tracy Thorn from Everything But The Girl,its a nice blues/jazz track and fits well amongst the instrumentals. 'my everchanging moods' is a superior version to the single version,with just piano and vocals. 'strength of your nature' is a blistering fist raising funk track with the title sung over and over again. 'youre the best thing',which is IMO one of the greatest love songs ever written is slightly different from the single version as the single was remixed from this and saxaphones added. 'headstart for happiness' is another re-recording, this time an upbeat jazz version of the acoustic number on the b-side of 'money-go-round' single. this one has vocals by Paul,Mick talbot and backing singer Dee C Lee.the only dissapointing song on here is 'a gospel':a rap song sung by a guest UK rapper. all in all this is one of the great albums from the 1980s and shows why Paul Weller couldnt continue the Jam and expect them to do what he wanted.the album reached #2 on the UK charts.there were no singles lifted from this album in the UK,except the remix of 'youre the best thing' which will be reviewed as a 'non album single' after the final TSC studio album.


worst track: a gospel
best track: my everchanging moods


1.mick's blessings** audio
2.the whole point of no return** live ship came in!** audio cafe** audio
5.the paris match** audio everchanging moods*** live
7.dropping bombs on the whitehouse** live
8.a gospel*
9.strength of your nature*** live're the best thing*** live's one that got away*** audio
12.headstart for happiness*** live
13.council meeting**


rating 2.4

to be continued,next..."our favourite shop".1985
[Image: 51KQnRGfZkL._SL500_AA300_.jpg]

THE STYLE COUNCIL "our favourite shop" 1985.

Our Favourite Shop was TSC at the top of their game,both musically and commercially. most of the songs themes deal with the social injustice inflicted upon the working class of England under the 'iron fist' rule of Margaret Thatcher's Tory Government, like 30% unemployment amongst under twenty-fives,the closure of industries(steel & coal),rising crime rates,police brutality on the picket lines of the year long coalminers strike and drug abuse,yet, all the songs have happy tunes and melodies to off-set the dark lyrics, and it works superbly, there's soul/funk, latin music, accordians, violins, all set to catchy tunes. there's three love songs on the album dealing with unrequitted love, lost love and love found. there is two throwaway tracks on here, the title track, an instrumental written by keyboardist mick Talbot (who also takes over vocal duties on the opening track 'home breakers') and the lame 'stand-up comic's instructions' which is vocalled by up and coming UK comedian Lenny Henry. 'a man of great promise' is a dedication to Weller's friend Dave Waller(poet) who died of a drug overdose in the late 1970s.
the album was re-titled 'internationalists' for the US market and reached #123 in the US charts. in Europe,Asia and Australia the Lenny Henry track was replaced with 'shout to the top!'. 'the lodgers' was re-recorded and released as a single in the UK.
the 'as on album' singles released in the UK were 'walls come tumblin down' #6 and "come to milton keynes" #23, which highlighted the lack of community spirit in so-called 'new towns' that were starting to pop up throughout the counties around London.because this single had a uniquely English theme and other countries would not understand it 'boy who cried wolf' was released throughout the rest of the world, this is one of the best songs on the album, a great slow soul number about 'lost love',entwined into the old boy who cried wolf story.
the album reached a well deserved #1 position on not only the UK albums charts but also on a dozen or so other charts around the world.


worst track: the stand up comics instructions
best track: boy who cried wolf


1.homebreakers** live
2.all gone away*** audio
3.come to milton keynes** live
4.internationalists*** live
5.a stones throw away*** video
6.the stand-up comic's instructions*
7.boy who cried wolf*** video
8.a man of great promise*** live
9.down in the seine*** video
10.the lodgers(or she was only a shopkeepers daughter)** live
12.with everything to lose** live
13.our favourite shop* audio
14.walls come tumblin' down*** live


rating 2.4

to be continued,next..."the cost of loving".1987.
[Image: 31XnX0lfPyL._SL500_AA300_.jpg]

THE STYLE COUNCIL "the cost of loving" 1987.

this is the UK cover of the album,international covers had a band picture.
just like this bland,boring orange cover,the songs fair no better im afraid.without a doubt this is the worst album of Paul weller's career bar none!!!!!
there are five average songs on this one and four throwaways,the music,generally speaking sounds flat and dated,there is no sparkle in the lyrics or Weller's vocals,strangely enough,this is the first album 100% written by Paul Weller...and its a shocker!
at the time of recording there were tensions between head of Polygram records Dennis Munday and the Wellers. neither Paul or his manager father,John, would attend meetings or answer calls from not sure of the problems that inflamed the situation after two great albums, but neither Paul or John Weller have gone into details publicly.
this is an album to avoid at all costs,even diehard fans like myself. the album reached #2 UK and #122 US. the singles 'it didnt matter'#9 UK,
'waiting' #52UK


worst track: right to go(a rap performed by The Dynamic Three)
best track: the cost of loving
tracks: didnt matter** video
2.right to go*
3.heavens above** live
4.fairytales** video
5.angel** live
6.walking the night* live
7.waiting* video
8.the cost of loving** live
9.a woman's song* audio


rating 1.5 (i am surprised it scored as high as it did)

to be continued,next..."confessions of a pop group",1988.
Nice work here Lloyd! I've been meaning to get the 'Cafe Bleu' album for a long time, too long infact. Also never heard the 'Cost Of Loving' album either, was that the one which Polydor refused to release??

Anyway, roll on 'Confessions..'- I think it's a fantastic record!
"Blogging like Jesus, tweet like a Pope
Site traffic heavy, I'm YouTubing hope" - Wire- 'Blogging' 2015

"But me and you were not to blame
Love always returns from where it came
Back to black and in the end,
It's all the same."- Terry Allen 'Back to Black' 1996[URL=""][/URL]
no,the one they refused to release was 1989s 'modernism:a new decade'....and rightly so!
Yeah I think I heard a track from 'Modernism' on youtube once and it was terrible- almost like it wasn't Weller.

Also, a funny thing happened earlier today. I clicked one of the links to youtube from the supposedly 'terrible' Cost Of Loving album and my speakers immediately stopped working! Had to restart my pc. Is that a sign? :nod:
"Blogging like Jesus, tweet like a Pope
Site traffic heavy, I'm YouTubing hope" - Wire- 'Blogging' 2015

"But me and you were not to blame
Love always returns from where it came
Back to black and in the end,
It's all the same."- Terry Allen 'Back to Black' 1996[URL=""][/URL]

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