Ahead of a forthcoming documentary on the second famed band of Paul Weller's career, the revered British rocker has co-compiled a new collection devoted to The Style Council.
Long Hot Summers: The Story of The Style Council provides an extensive overview of Weller's work through the '80s after the dissolution of The Jam.The 37-track collection, available across 2 CDs or 3 LPs, includes a healthy mix of the group's biggest singles, album cuts, B-sides and two unreleased tracks: an extended version of 1984's "Dropping Bombs On The Whitehouse" and a string-laden demo of the band's biggest worldwide hit, "My Ever Changing Moods."
Working with Dexys Midnight Runners keyboardist Mick Talbot, drummer Steve White and vocalist Dee C. Lee, Weller's work in The Style Council largely eschewed the punk leanings of The Jam for more overt New Wave, slick soul and sophisti-pop influences. But Weller's signature songwriting was still at the helm - as well as a growing political bent. (Along with Billy Bragg and Jimmy Somerville, Weller was active in Red Wedge, a collective of Labour-sympathetic musicians working to drum up support against England's prime minister Margaret Thatcher.)
The group earned three straight gold records in England with 1984's Café Bleu (released in America as My Ever Changing Moods - the title track of which became a U.S. Top 40 hit), 1985's chart-topping Our Favorite Shop and 1987's The Cost Of Loving. The latter's mixed critical reception was followed by the experimental Confessions Of a Pop Group (1988); the following year's Modernism: A New Decade was rejected by Polydor Records, after which Weller called the group off for a solo career.
Long Hot Summers will be available from UMC October 30 - the same day a new documentary about The Style Council, featuring interviews with Weller, Talbot, White and Lee, will premiere on Sky Arts in England. The compilation, remastered at Abbey Road Studios, features new notes by Weller, essayist Lois Wilson, and actor Martin Freeman (star of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy and the U.K. version of The Office), a professed "superfan" of the group.
The set is available for pre-order in 2CD and 3LP formats, with an exclusive color variant available through the uDiscover Music Store. Check it all out below!
Long Hot Summers: The Story of The Style Council (Polydor/UMC, 2020)
- Headstart For Happiness
- Long Hot Summer
- My Ever-Changing Moods
- Walls Come Tumbling Down!
- Party Chambers
- Wanted (or Waiter, There's Some Soup In My Flies)
- Shout To The Top!
- It Just Came To Pieces In My Hands
- Come To Milton Keynes
- Why I Went Missing
- Ghosts Of Dachau
- Down In The Seine
- The Paris Match
- Boy Who Cried Wolf
- Life At a Top People's Health Farm (Um & Argh Mix)
- Dropping Bombs On The Whitehouse (Extended Version) *
- Speak Like a Child
- The Lodgers (Or She Was Only a Shopkeeper's Daughter)
- Money Go Round (Part 1)
- You're The Best Thing
- How She Threw It All Away
- A Man Of Great Promise
- The Piccadilly Trail
- A Solid Bond In Your Heart
- All Gone Away
- Sweet Loving Ways
- Promised Land (Radio Edit)
- Have You Ever Had It Blue
- It Didn't Matter
- Spin' Drifting
- Here's One That Got Away
- A Woman's Song
- Changing Of The Guard
- My Ever-Changing Moods (Demo) *
- Shout To The Top (Instrumental)
Disc 1, Tracks 1-2 and 14 and Disc 2, Tracks 1 and 3 from Introducing The Style Council (Polydor, 1983)
Disc 1, Tracks 3 and original version of 18 and Disc 2, Tracks 4 and 15 from Café Bleu (Polydor, 1984)
Disc 1, Tracks 4, 9, 13, 15 and 17 and Disc 2, Tracks 2, 6 and 9 from Our Favorite Shop (Polydor, 1985)
Disc 1, Track 5 from À Paris EP (Polydor TSC X3, 1983)
Disc 1, Track 6 from Polydor single TSC 14, 1987
Disc 1, Track 7 and 12 and Disc 2, Tracks 7 and 19 from Polydor 12" TSC X7, 1985
Disc 1, Track 8 and Disc 2, Track 8 from Polydor single TSC 4, 1983
Disc 1, Tracks 10 and original version of 16 and Disc 2, Tracks 5 and 17 from Confessions of a Pop Group (Polydor, 1988)
Disc 1, Track 11 and Disc 2, Tracks 13 and 16 from The Cost of Loving (Polydor, 1987)
Disc 1, Track 16 and Disc 2, Track 10 from "Life At a Top People's Health Farm" single - Polydor TSC X15, 1988
Disc 2, Track 11 from Polydor single TSC 17, 1989
Disc 2, Track 12 from Absolute Beginners: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Virgin, 1986)
Disc 2, Track 14 from Polydor 12" TSC X8, 1985