The Style Council

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The Style Council
The Style Council.jpg
Mick Talbot and Paul Weller, 1988.
Background information
Origin Woking, England
Genres Pop rock, new wave, blue-eyed soul, synthpop, sophisti-pop, deep house, avant-garde, jazz, funk
Years active 1983–1989
Labels Polydor, Geffen
Associated acts The Jam
Past members Paul Weller
Mick Talbot
Dee C. Lee
Steve White

The Style Council were an English band, formed in Woking in 1983 by Paul Weller, the former singer and guitarist with The Jam, and keyboardist Mick Talbot, previously a member of Dexys Midnight Runners and The Merton Parkas.[1] The permanent line-up grew to include drummer Steve White and Weller's then-wife, vocalist Dee C. Lee.[2] Other artists such as Tracie Young and Tracey Thorn (Everything but the Girl) also collaborated with the group. As with Weller's previous band, most of this London based outfit's hits were in their homeland,[2] although the band did score six top 40 hits in Australia, and seven top 40 hits in New Zealand.

History[edit]

The band showed a diversity of musical styles. Singles "Speak Like a Child" (with its loud soul-influenced style), the extended funk of "Money-Go-Round", and the synth-ballad "Long Hot Summer" all featured Talbot on keyboards and organ. Near the end of 1983, these songs were compiled on Introducing The Style Council, a mini-album initially released in Japan, the Netherlands, Canada, and the US only. The Dutch version was heavily imported to the United Kingdom.

In 1984, the single "My Ever-Changing Moods", backed with the Hammond organ instrumental "Mick's Company", reached No. 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US. The song remains Weller's greatest success in the US (including his efforts in The Jam and as a solo artist), while the group reached the peak of its success in the UK with the 1985 album Our Favourite Shop.

In December 1984, Weller put together a charity ensemble, the Council Collective, to make a record, "Soul Deep", to raise money for striking miners, and the family of David Wilkie. The record featured The Style Council plus a number of other performers, notably Jimmy Ruffin and Junior Giscombe. In spite of the song's political content, it still picked up BBC Radio 1 airplay and was performed on Top of the Pops.

The Style Council took a more overtly political approach than The Jam in their lyrics, with tracks such as "Walls Come Tumbling Down", "The Lodgers", and "Come To Milton Keynes" being deliberate attacks on 'middle England' and Thatcherite principles prevalent in the 1980s. Weller was also instrumental in the formation of Red Wedge with Billy Bragg. He later said 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".[3]

In 1986, the band released a live album, Home and Abroad, and, in 1987, The Cost of Loving was launched, followed later in the year by the non-album single "Wanted", which reached No. 20 in the UK Singles Chart. However, Confessions of a Pop Group, released a year later, sold poorly. This led to their record label Polydor rejecting their final album (Modernism: A New Decade), which was influenced by the house scene. A greatest hits album, The Singular Adventures of The Style Council, was released internationally in 1989; it included the non-album single "Promised Land", which had reached No. 27 in the UK earlier that year.

In 1989 members of The Style Council went under the name of 'King Truman' to release a single on Acid Jazz titled "Like A Gun". This was unknown to Polydor, and the single was pulled from the shops only three days prior to release. Acid Jazz founder Eddie Piller said "The pair offered to make a single for my new label, which I'd just started with Radio 1 DJ Gilles Peterson as a side project. Talbot and Weller took pseudonyms Truman King and Elliott Arnold."[4]

The Style Council broke up in 1989.

Paul Weller - NME - March 1990[5]

The cover version of "Promised Land" (originally by Joe Smooth) was the only release which surfaced from the Modernism sessions at the time; however, the entire album was released in 1998, both independently and in a 5-CD box set, The Complete Adventures of The Style Council. After the split, Weller embarked on a successful solo career (which featured Steve White on drums, who had left The Style Council by the time Confessions of a Pop Group was released, having only played on a few of its tracks). Talbot and White released two albums as Talbot/White — United States of Mind (1995) and Off The Beaten Track (1996). Talbot and White then formed The Players with Damon Minchella and Aziz Ibrahim. White and Minchella went onto form Trio Valore whilst Talbot went touring with Candi Staton in 2009.

All of The Style Council's UK releases (including singles, 12" maxis, albums, compact discs and re-issues thereof) featured the work of graphic designer Simon Halfon, who often collaborated with Weller to hone his ideas into a graphic form. Weller and Halfon began working together at the end of The Jam's career, and continue to work together on Weller's solo material.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Studio[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
UK
[6]
AUT
[7]
NLD
[8]
NZ
[9]
SWE
[10]
US
[11]
1983 Introducing The Style Council - - - 6 - 172
1984 Café Bleu

(US title: My Ever Changing Moods)

2 - 16 6 41 56
1985 Our Favourite Shop

(US title: Internationalists)

1 23 11 6 30 123
1987 The Cost of Loving 2 - 23 35 46 122
1988 Confessions of a Pop Group 15 - - - - 174
1998 Modernism: A New Decade

(recorded 1989)

- - - - - -

Live[edit]

Compilation[edit]

Many compilations have been released although not all were released with the band's assent. Many of them feature orange text atop a white background with a picture of the band, typically one from 1987 showing all four members (like the one on the US cover of The Cost of Loving.)

  • The Singular Adventures of The Style Council - Greatest Hits Vol.1 (1989) No. 3 UK (Greatest hits)
  • Headstart For Happiness (1991)
  • Here's Some That Got Away (1993) No. 39 UK (Rarities)
  • The Style Council Collection (1996) No. 60 UK (Rarities)
  • Master Series (1997)
  • The Complete Adventures of The Style Council (5-CD box set) (1998) (Box set of most material recorded by The Style Council)
  • Classic Style Council - The Universal Masters Collection (1999) (Greatest hits)
  • Greatest Hits (2000) No. 28 UK (Greatest hits)
  • The Collection (2001) (Greatest hits)
  • The Best Of The Style Council - Superstar Collection (2001)
  • Cafe Blue - The Style Council Cafe Best (2002)
  • The Best Of The Style Council - The Millennium Collection (20th Century Masters) (2003)
  • The Sound Of The Style Council (2003)
  • The Ultimate Collection (3 CD) (2004)
  • Gold (2 CD) (2006)
  • Sweet Loving Ways - The Style Council Collection (2 CD) (2007)[2]

Singles[edit]

Year Title Chart positions
UK Singles[2] Australia Canada NZ [13] U.S. Hot 100
1983 "Speak Like a Child" 4 29
"Money Go Round (Part 1)" 11
"Long Hot Summer" / "Paris Match"
(Double A-side) [A]
3 28 41 12
"A Solid Bond in Your Heart" 11
1984 "My Ever Changing Moods" 5 70 42 32 29
"You're the Best Thing" / "The Big Boss Groove"
(Double A-side) [B]
5 17 97 7 76
"Shout to the Top!" [C] 7 8 6
"Soul Deep" [D] 24
1985 "Walls Come Tumbling Down!" 6 19 15
"Come to Milton Keynes" 23
"The Lodgers" 13 47
"Boy Who Cried Wolf" [E] 38 21
"(When You) Call Me" [E] 91
1986 "Have You Ever Had It Blue" 14 33
1987 "It Didn't Matter" 9 48 48
"Waiting" 52
"Wanted" 20 98
1988 "Life at a Top People's Health Farm" 28
"How She Threw It All Away" 41
1989 "Promised Land" 27
"Long Hot Summer 89" (remix) 48
  • A ^ Official title of the 7" single package is "À Paris"; it contains the two tracks listed. In the UK, this was a double A-side. Elsewhere, "The Paris Match" did not chart.
  • B ^ Official title of the 7" single package is "Groovin'"; it contains the two tracks listed. In the UK and Australia, this was a double A-side. Elsewhere, "The Big Boss Groove" did not chart.
  • C ^ Appears on the Vision Quest soundtrack in the United States.
  • D ^ Release credited to The Council Collective
  • E ^ "Boy Who Cried Wolf" and "(When You) Call Me" were not released as singles in the UK

Videos and DVDs[edit]

  • What We Did On Our Holidays - The Video Singles (1983)
  • Far East & Far Out - Council Meeting In Japan (1984)
  • What We Did The Following Year - The Video Singles (1985)
  • Showbiz - The Style Council, Live! (1986)
  • JerUSAlem (1987)
  • Confessions Of A Pop Group (1988)
  • The Video Adventures Of The Style Council (1989)
  • The Style Council On Film (2003)
  • Classic Style Council - The Universal Masters DVD Collection (2005)
  • Live At Full House Rock Show (2006)

Other appearances[edit]

During his time with The Style Council, Paul Weller made a number of guest appearances on other recordings, most notably:

See also[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Style Council". Discogs. Retrieved 12 December 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 537. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ Mary Dickie (15 February 2003). "CANOE -- JAM! - Illuminating Weller". jam.canoe.ca. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Paulwellerbook.com
  5. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 468. CN 5585. 
  6. ^ "Chart Stats - The Style Council". theofficialcharts.com. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  7. ^ "Discographie The Style Council". AustrianCharts.at. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  8. ^ "Discografie The Style Council". DutchCharts.nl. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  9. ^ "Discography The Style Council". Charts.ord.nz. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  10. ^ "Discography The Style Council". SwedishCharts.com. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  11. ^ "Chart Stats - The Style Council". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  12. ^ a b c d "Certified Awards Search". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved on 2011-12-03. Note: User needs to enter "Style Council" in the "Search" field, "Artist" in the "Search by" field and click the "Go" button. Select "More info" next to the relevant entry to see full certification history.
  13. ^ Steffen Hung. "New Zealand charts portal". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  • Munn, Iain (2006). Mr. Cool's Dream. The Complete History of the Style Council. Wholepoint Publications. ISBN 0-9551443-0-2. 

External links[edit]