Sunday, September 27, 2020

In Praise Of The Style Council

There were undoubtedly quite a few tears shed when Paul Weller disbanded The Jam at the height of their success in '82, and a fair amount of antagonism towards The Style Council when they released their debut single, Speak Like A Child, the following year. Although I was only a young teenager when The Style Council released said debut I was hooked instantly. To do this day, Speak Like A Child is still one of my all time favourite debut singles. I loved The Jam, but was a tad too young when they started out. My introduction to them was round about the Eton Rifles/Going Underground stage of their career and then I worked my way backwards to In The City. When I started secondary school there was "The Mod Corner" where I longed to be, but don't think new starts at the school were given admission to this exclusive club.

Over a period of six years the band released five albums and a fair number of great singles, most notably You're The Best Thing, Walls Come Tumbling Down, Long Hot Summer and the aforementioned Speak Like A Child. Toward the end of The Jam it was obvious that Weller's ambitions were far beyond what he was releasing with The Jam and that he was already moving in a new direction. At the time most people could not understand why he walked away from Britain's most popular band at the time, but listening now to the back catalogue of The Style Council it was the right decision and makes perfect sense now. The Style Council also allowed him to let his hair down and have some fun. The video for Long Hot Summer being a perfect example of his new found freedom. 

And to think he was only around twenty-four or so at the time. Brave decision for a young guy, turns out he always had a wise head. Not sure that Bruce Foxton or Rick Buckler would agree, but those wonderful Style Council records would likely never have been made if he hadn't had the guts to walk away when he did. 




  1. Like you, I just missed the Jam. (I was 12 when Weller called it quits.) They were never a big band over here anyway. I was, however, just the right age to to grab onto My Ever Changing Moods. That's where it all started for me, and I worked backwards from there. To this day I listen to at least as much Style Council as I do the Jam. I don't like everything from the Style Council, but it's one of the biggest sections in my record collection. I got into Weller's Respond label as well. Most of Weller's solo material has left me cold, but he occasionally surprises me with a little of that old magic that made him one of my heroes in my youth.

  2. We are pretty much the same age then Brian, I was 13 when they split up. I love all the early solo singles and albums, not really kept up with the later releases. Some great tunes on his Respond label, hard to believe he was only mid 20's when he set up Respond.

  3. Happy Christmas to you, Scott. Take care.

  4. Hi Brian, my apologies as just seen this. Hope you had a good Christmas and New Year. All the best for 2021.