The Style Council

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)


Background

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 No. 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.


1983


First Two Singles

On 12, March 12, 1983, The Style Council debuted with the single “Speak Like a Child” backed with “Party Chambers.” Paul Weller wrote both sides and co-produced the single with Pete Wilson. The single features backing by Orange Juice drummer Zeke Manyika and singer Tracie Young, a Weller-protege heard on the Jam swan song “Beat Surrender.”

A. “Speak Like a Child” ()
B. “Party Chambers” ()

On May 21, 1983, The Style Council released the two-part single “Money Go Round.”

A. “Money Go Round (Part One)” ()
B. “Money Go Round (Part Two)” ()


à Paris

On August 6, 1983, The Style Council released à Paris, a four-song EP.

A1. “Long Hot Summer” ()
A2. “Party Chambers” ()
B1. “The Paris Match” ()
B2. “Le Départ” ()

Introducing The Style Council (EP, 1983)

1. “Long Hot Summer” 7:04
2. “Headstart for Happiness” 2:52
3. “Speak Like a Child” 3:20
4. “Long Hot Summer” (Club mix) 6:57
5. “The Paris Match” 3:50
6. “Mick’s Up” Mick Talbot 3:13
7. “Money-Go-Round” (Club mix) 7:45

New Zealand cassette edition bonus tracks
1. “Party Chambers” 3:20
2. “Le Depart” 2:47

Introducing reached No. 6 in New Zealand and No. 29 in Australia.


“A Solid Bond In Your Heart”

On November 11, 1983, The Style Council released “A Solid Bond In Your Heart.”

A1. “A Solid Bond In Your Heart”
B1. “It Just Came To Pieces In My Hands”
B2. “A Solid Bond In Your Heart Instrumental”


1984


“My Ever Changing Moods”

On February 11, 1984, The Style Council released “My Ever Changing Moods,” a Paul Weller ballad backed with “Micks Company,” a Talbot instrumental.

A. “My Ever Changing Moods”
B. “Micks Company”


Café Bleu

The Style Council released their debut album, Café Bleu, on March 16, 1984, on Polydor.

1. “Mick’s Blessings” (Mick Talbot) – 1:15
2. “The Whole Point of No Return” (2:40)
3. “Me Ship Came In!” (3:06)
4. “Blue Café” (2:15)
5. “The Paris Match” (4:25)
6. “My Ever Changing Moods” (3:37)
7. “Dropping Bombs on the Whitehouse” (Weller, Talbot) – 3:15

8. “A Gospel” (4:44)
9. “Strength of Your Nature” (4:20)
10. “You’re the Best Thing” (5:40)
11. “Here’s One That Got Away” (2:35)
12. “Headstart for Happiness” (3:20)
13 “Council Meetin’” (Weller, Talbot) – 2:29

Recorded October 1983 to January 1984
Studio Solid Bond Studios, London; string overdubs at CBS Studios, London
Producer Paul Weller Peter Wilson

Paul Weller – vocals, guitar; bass on “Me Ship Came In!”, “Dropping Bombs on the Whitehouse” and “Council Meetin'”, synthesizer on “Strength of Your Nature”, flute sound on “Council Meetin'”
Mick Talbot – keyboards, piano, Hammond organ; brass synthesizer on “Strength of Your Nature”, bass synthesizer on “You’re the Best Thing”, brass sound on “Headstart for Happiness”, Clavinet on “Council Meetin'”
Steve White – drums, percussion

with:
Billy Chapman – saxophone on “Me Ship Came In!”, “You’re the Best Thing” and “Dropping Bombs on the Whitehouse”
Barbara Snow – trumpet on “Me Ship Came In!”, “Dropping Bombs on the Whitehouse”, “A Gospel” and “Headstart for Happiness”
Randy Anderson – guitar
Tracey Thorn – vocals on “The Paris Match”
Chris Bostock – double bass on “The Paris Match”, bass on “Here’s One That Got Away”
Ben Watt – guitar on “The Paris Match”
Dizzi Heights (Brian Beaton) – rap on “A Gospel”
Hilary Seabrook – saxophone on “A Gospel” and “Headstart for Happiness”
Dee C. Lee – backing vocals on “Strength of Your Nature” and co-vocals on “Headstart for Happiness”
Bobby Valentino – violin on “Here’s One That Got Away”
Pete Wilson – drum programming on “A Gospel” and “Strength of Your Nature”

“You’re the Best Thing” / “Long Hot Summer”
Released: 1984

UK Albums (OCC)[22] 2
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[20] 6
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[18] 16
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[19] 23
Australian Albums (Kent Music Report)[16] 27
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[21] 41
Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)[17] 43
US Billboard 200[23] 56


“Shout to the Top”

On October 8, 1984, The Style Council released “Shout to the Top” backed with “Ghosts of Dachau.”

A. “Shout to the Top” ()
B. “Ghosts of Dachau” ()


The Council Collective – “Soul Deep”

On December 22, 1984, The Style Council released the two-part single “Soul Deep” under the name Council Collective.

A. “Soul Deep Pt 1”
B. “Soul Deep Pt 2”


1985–1986

On May 4, 1985, The Style Council released “Walls Come Tumbling Down!” as an advance single from their upcoming album, backed with two exclusive b-sides.

A1. “Walls Come Tumbling Down!”
B1. “The Whole Point II”
B2. “Blood Sports”


Our Favourite Shop [aka Internationalists]

The Style Council released their second album, Our Favourite Shop, on June 8, 1985, on Polydor. Paul Weller self-composed eight of the album’s fourteen songs, including the singles “Come to Milton Keynes,” “Boy Who Cried Wolf,” and “Walls Come Tumbling Down!”

Weller co-wrote one song (“With Everything to Lose”) with drummer Steve White and four (“Homebreakers” “Internationalists” “The Lodgers,” “Luck”) with organist Mick Talbot, who wrote the title track and sings lead on “Homebreakers.”

1. “Homebreakers” (5:04)
2. “All Gone Away” (2:13)
3. “Come To Milton Keynes” (3:02)
4. “Internationalists” (3:04)
5. “A Stones Throw Away” (2:15)
6. “The Stand Up Comic’s Instructions” (1:28)
7. “Boy Who Cried Wolf” (5:04)

8. “A Man of Great Promise” (2:30)
9. “Down In The Seine” (2:41)
10. “The Lodgers (or She Was Only a Shopkeeper’s Daughter)” (3:54)
11. “Luck” (2:32)
12. “With Everything To Lose” (3:45)
13. “Our Favourite Shop” (2:52)
14. “Walls Come Tumbling Down!” (3:11)

Recorded December 1984 to March 1985
Producer Paul Weller (for Solid Bond Productions) Peter Wilson

Paul Weller – vocals; guitars; bass guitar; synth
Mick Talbot – Hammond organ; keyboards; vocals (1)
Steve White – drums; percussion
Dee C. Lee – vocals

Guest vocalists
Lenny Henry – vocals
Tracie Young – vocals
Alison Limerick – vocals
Session musicians
Camille Hinds – bass
Stewart Prosser – trumpet; flugelhorn
David DeFries – trumpet; flugelhorn
Mike Mower – flute; saxophone
Chris Lawrence – trombone
Clark Kent – contra bass
Gary Wallis – percussion
John Mealing – orchestration; string arrangement
Anne Stephenson – violin
Charlie Buchanan – violin
Jocelyn Pook – viola
Audrey Riley – cello
Peter Wilson – keyboard Sequencing
Patrick Grundy-White – French Horn
Steve Dawson – trumpet
Billy Chapman – saxophone
Kevin Miller – bass
Helen Turner – piano

29 Jun 1985
A: Come To Milton Keynes
B: (When You) Call Me

21 Sep 1985
A1: The Lodgers
B1: The Big Boss Groove – Live
B2: You’re The Best Thing – Live

UK Albums (OCC)[21] 1
Australian Albums (Kent Music Report)[13] 5
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[19] 6
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[16] 11
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[18] 18
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[14] 23
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[17] 23
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[20] 30


“Have You Ever Had It Blue”

On March 27, 1986, The Style Council released the standalone single “Have You Ever Had It Blue.”

A. “Have You Ever Had It Blue”
B. “Mr. Cool’s Dream”


Home & Abroad – Live!

In June 1986, The Style Council released Home & Abroad – Live! – a document of their tour behind Our Favourite Shop.

1. “The Big Boss Groove”
“My Ever Changing Moods”
“The Lodgers”
“Headstart for Happiness”
“(When You) Call Me”
“The Whole Point of No Return”
“Our Favourite Shop”
“With Everything to Lose”
“Homebreakers”
“Shout to the Top!”
“Walls Come Tumbling Down!”
“Internationalists”

Recorded on the tour for Our Favourite Shop.
Paul Weller – vocals, guitar
Mick Talbot – keyboards
Dee C. Lee – vocals
Steve White – drums

UK Albums (OCC) 8
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ) 21


The Cost of Loving

The Style Council released their third proper studio album, The Cost of Loving, on February 7, 1987, on Polydor.

1. “It Didn’t Matter” Paul Weller Mick Talbot (5:44)
2. “Right to Go” The Dynamic Three Weller Steve White (5:10)
3. “Heavens Above” (6:10)
4. “Fairy Tales” (4:08)

5. “Angel” Patrick Moten Richard Griffin Sandra Sully (4:31)
6. “Walking the Night” (4:30)
7. “Waiting” (4:26)
8. “The Cost of Loving” (4:19)
9. “A Woman’s Song” (3:02)

Recorded May, August and October 1986
Studio Solid Bond Studios
Producer Paul Weller

Paul Weller – lead and background vocals; guitars; synthesizers; drum programming
Mick Talbot – acoustic and electric pianos, Wurlitzer and Hammond organs; synthesizers; bass synthesizer
Dee C. Lee – lead and background vocals
Steve White – drums; percussion

The Dynamic Three – rapping on “Right to Go”
Steve Sidelynk – percussion on “Right to Go”, congas on “Heavens Above” and “Fairy Tales”
Camelle Hinds – bass guitar on “Heavens Above”, “Angel” and “Walking the Night”
Billy Chapman – saxophone on “Heavens Above”
Anne Stephenson – violin on “Heavens Above”
Guy Barker – trumpet on “Fairy Tales”; flugelhorn on “Walking the Night”
Roddy Lorimer – trumpet on “Fairy Tales”; flugelhorn on “Walking the Night”
Luke Tunney – trumpet on “Fairy Tales”; flugelhorn on “Walking the Night”
Ashley Slater – trombone on “Fairy Tales”
Chris Lawrence – trombone on “Fairy Tales”
Pete Thams – trombone on “Fairy Tales”
John Valentine – backing vocals on “Walking the Night”
John Mealing – orchestral arrangements
Jezar – engineer, sequencing, mixer on “Right to Go”
Alan Leeming – engineer, mixer on “The Cost Of Loving”
Paul Weller – producer
The Valentine Brothers – mixers on “It Didn’t Matter” and “Angel”
Matthew Kasha – mixer on “Heavens Above”
Curtis Mayfield – mixer on “Fairy Tales”
Carl Beatty – mixer on “Walking the Night”
John Valentine – mixer on “Waiting”

10 Jan 1987
A: It Didn’t Matter
B: All Year Round

7 Mar 1987
A: Waiting
B: Francoise

The Cost of Loving reached No. 2 in the UK and No. 6 in Japan. It went Top 30 in the Netherlands (No. 23) and Australia (No. 24) and peaked at No. 35 in New Zealand.

The Bird’s & The B’s

12 Dec 1987
A1: Piccadilly Trail
A2: It Just Came To Pieces In My Hands
B1: Spin’Drifting
B2: Spring, Summer, Autumn


Confessions of a Pop Group

The Style Council released their fourth full-length studio album, Confessions of a Pop Group, on June 20, 1988, on Polydor.

New York – Gstaad: The Piano Paintings (25:31)

1. “It’s a Very Deep Sea” (5:32)
2. “The Story of Someones Shoe” (3:40)
3. “Changing of the Guard” (2:49)
4. “The Little Boy In a Castle / A Dove Flew Down From the Elephant” (3:01)
5. “The Gardener of Eden (A Three Piece Suite)” (10:29)
    a. “In the Beginning”
    b. “The Gardener of Eden”
    c. “Mourning the Passing of Time”

Tokyo – Marble Arch: Confessions of a Pop Group (31:54)

1. “Life at a Top Peoples Health Farm” (4:18)
2. “Why I Went Missing” (4:43)
3. “How She Threw It All Away” (4:17)
4. “Iwasadoledadstoyboy” (4:27)
5. “Confessions 1, 2 & 3” (4:43)
6. “Confessions of a Pop Group” (9:26)

Paul Weller – vocals, guitars, synthesisers, drum programs
Mick Talbot – piano forte, Hammond organ, clavinet, synthesisers
Dee C. Lee – vocals
Camelle Hinds – bass
Paul Morgan – contra bass
Steve White – drums
Nick Brown – drums
Dick Morrissey – flute on “How She Threw It All Away”
Little Joo Ruocco – percussion
Chris Lawrence – trombone
Frank Ricotti – vibraphone
Rupert Parker – harp
The Swingle Singers – backing vocals on “The Story of Someone’s Shoe”

16 May 1988
A: Life At A Top Peoples Health Farm
B: Sweet Loving Ways

1 2 3 4 EP
11 Jul 1988
The Style Council
A1: How She Threw It All Away
A2: Love The First Time
B1: Long Hot Summer
The Mixed Companions
B2: I Do Like To Be B-Side The A-Side


Modernism: A New Decade

In 1989, The Style Council recorded Modernism: A New Decade, their intended fifth studio album. It finally appeared as part of the fifth disc on their 1998 retrospective box-set The Complete Adventures of The Style Council.

Modernism consists of three Paul Weller compositions a co-writes with Dee C. Lee (“Everybody’s on the Run”), Central Line bassist Camelle Hinds (“Sure Is Sure”), and three-way ideas between Weller, Lee, and Mick Talbot (“Hope (Feelings Gonna Getcha),” “Can You Still Love Me?”). They joint-wrote “That Spiritual Feeling” with sessionist Marco Nelson.

1. “A New Decade” (3:24)
2. “Can You Still Love Me?” (5:01)
3. “The World Must Come Together” (5:23)
4. “Hope (Feelings Gonna Getcha)” (7:16)
5. “That Spiritual Feeling” (7:35)
6. “Everybody’s on the Run” (5:42)
7. “Love of the World” (8:56)
8. “Sure Is Sure” (6:18)

Recorded 1989
Paul Weller – vocals, guitars
Mick Talbot – keyboards
Dee C. Lee – vocals
Steve White – drums


Discography:

  • 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)

Sources:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *