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.”