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Re: Paul Weller after the Jam

Paul Weller after the Jam
January 04, 2018 06:12PM
The Jam are one of my favorite bands, especially on IN THE CITY, ALL MOD CONS, SETTING SONS & SOUND AFFECTS and pretty much all their singles (B-sides included). However, I have never explored the Style Council or Paul Weller's solo work after that. It's possible that the only Style Council song I've heard is their one U.S. hit, "My Ever Changing Moods." I know that the Jam cast such a big shadow in the UK that Weller's recent solo albums still debut in the top 10 there while they're released by small indie labels in the US. Does anyone here have any recommendations for the best of post-Jam Weller, either solo or in the Style Council?
Re: Paul Weller after the Jam
January 04, 2018 08:40PM
Steve,

I was a huge Jam fan, but never was much into the Style Council except for the first few singles. However, I like Paul Weller's solo output. He's very prolific, so not all of his solo records are great, but they all contain at least one or two excellent tracks.

He was on a particularly strong run starting with "22 Dreams" in 2008, and followed by "Wake Up the Nation" (2010), "Sonik Kicks" (2012) and "Saturns Pattern" (2015). Sonik Kicks is my favorite, but all four are quite strong. The latest, "A Kind Revolution", which came out early in 2017, wasn't as solid in my opinion. He's also released a bunch of live records of which I've only heard one ("Live Wood" - 1994) which was not only excellent, but pushed me to investigate his solo work after crossing him off when Style Council went off the rails.

He remains a tremendous live performer. Catch him if you can, you will not regret it. I was lucky enough to see him twice in the past five years, for two very different shows, but both extremely pleasurable. I've posted about these somewhere in the site's archives.

As you say, he remains very popular in the UK and elsewhere in Europe and his records still sell well (relative to today's shrunken market). What is interesting is that he is not resting on his laurels and continues to investigate new sounds and approaches, although he does fall back on a lot of blue-eyed soul when less inspired.
Re: Paul Weller after the Jam
January 04, 2018 09:33PM

Love the Jam - especially Sound Affects which is an all-time fave of mine.

Have to agree with Philippe, Style Council never did it for me, but solo he seemed re-charged and back on form and surprisingly diverse too. He's done quite a job of solidifying his legendary status.

Re: Paul Weller after the Jam
January 04, 2018 09:48PM
A third voice rises, to extol everything by The Jam (Direction Reaction Creation is one of the best box sets ever made, and holy cow, currently available for as little as $40 on Amazon), a so-so attitude toward the Style Council, and high praise for Weller's solo work.

I've seen him once since moving to Seattle, and he's a top-notch performer. Still in good voice, and mixing in a couple of Style Council songs and Jam classics with his solo offerings. ("My Ever-Changing Moods" sounded marvelous live.)

The album Modern Classics is a good affordable place to start on Weller's solo work.

Re: Paul Weller after the Jam
January 05, 2018 12:46PM
Bought everything the Jam made from 1980 onward. Bought the first Style Council single. Done with Style Council. Sold off my Jam records but never replaced them on CD. Heard a Weller solo album in an antique store in 1993. I thought it sounded pretty good. I bought "Wild Wood" soon afterward [thinking it was the one] and found it exceptionally dull. That was it for Weller solo. In 2016 I finally bought The Jam "Singles" used in a store, but the disc was damaged and didn't play n my car CD player. I guess I never bought the CDs because they never added the B-=sides and non-LP singles to the mix.



Former TP subscriber [81, 82, 83, 84]

[postpunkmonk.com]
For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®
Re: Paul Weller after the Jam
January 05, 2018 01:58PM
Monk, if you see the Direction Reaction Creation box set, at a price you can afford, snap it up. It includes all of the Jam's albums, plus all its B-sides, EP tracks and a disc full of demos and alternate takes. One-stop shopping, baby.

Re: Paul Weller after the Jam
January 05, 2018 03:38PM
Always had a love for the song Town Called Malice and many others. I actually do like the Style Council as well, I own several versions of the album Cafe Bleu/My Ever Changing Moods. I always thought it was a cool mix of sounds, even Tracey Thorn singing a torch song. I guess it was a bit pretentious looking back but still good stuff relatively speaking.
Re: Paul Weller after the Jam
January 06, 2018 04:49PM
Weller just doesn't have the voice to make the Style Council work in my opinion. It's like Johnny Lydon with Sade's band. I like the spirit behind it though. Here is a link if you wanna preview The Jam comp, this site has a Style Council page as well. [lagrimapsicodelica4.blogspot.com]
Re: Paul Weller after the Jam
January 08, 2018 08:06PM
If you liked the direction that The Jam was going on "The Gift" (and the "The Bitterest Pill" and "Beat Surrender" EP's), then the first two Style Council Albums "Cafe Blue" and "Our Favourite Shop" are natural, albeit quite mellow, progression in Weller's career trajectory. After that though the Style Council is a waste and Weller was finally made to realize this when his label refused to release their last album.

In his solo career he rediscovered the electric guitar and has looked more toward bands like Traffic and early Humble Pie for inspiration; not unlike the 60's bi-racial band, Electric Flag who called their music "cosmic soul". That's a pretty good description for Weller's solo work. I especially like "Wild Wood" and the b-side comp "More Wood" as well as "Modern Classics" which wraps up all his singles from 1990-1996. This was a really prolific time for him and his B-sides are as good as his singles. He was the grand-dad of the Brit Pop groups and he took a lot of inspiration from them. He has released a ton of solo albums since then but more recent work is more improvisational and less tight.

I have seen him in concert three times. In 1991, 1998 and most recently about 6 months ago. The most recent concert was the best. He finally seems comfortable in his own skin for the first time and didn't come out like he had anything to prove and just seemed to enjoy making good music with incredibly talented musicians. As a kid who loved the Jam and bled and died for that band it was nice to see that Weller has achieved that and I am quite happy for him. Well done mate.



Post Edited (01-08-18 16:10)
Re: Paul Weller after the Jam
January 09, 2018 02:52PM
I checked out WILD WOOD on Spotify, taking your recommendation. This is OK, but Weller sounds like a totally different artist than the man who made ALL MADE CONS, SOUND AFFECTS & SETTING SONS. His voice resembles a cross between Steve Winwood and Steve Marriott. There's a macho quality to this, not that there are any misogynist lyrics, and an early '70s feel. The songwriting is still fairly strong, but I miss the anger of songs like "Eton Rifles" and "Down in the Tube Station At Midnight." That only reappears on the anti-war lyrics of the final song, "Hung Up." But old punks mellow out.
Re: Paul Weller after the Jam
January 10, 2018 06:28PM
Steve,

You can't expect Weller to be an angry 20-year-old all his life. He's grown up, gone through a couple of mariages, hell, his kids play alongside him nowadays. But there is still that underlying unwillingness to accept the way certain things are in many of his songs. You can hear that in some of the more recent records I mentioned up-thread (not really the case at the time of Wild Wood, I agree, but that was back around 1992 or 1993 - a quarter century ago already!)
zoo
Re: Paul Weller after the Jam
January 09, 2018 04:08PM
Love Weller. I own (save 1 or 2) every album he's released as a solo artist or band member. Now, I don't love every song or album, but there's a very high percentage of good stuff that I consider him one of the most consistently-good artists of the last 40 years.
Re: Paul Weller after the Jam
January 09, 2018 07:37PM
There's also the MORE MODERN CLASSICS compilation that spans the period from 1996 to about 2014
Re: Paul Weller after the Jam
January 10, 2018 06:56PM
As I recall, Weller broke up The Jam because he saw how difficult it would be for that band to change with the times, and didn't want them to become an old dinosaur.

Since then, he's gone through plenty of changes, personally as well as musically. He may not play with as much angry fire as he used to, but he's aged more gracefully than most rockers -- especially from the often-hallowed class of '77 (you know, the year that saw the release of Rumours, Foreigner, Even in the Quietest Moments, Cat Scratch Fever, Love Gun, The Grand Illusion, Bat Out of Hell, Slowhand, A Place in the Sun, and lest we forget, I'm in You.)

Re: Paul Weller after the Jam
January 10, 2018 08:33PM
Actually, I love RUMOURS and like recent Lindsey Buckingham solo albums, but when "Go Your Own Way" is the angriest song you've written, it may be easier to age gracefully than when you've written the first 4 Jam albums. But I should listen to more Weller solo albums before passing final judgment.
Re: Paul Weller after the Jam
January 10, 2018 09:10PM
Wow, a Pablo Cruz reference, loving that. Let me ask you folks this - as far as the Style Council - do you prefer the acoustic/piano My Ever Changing Moods or the faster one with the silly bike race video? I also really like The Whole Point of No Return tune, interesting lyrics. I ended up listening to The Jam and SC last evening because of this thread!
Re: Paul Weller after the Jam
January 11, 2018 02:06PM
I actually like Rumours, except for the song "Don't Stop." It brings up flashbacks to a church picnic where two little kids kept singing, "Don't ... stop ... thinkin' about tomorrow," over and over, all day long.

Re: Paul Weller after the Jam
January 11, 2018 03:27PM
I have massive problems with "Don't Stop" as well, except that mine are associations with the Clinton campaign.
Re: Paul Weller after the Jam
January 15, 2018 02:05AM
I've found his solo recordings a mixed bag (albeit with a higher batting average than the Style Council), but he's still capable of the goods (esp. "Wake Up the Nation"). Saw him at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in 2016 (?) and he actually played "Man in the Corner Shop", so he's not totally disavowing the Jam (though nor he is using it as a "crutch" for his live shows).
zoo
Re: Paul Weller after the Jam
January 17, 2018 03:38PM
Quote

I have massive problems with "Don't Stop" as well, except that mine are associations with the Clinton campaign.

You mean this?
https://youtu.be/A3JA1nWPFqM

Stevie Nicks isn't as heavy as I remember in that video. For some reason, I pictured being quite large. Maybe that was later? Or maybe I'm wrong about her weight altogether. Not that it matters...
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