The Style Council was an English sophisti-pop band fronted by ex-Jam leader Paul Weller. Starting in 1983, they placed twelve songs on the UK Top 20, including “Speak Like a Child,” “Long Hot Summer,” “My Ever Changing Moods,” “Shout to the Top!,” and “The Lodgers.” Their popularity peaked with the 1984/85 Polydor albums Café Bleu and Our Favourite Shop. After their ambitious 1988 release Confessions of a Pop Group, Weller disbanded the group to launch a solo career.
Members: Paul Weller (vocals, guitar), Dee C. Lee (vocals), Mick Talbot (keyboards), Steve White (drums)
In December 1982, guitarist and singer Paul Weller disbanded The Jam, which he formed nearly a decade beforehand in Woking and led through a six-album run on Polydor. Despite their success on the UK charts — eleven Top 20 hits, including four #1’s — his newfound interest in soul and jazz-pop had outgrown the bounds of a rock trio. For his new venture, Weller teamed with keyboardist Mick Talbot, a fellow songwriter with a similar evolution.
Talbot got his start in The Merton Parkas, a mod revival band that he co-founded with his guitarist brother Danny Talbot. They released one album, Face in the Crowd, in 1979 on Beggars Banquet, charting that summer with the Talbot/Talbot-penned “You Need Wheels.” That same year, Jam drummer Rick Buckler deputized a Parkas gig at Ronnie Scotts. Meanwhile, Mick Talbot guested on The Jam’s recording of the Martha & the Vandellas classic “Heatwave,” included on Setting Sons.
In late 1980, Talbot joined Dexys Midnight Runners just after the release of their debut album, Searching for the Young Soul Rebels. Months later, he and four other members broke off from Dexys and formed The Bureau, which issued a self-titled album in 1981 on WEA.
Weller and Talbot recorded their first Style Council single, “Speak Like a Child” (b/w “Party Chambers”), with Orange Juice drummer Zeke Manyika. Released in March 1983 (UK #4), it features backing vocals by Weller-protege Tracie Young, who sang on the Jam swan song “Beat Surrender.”
- Introducing The Style Council (EP, 1983)
- Café Bleu (1984)
- Our Favourite Shop [aka Internationalists] (1985)
- Home & Abroad – Live! (1986)
- The Cost of Loving (1987)
- Confessions of a Pop Group (1988)
- Modernism: A New Decade (1998, recorded 1989)
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