Release Date: 5 September 1983
Catalogue No: 815 277-1
In 1983 I was a first-year college student with a rather huge question for the world;
WTF happened to Paul Weller and The Jam?
It was a valid question as The Jam was the biggest band in the UK and topped the New Musical Express polls every year since 1977. One day Paul Weller, singer & songwriter for the group, decided to pack up and leave. Which was an A-Hole thing to do to your band mates Rick and Bruce.
Well, long story short, Paul decided to listen to his inner soul and started playing soulful music. At the peak of his game as The Jam’s main singer, songwriter and angry spokesperson of his generation, Paul decided to do something else with his life…
Which conveniently brings us to the summer of 1983 with the release of a mini EP called Introducing The Style Council.
Paul recruited some friends to help out in the new venture called The Style Council, namely Mick Talbot, late of Merton Parkas, and Ben and Tracey from Everything But The Girl. The music would be American soul with a twist of European flair, with hints of old world jazz and lounge room beats. In other words, followers of The Jam hated the new sound as they can’t make head nor tail of it.
Release date: 16 March 1984
Catalogue No: TSCLP 1
However, to my full amazement, the sound was fresh but familiar, and not altogether strange or jarring to my youthful ears. I sort of liked the way the music direction was going while the new fashion sense adopted by Paul and Mick was kinda groovy too.
However, I had one big issue with Paul’s hairstyle. He looked like a pupil of the Kuan Cheng Girls School in KL. (Standard issue haircut; you can observe this in the early 80s by the way the girls tilt their head to one side when walking).
The Style Council also pioneered a look that was fresh and sort of embodied the 80’s casual European/London scene that favoured brands like Fred Perry, Ben Sherman and Duffer of St. George. Being across the Atlantic, I was mesmerized by the clothes worn by Paul Weller and that weird wedgy haircut of his.
The Style Council’s official full long playing album release came in 1984 and was titled Café Bleu. The lead single from the album, My Ever Changing Moods, was a certified hit and the accompanying music video (fairly heavy rotation) on MTV was a hoot.
This was enough to prompt the label Polydor to rename the US market album release to My Ever Changing Moods, which in my personal opinion, infuriated Mr. Weller somewhat. In brief, and with some amount of grief, The Style Council and Paul Weller hardly troubled the American charts ever again….