Monday, July 27, 2009

Number 378 - Style Council

Number 378

Style Council

"You're The Best Thing"

................Genre: Alt Pop...............
Definitive 1000 is Three!
1095 days ago or 622 songs ago, Definitive 1000 Songs embarked on a crusade to count down to the Number One Song of all Time and no, it is not Tenacious D's "Tribute", although it is tempting to make it so. Now, I have been re-writing or editing some of the older songs in the countdown; IE: the 900's and 800's entries, and looking back, i will be the first to admit some of the entries [not the songs] are awful. The grammar, the spelling and presentation, left a lot be desired, in truthfulness any 12 year old prepubescent could have written any one of those entries.
Over the years, I have learnt a lot through reading and focusing on two blog writers, Peter Raynor [@perilous pierre] and Alan Heller [@All Time Top 1000 Albums], their wit, their way of moulding words into an art form, description and imagination is something to be admired. They will say they are not true "Journalists" and only write only for a hobby, maybe this is true, but I think "Paid" journalists could learn something from them, that they do ... only for free.
So, if this blog has gotten any better, then we all know who to thank, well at least, I do. ~ crowbarred [Oh, I almost forgot .... and only 377 songs to go!!!!!] ....... sigh, wish it was 77
Thumbs up for all go
Guitarist/vocalist Paul Weller broke up the Jam, the most popular British band of the early '80s, at the height of their success in 1982 because he was dissatisfied with their musical direction. Weller wanted to incorporate more elements of soul, R&B, and jazz into his songwriting, which is something he felt his punk-oriented bandmates were incapable of performing. In order to pursue this musical direction, he teamed up in 1983 with keyboardist Mick Talbot, a former member of the mod revival band the Merton Parkas. Together, Weller and Talbot became the Style Council -- other musicians were added according to what kind of music the duo were performing. With the Style Council, the underlying intellectual pretensions that ran throughout Weller's music came to the forefront. Although the music was rooted in American R&B, it was performed slickly -- complete with layers of synthesizers and drum machines -- and filtered through European styles and attitudes. Weller's lyrics were typically earnest, yet his leftist political leanings became more pronounced. His scathing criticisms of racism, unemployment, Margaret Thatcher, and sexism sat uneasily beside his burgeoning obsession with high culture. As his pretensions increased, the number of hits the Style Council had decreased; by the end of the decade, the group was barely able to crack the British Top 40 and Weller had turned from a hero into a has-been.
The green lean machine ~ Mr Weller
The Style Council released their first full-length album, Cafe Bleu, in March of 1984; two months later, a resequenced version of the record, retitled My Ever Changing Moods, was released in America. Cafe Bleu was Weller's most stylistically ambitious album to date, drawing from jazz, soul, rap, and pop. While it was musically all over the map, it was their most successful album, peaking at number five in the U.K. and number 56 in the U.S. "My Ever Changing Moods" became their first U.S. hit, peaking at number 29. In the summer of 1985, the Style Council had another U.K. Top Ten hit with "The Walls Come Tumbling Down." The single was taken from Our Favourite Shop, which reached number one on the U.K. charts; the record was released as Internationalists in the U.S. The live album, Home and Abroad, was released in the spring of 1986; it peaked at number eight.
Paul Weller and Mick Talbot officially broke up the Style Council in 1990. In 1991, Weller launched a solo career which would return him to popular and critical favor in the mid-'90s, while Talbot continued to play, both with Weller and as a solo musician. ~ [Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide]
For the Jam see Number 670, #859
What does RS think of Style Council?
Well, they don't, so lets see what their partners in crime @ say: Soon after Paul Weller disbanded the Jam, he formed the Style Council with keyboardist Mick Talbot. The duo initially wanted to explore organic pop music outside of guitar rock including soul, jazz, and folk. The band hit the ground running with a string of hit singles such as "The Long Hot Summer," "Speak Like a Child," and "A Solid Bond in Your Heart." The Style Council even found the stateside success that had always eluded the Jam when "My Ever Changing Moods" and "You're the Best Thing" rode up the U.S. charts. Weller was so re-invigorated during the Style Council's early period that many of his best songs appeared on their first two albums and on a flood of E.P.s and non-album singles. But even as the band's sound was beefed up by the addition of drummer Steve White and singer D.C. Lee, the Style Council's output become spottier and more tied to contemporary R&B and dance music. Weller was still penning some fine pop tracks during this period but he disbanded the Style Council in 1989 and he returned to soulful guitar rock for his highly successful solo career. ~ [Source: Rolling Stone/Rhapsody]
Rolling Stone magazine deemed their '378th Song of all Time' was "Pride (In The Name of Love)" by U2. U2 has appeared in The Definitive 1000 of All Time @ #661
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (Style who?) and the Album ranked at (Oh, you mean The Jam?)
This song has a Definitive 1000 rating of 79.5 out of 108
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