Wednesday, April 24, 2013

More Adventures With The Style Council

Yesterday, I think I did my typically cursory job of summarizing Paul Weller's musical career.  His prolific musical output spanning four decades notwithstanding, it was his Eighties collaboration with keyboardist Mick Talbot, The Style Council, that drew me in so many years ago.  Although the music was certainly the main draw, their public image came a close second in captivating me.  They allowed fans to imagine they were jet-setting across the globe, sampling this world's urban delights -- coffee, jazz, clove cigarettes, Alfa Romeos, and bedding Chanel women and befriending Miles Davis men.

The Style Council image was carefully crafted through the images which appeared most frequently on their album covers, singles' picture sleeves, and in their press kits.  One felt that Francois Truffaut had volunteered to capture their lives on film, to be reproduced on record jackets for some label from North Africa which specialized in bebop jazz, Egyptian soul, Beat poetry, and Style Council remixes.  That it was probably all staged and not candid, premeditated and not spontaneous, was meant to be ignored.  We could then co-conspire in the conceit that we were all style councilors and we were merely receiving the latest message from our pals abroad.

The first album, My Ever Changing Moods in the USA, and Cafe Bleu in the UK, let everyone know that this was no longer Paul Weller's punk period.  This mod was growing up.  (One of my best friends, a beautiful painter, framed the top picture for me decades ago.  It still hangs in my house now.)

Their second album, more dilettantism for Paul and Mick.  I had a poster of this on my dorm room wall and I studied it until I found out what every detail meant, who every person in the background was, what every artifact signified.

Blue blazers, white socks, and black loafers.

Japanese e.p.  Which came first, the sweater around my shoulders or the sweater around Paul's?


 "Have you heard the latest from those cats, the Style Council?  It's out on the Swine Rouge label from Algiers!  Dig it!"

So cool, he needs shades on stage, but he's too cool to wear them anywhere but around his neck.  Mick cuffing his trousers.

More coolness.


M.Lane said...

Nothing wrong with dilletantism. I've devoted a large part of my life to it.

Another fascinating post!


tintin said...

Best Style Council post ever. Brit co-workers in London accused me of being a Nancy-Boy for liking them but deep in my heart I always liked SC better than the Jam.