Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Style Council
The Style Council was formed by ex-Jam singer and guitarist Paul Weller with keyboardist Mick Talbot in 1983. The permanent lineup grew to include drummer Steve White and vocalist D.C. Lee , although other musicians, including a horn section, were brought in as required.
The first album Introducing The Style Council, showed another level of Weller's songwriting ability and diversity of musical styles, spawning the hit singles Speak Like A Child (with its loud soul-influenced style), and the haunting synth-ballad Long Hot Summer, both tracks showcasing Talbot's abilities on keyboards and organ.
They would reach the peak of their success with 1985 album Our Favourite Shop.
However, to Weller's fans, the decision to spilt up The Jam at the height of their commercial success was met with considerable controversy. Weller deliberately distanced himself from the Jam sound and style, with his use of new musical arrangements and instruments in a much more radio-friendly style. Along with this, the band's early persona - the donning of make-up and New Romantic-eque clothing, coupled to mysterious album sleeve notes by "The Cappucino Kid", and the homoerotic imagery in the video of Long Hot Summer only served to confuse and alienate loyal Jam fans.
The Style Council took a more overtly political approach than The Jam in their lyrics, with tracks such as The Lodgers, and Come To Milton Keynes being deliberate attacks on "Middle Britain" and the Thatcherite principles which were prevalent in the '80s. Paul was also instrumental in the formation of Red Wedge with Billy Bragg. However, Paul has more recently expressed that this began to detract from the music - "We were involved with a lot of political things going on at that time. I think after a while that overshadowed the music a bit" (http://www.canoe.ca/JamMusicArtistsW/weller_paul.html)
The Style Council broke up after recording an acid house album, Modernism: A New Decade that was rejected by their record label. Paul moved on to a more commercially successful solo career (still featuring Steve White on drums) while Mick and Steve released two albums as Talbot/White -- United States of Mind (1995) and Off the Beaten Track (1996). More recently Mick and Steve have formed "The Players" with Damon Minchella (Ocean Colour Scene/Paul Weller) and Aziz Ibrahim (Ian Brown).
- Introducing The Style Council (1983)
- Café Bleu (1984)
- Our Favourite Shop (1985)
- Cost of Loving (1987)
- Confessions of a Pop Group (1988)
- Modernism: A New Decade (1989) (unreleased until 2002)
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