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The Style Council

The Style Council

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The Style Council were an English band
Musical ensemble
A musical ensemble is a group of people who perform instrumental or vocal music. In classical music, trios or quartets either blend the sounds of musical instrument families or group together instruments from the same instrument family, such as string ensembles or wind ensembles...

, formed in 1983 by the ex-The Jam
The Jam
The Jam were an English punk rock/New Wave/mod revival band active during the late 1970s and early 1980s. They were formed in Woking, Surrey. While they shared the "angry young men" outlook and fast tempos of their punk rock contemporaries, The Jam wore smartly tailored suits rather than ripped...

 singer and guitarist Paul Weller, with keyboardist Mick Talbot
Mick Talbot
Michael 'Mick' Talbot is a British keyboardist. He played with the late 1970s mod revivalists The Merton Parkas; Dexys Midnight Runners; The Bureau, and later with Paul Weller in The Style Council....

. The permanent line-up grew to include drummer Steve White and Weller's then-wife, vocalist Dee C. Lee
Dee C. Lee
Dee C. Lee is an English pop singer.-Career:Lee was a backing vocalist for the pop group Wham! in the early 1980s, but she left the group to work as a solo artist and also to join Paul Weller's band, The Style Council...

. Other artists such as Tracie Young
Tracie Young
Tracie Young was a pop singer in the 1980s. She achieved success after becoming a protégée of Paul Weller.-Career:...

 and Tracey Thorn
Tracey Thorn
Tracey Anne Thorn is an English pop singer and songwriter. She is best known as being one half of the duo Everything but the Girl, which is currently on extended hiatus.-Personal life:...

 (Everything but the Girl
Everything but the Girl
Everything but the Girl was a two-person English band, formed in Hull during 1981, consisting of lead singer and occasional guitarist Tracey Thorn and guitarist, keyboardist, and singer Ben Watt . They are currently inactive although vocalist Tracey Thorn hinted that they may reform someday...

) also collaborated with the group. As with Weller's previous band, most of this London based outfit's hits were in their homeland, although the band did score six top 40 hits in Australia, and seven top 40 hits in New Zealand.

History


The band showed a diversity of musical styles. Singles "Speak Like a Child
Speak Like a Child
"Speak Like a Child" was the debut single from The Style Council and was included on the album, Introducing The Style Council in 1983 . Backed with "Party Chambers", it became a big hit, peaking at #4 on the UK Singles Chart. Paul Weller and Mick Talbot were already well-known from their previous...

" (with its loud soul
Soul music
Soul music is a music genre originating in the United States combining elements of gospel music and rhythm and blues. According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, soul is "music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of...

-influenced style), the extended funk
Funk
Funk is a music genre that originated in the mid-late 1960s when African American musicians blended soul music, jazz and R&B into a rhythmic, danceable new form of music. Funk de-emphasizes melody and harmony and brings a strong rhythmic groove of electric bass and drums to the foreground...

 of "Money-Go-Round", and the haunting synth
Synthpop
Synthpop is a genre of popular music that first became prominent in the 1980s, in which the synthesizer is the dominant musical instrument. It was prefigured in the 1960s and early 1970s by the use of synthesizers in progressive rock, electronic art rock, disco and particularly the "Kraut rock" of...

-ballad
Ballad
A ballad is a form of verse, often a narrative set to music. Ballads were particularly characteristic of British and Irish popular poetry and song from the later medieval period until the 19th century and used extensively across Europe and later the Americas, Australia and North Africa. Many...

 "Long Hot Summer" all featured Talbot on keyboards and organ
Organ (music)
The organ , is a keyboard instrument of one or more divisions, each played with its own keyboard operated either with the hands or with the feet. The organ is a relatively old musical instrument in the Western musical tradition, dating from the time of Ctesibius of Alexandria who is credited with...

. Near the end of 1983, these songs were compiled on Introducing The Style Council
Introducing The Style Council
Introducing The Style Council was the debut, studio compilation LP by the band The Style Council, released in 1983. The compilation album was released only in Australia, New Zealand, North America, the Netherlands and Japan - though the European release was heavily 'imported to' the United Kingdom....

, 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
Single (music)
In music, a single or record single is a type of release, typically a recording of fewer tracks than an LP or a CD. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, the single is a song that is released separately from an album, but it can still appear...

 "My Ever-Changing Moods", backed with the Hammond organ
Hammond organ
The Hammond organ is an electric organ invented by Laurens Hammond in 1934 and manufactured by the Hammond Organ Company. While the Hammond organ was originally sold to churches as a lower-cost alternative to the wind-driven pipe organ, in the 1960s and 1970s it became a standard keyboard...

 instrumental "Mick's Company", reached #29 on the Billboard
Billboard (magazine)
Billboard is a weekly American magazine devoted to the music industry, and is one of the oldest trade magazines in the world. It maintains several internationally recognized music charts that track the most popular songs and albums in various categories on a weekly basis...

Hot 100
Billboard Hot 100
The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on radio play and sales; the tracking-week for sales begins on Monday and ends on Sunday, while the radio play tracking-week runs from Wednesday...

 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
Our Favourite Shop
Our Favourite Shop is the second album from the band The Style Council. The majority of the album's material was released in the USA as Internationalists by Geffen Records Our Favourite Shop is the second album from the band The Style Council. The majority of the album's material was released...

.

In December 1984, Weller put together a charity ensemble, the Council Collective, to make a record, Soul Deep
Soul Deep
"Soul Deep" was the third single taken from Swedish pop duo Roxette's 1986 debut album Pearls of Passion. It was only released in a few European countries and Canada. The single peaked at #18 on the charts in Sweden, but failed to chart elsewhere....

, to raise money for striking miners. 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, which led to the incongruous sight of lyrics such as "We can't afford to let the government win / It means death to the trade unions" being mimed amid the show's flashing lights and party atmosphere.

The Style Council took a more overtly political approach than The Jam in their lyrics
Lyrics
Lyrics are a set of words that make up a song. The writer of lyrics is a lyricist or lyrist. The meaning of lyrics can either be explicit or implicit. Some lyrics are abstract, almost unintelligible, and, in such cases, their explication emphasizes form, articulation, meter, and symmetry of...

, with tracks such as "Walls Come Tumbling Down", "The Lodgers", and "Come To Milton Keynes" being deliberate attacks on 'middle
Middle class
The middle class is any class of people in the middle of a societal hierarchy. In Weberian socio-economic terms, the middle class is the broad group of people in contemporary society who fall socio-economically between the working class and upper class....

 England' and Thatcherite
Thatcherism
Thatcherism describes the conviction politics, economic and social policy, and political style of the British Conservative politician Margaret Thatcher, who was leader of her party from 1975 to 1990...

 principles prevalent in the 1980s. Weller was also instrumental in the formation of Red Wedge
Red Wedge
Red Wedge was a collective of musicians who attempted to engage young people with politics in general, and the policies of the Labour Party in particular, during the period leading up to the 1987 general election, in the hope of ousting the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher.Fronted by...

 with Billy Bragg
Billy Bragg
Stephen William Bragg , better known as Billy Bragg, is an English alternative rock musician and left-wing activist. His music blends elements of folk music, punk rock and protest songs, and his lyrics mostly deal with political or romantic themes...

. However, 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".

In 1986, the band released a live album
Live album
A live album is a recording consisting of material recorded during stage performances using remote recording techniques, commonly contrasted with a studio album...

, Home and Abroad
Home and Abroad
-Track listing:# "The Big Boss Groove"# "My Ever Changing Moods"# "The Lodgers"# "Headstart for Happiness"# " Call Me"# "The Whole Point of No Return"# "Our Favourite Shop"# "With Everything to Lose"# "Homebreakers"# "Shout to the Top!"...

, and, in 1987, The Cost of Loving
The Cost of Loving
The Cost of Loving is an album from the band The Style Council, released in 1987. This album saw the group concentrating on the R&B styles that had been growing in America during the eighties...

was launched, followed later in the year by the non-album single "Wanted", which reached #20 in the UK Singles Chart
UK Singles Chart
The UK Singles Chart is compiled by The Official Charts Company on behalf of the British record-industry. The full chart contains the top selling 200 singles in the United Kingdom based upon combined record sales and download numbers, though some media outlets only list the Top 40 or the Top 75 ...

. However, Confessions of a Pop Group
Confessions of a Pop Group
Confessions of a Pop Group is an album from the band The Style Council. Released on 20 June 1988, the album received moderate success, reaching # 15 on the UK album chart....

, released a year later, sold poorly. This led to their record label
Record label
In the music industry, a record label is a brand and a trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. Most commonly, a record label is the company that manages such brands and trademarks, coordinates the production, manufacture, distribution, marketing and promotion,...

 Polydor
Polydor Records
Polydor is a record label owned by Universal Music Group, headquartered in the United Kingdom.-Beginnings:Polydor was originally an independent branch of the Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft. Its name was first used as an export label in 1924, the British and German branches of the Gramophone...

 rejecting their final album (Modernism: A New Decade
Modernism: A New Decade
Modernism: A New Decade is an album by the band The Style Council. It represented a departure from the band's core genre of pop, to a new one; deep house, which was then being referred to as "garage" music by the UK press. However upon its completion in 1989, it was rejected by their label...

), which was influenced by the house
House music
House music is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in Chicago, Illinois, United States in the early 1980s. It was initially popularized in mid-1980s discothèques catering to the African-American, Latino American, and gay communities; first in Chicago circa 1984, then in other...

 scene. A greatest hits
Greatest hits
A greatest hits album is a music compilation album of successful, previously released songs by a particular artist or band...

 album, The Singular Adventures of The Style Council, was released internationally in 1989; it included the non-album single "Promised Land", which had reached #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
Acid Jazz Records
Acid Jazz is a record label based in east London. It takes its name from acid jazz, a genre of jazz music. Alternative version states that the genre itself was named after the record label...

 titled "Like A Gun". This was unbeknown 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. Mick and Paul took pseudonyms Truman King and Elliott Arnold."

The Style Council broke up in 1989.

Paul Weller - NME
NME
The New Musical Express is a popular music publication in the United Kingdom, published weekly since March 1952. It started as a music newspaper, and gradually moved toward a magazine format during the 1980s, changing from newsprint in 1998. It was the first British paper to include a singles...

- March 1990

The cover version
Cover version
In popular music, a cover version or cover song, or simply cover, is a new performance or recording of a contemporary or previously recorded, commercially released song or popular song...

 of "Promised Land" (originally by Joe Smooth
Joe smooth
Joe Smooth is an American producer and DJ of house music, notably during the late 1980s and early 1990s.-Early life:Smooth was a self-taught musician, and started creating original music at the age of 12...

) 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
Confessions of a Pop Group
Confessions of a Pop Group is an album from the band The Style Council. Released on 20 June 1988, the album received moderate success, reaching # 15 on the UK album chart....

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
The Players (supergroup)
The Players are a supergroup consisting of the core members of Damon Minchella , Mick Talbot and Steve White .Their first album Clear the Decks, released in 2003 had Aziz Ibrahim on guitar, and featured guest musicians Steve Cradock and Chad Smith.Their second album From the Six Corners, released...

 with Damon Minchella
Damon Minchella
Damon Minchella is an English bass guitarist, formerly with Ocean Colour Scene, which he left in 2003. He was a regular member of Paul Weller's backing band until 2008, is a member of the supergroup The Players and played for The Who during their performance at the Live 8 concert in Hyde Park.He...

 and Aziz Ibrahim
Aziz Ibrahim
Aziz Ibrahim is a British musician. He was born in Longsight, Manchester to Pakistani parents. He is best known for his work as guitarist with Simply Red, The Stone Roses and their former vocalist Ian Brown in whose support band he regularly performs – both in the studio and live...

. White and Minchilla went onto form Trio Valore whilst Talbot went touring with Candi Staton
Candi Staton
Candi Staton is an American soul and gospel singer, best known for her 1970 remake of Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man" and her 1976 disco hit "Young Hearts Run Free". In 2007, Staton was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame.-Early years:...

 in 2009.

All of The Style Council's UK releases (including singles, 12" maxis
Maxi single
A maxi single or maxi-single is a music single release with more than the usual two tracks of an a-side song and a b-side song.-The first maxi singles:...

, albums, compact discs and re-issues thereof) featured the work of graphic designer
Graphic designer
A graphic designer is a professional within the graphic design and graphic arts industry who assembles together images, typography or motion graphics to create a piece of design. A graphic designer creates the graphics primarily for published, printed or electronic media, such as brochures and...

 Simon Halfon
Simon Halfon
Simon Halfon is a graphic designer most noted for his work with The Jam, The Style Council, and Paul Weller. Halfon has also worked with Oasis and George Michael, among others. Halfon's most visible work has focused on solid inspiration from the design of the 1960s. He has, however, displayed...

, 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 to this day on Weller's solo material.

Since 2007, the song "Walls Come Tumbling Down" has been used as the theme song for the German TV series Dr. Psycho – Die Bösen, die Bullen, meine Frau und ich.

Studio

  • Introducing The Style Council
    Introducing The Style Council
    Introducing The Style Council was the debut, studio compilation LP by the band The Style Council, released in 1983. The compilation album was released only in Australia, New Zealand, North America, the Netherlands and Japan - though the European release was heavily 'imported to' the United Kingdom....

    (1983)
  • Café Bleu
    Café Bleu
    Café Bleu is the official debut album released by the band The Style Council in March 1984, reaching number 2 in the UK charts. It followed the compilation Introducing The Style Council, which was released only in the Netherlands, Canada and Japan....

    (US title: My Ever Changing Moods) (1984) #2 UK
    UK Albums Chart
    The UK Albums Chart is a list of albums ranked by physical and digital sales in the United Kingdom. It is compiled every week by The Official Charts Company and broadcast on a Sunday on BBC Radio 1 , and published in Music Week magazine and on the OCC website .To qualify for the UK albums chart...

  • Our Favourite Shop
    Our Favourite Shop
    Our Favourite Shop is the second album from the band The Style Council. The majority of the album's material was released in the USA as Internationalists by Geffen Records Our Favourite Shop is the second album from the band The Style Council. The majority of the album's material was released...

    (US title: Internationalists) (1985) #1 UK
  • The Cost of Loving
    The Cost of Loving
    The Cost of Loving is an album from the band The Style Council, released in 1987. This album saw the group concentrating on the R&B styles that had been growing in America during the eighties...

    (1987) #2 UK, #122 US
    Billboard 200
    The Billboard 200 is a ranking of the 200 highest-selling music albums and EPs in the United States, published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists...

  • Confessions of a Pop Group
    Confessions of a Pop Group
    Confessions of a Pop Group is an album from the band The Style Council. Released on 20 June 1988, the album received moderate success, reaching # 15 on the UK album chart....

    (1988) #15 UK, #174 US
  • Modernism: A New Decade
    Modernism: A New Decade
    Modernism: A New Decade is an album by the band The Style Council. It represented a departure from the band's core genre of pop, to a new one; deep house, which was then being referred to as "garage" music by the UK press. However upon its completion in 1989, it was rejected by their label...

    (1998, recorded 1989)

Live

  • Home and Abroad
    Home and Abroad
    -Track listing:# "The Big Boss Groove"# "My Ever Changing Moods"# "The Lodgers"# "Headstart for Happiness"# " Call Me"# "The Whole Point of No Return"# "Our Favourite Shop"# "With Everything to Lose"# "Homebreakers"# "Shout to the Top!"...

    (1986) #8 UK
    UK Albums Chart
    The UK Albums Chart is a list of albums ranked by physical and digital sales in the United Kingdom. It is compiled every week by The Official Charts Company and broadcast on a Sunday on BBC Radio 1 , and published in Music Week magazine and on the OCC website .To qualify for the UK albums chart...

  • The Style Council In Concert (1997)

Compilation

  • The Singular Adventures of The Style Council - Greatest Hits Vol.1 (1989) #3 UK
    UK Albums Chart
    The UK Albums Chart is a list of albums ranked by physical and digital sales in the United Kingdom. It is compiled every week by The Official Charts Company and broadcast on a Sunday on BBC Radio 1 , and published in Music Week magazine and on the OCC website .To qualify for the UK albums chart...

  • Headstart For Happiness (1991)
  • Here's Some That Got Away (1993) #39 UK
  • The Style Council Collection (1996) #60 UK
  • Master Series (1997)
  • The Complete Adventures of The Style Council (5 CD box set) (1998)
  • Classic Style Council - The Universal Masters Collection (1999)
  • Greatest Hits (2000) #28 UK
  • The Collection (2001)
  • 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)

Singles

Year Title Chart Positions
UK Singles
UK Singles Chart
The UK Singles Chart is compiled by The Official Charts Company on behalf of the British record-industry. The full chart contains the top selling 200 singles in the United Kingdom based upon combined record sales and download numbers, though some media outlets only list the Top 40 or the Top 75 ...

Australia Canada NZ U.S. Hot 100
1983 "Speak Like a Child
Speak Like a Child
"Speak Like a Child" was the debut single from The Style Council and was included on the album, Introducing The Style Council in 1983 . Backed with "Party Chambers", it became a big hit, peaking at #4 on the UK Singles Chart. Paul Weller and Mick Talbot were already well-known from their previous...

"
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!
Shout to the Top!
"Shout to the Top!" is the title of a single by The Style Council, which featured on the soundtrack to the 1985 film Vision Quest and 1985 album Our Favourite Shop...

" [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
Remix
A remix is an alternative version of a recorded song, made from an original version. This term is also used for any alterations of media other than song ....

)
48

^ Official title of the 7" single package is "Á 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
    Vision Quest
    Vision Quest is a 1985 coming of age drama film starring Matthew Modine, Linda Fiorentino, and Ronny Cox. It is based on Terry Davis' novel of the same name. In some countries, it was released as Crazy for You to market on Madonna's emerging fame and the popularity of the song...

     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

  • 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)

External links