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4.6 out of 5 stars20
4.6 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 25 June 2009
Considered for quite some time to be the awkward & dated part of the Weller back catalogue, even the most hardened fan of the Jam or his post 1990 work has to acknowledge now, that the style council period not only contained some finely crafted songs (he performed 'Shout to the top' on his recent 22 dreams tour) but was in fact an essential part of his growth as a song writer.

Weller could never have written modern classics such as Changing man, Broken stones and Wild Wood without this period of experimentation and reflection with his future wife Dee c. Lee, Future long time collaborator Steve White on drums and Mick Talbot on the keys.

Songs included are Have you ever had it blue, Long hot summer, Wanted, Shout to the top, Speak like a child (the style council debut single), You're the best thing, and the glaringly autobiographical My ever changing moods are all here, and wrapped around them are other Style Council classics which are thankfully mainly from the Style Council's most prolific output between 1983 and 1987.

For the now low cost of purchasing the album, one can almost forgive the inclusion of the plodding watered down house music cover version of Promised Land (presumably included on the basis of chart success) as in the humble opinion of this reviewer this would struggle to qualify as a classic single from the Weller collection.

So here we have it, with the odd exception, this is a superb collection of the Modfather's Style Council back catalogue all in one place, and for some this collection will be investigation enough of his 80's output, but the fact that in retrospect the quality of the songs written during this period now stand up on their own, and are worthy of fresh interpretation by the man himself in his live set, says a great deal about the man and his music. If you are a Weller fan than you owe it to yourself to get a copy of this and hear where the song writing roots of his current Mod revivalist musical direction were formed. Enjoy.
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on 11 December 2003
I know some of these songs from listening to a college/alternative radio station in the 1980s, such as "Have you ever had it blue?" and "Solid Bond in your Heart." After hearing some of the songs (mostly "My Ever Changing Moods") playing in the grocery store or at the mall, I wanted to hear the others. I found some great songs on this CD, ones that were never heard on the radio in America. The highlights of this CD are "Long Hot Summer" and "Speak Like a Child," which are the best. This is a great CD to put in the car and sing along while driving around. It beats most of what's on the radio today!
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on 12 February 2016
There are plenty of people out there who regard Paul Weller’s time alongside keyboardist Mick Talbot in the 1980s in this eclectic, anti-rock group as nothing more than the embarrassing interlude between his early work with The Jam, and his long-running solo career. I don’t suppose the Hitler Youth hair he can be found sporting on the awful-looking cover of this clumsily-named, stopgap compilation will help much either. But this TV-advertised Greatest Hits - which includes a few long 12” versions - does its best to rescue them from the condescension of posterity.

Whilst it is undeniable that their back catalogue was marked by unevenness and self-indulgence, they still chalked up some gems. Elegant soulful ballads like ‘You're the Best Thing’, ‘Long Hot Summer’, ‘My Ever Changing Moods’, and ‘Have You Ever Had it Blue?’, shoo away those who would choose to bracket them with horrors like the Thompson Twins and Howard Jones. Upbeat, radio-friendly songs with a Northern Soul beat, such as 'Speak Like A Child' and 'A Solid Bond in Your Heart', are a reminder of how Weller often found himself dancing in a self-consciously awkward fashion on Top Of The Pops on a Thursday night. The overtly political approach of the exclamatory pair ‘Walls Come Tumbling Down!’ and ‘Shout to the Top!’ reflect the fact that they were the only pop group to do benefits for the miners, take part in Red Wedge, and perform at Live Aid.

When this collection - their first Greatest Hits - was released in 1989 they were at loggerheads with Polydor. Despite that it reached number 3 in the UK Album Chart, and it stayed on the charts for 15 weeks. Yet no space can be found in the 69 minute running order for subsequent compilation fixtures like 'Headstart For Happiness', 'Come To Milton Keynes', and 'The Paris Match’, and the decision not to order the material chronologically also can't hide the truth that the group - who had started off with a loose, flexible line-up that reflected their broad-minded ethos – carried on for too long. For instance, awkward lyrics and clumsy rhythms sink 1988’s self-produced 'Life At The Top People’s Health Farm'. Weller had said it was his attempt at a modern version of Bob Dylan’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’, but its relatively mediocre chart placing of number 28 tells another story.
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on 11 May 2013
Having grown up with listening to Paul weller (as well as the police,xtc,madness and so on)since I was at high school this is a great collection of his second outing (the first being the jam 1977-1982 who were outstanding)
My only regret is that 'money go round' is the 12 inch version (I much prefered the 12 inch of long hot summer) but beggers can't be choosers
Speak like a child,long hot summer,my ever changing. Moods,your the best thing and shout to the top are Paul wellers better days with the council
Shame there wasn't the council collective single 'soul deep' on this disc.
This really is a class selection of the style council singles with Steve white only 17 when tsc started in 1983 on drums and ex meeting parka man Mr.mick talbot on piano/keyboards and wellers first wife to be Dee c. Lee ( who released the brilliant 'see the day' single.
What id like to see is a doulble cd of the style council to include all the singles best b-sides and album tracks in the tradition of the jams 'snap'
Go and jams greatest hits the style council singles and Paul wellers greatest hits and you won't be disappointed at all.
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on 6 June 2014
This is the other,better version of the best of the style council.if you want to content yourself that what you have are the best songs of this group,then you need the two albums.All this material signalled a landmark change in the musical life of paul weller.Gone were those "angsty" edgy,punching and hard driven numbers of the jam.
He now settled into a more jazzy and soulful sound of stylish musical genre.A progressing maturity in both song and composition,it was a giant stepping stone to him performing purely as a solo artist.
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on 10 October 2015
I was a fan of the Style Council ,when Paul Weller decided to disband The Jam and really only like their singles of The Style Council
and think at the time he made that brief transformation quite well.
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on 23 August 2013
Got this for my hub as he is a fan of The Style Council we had it on tape of course ifs all CDs nowadays. He enjoys listening to it.
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on 13 February 2013
Had this before and lost it so I was just re-buying it. Anyone who likes Style Council will remember most tracks and love it.
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on 24 February 2012
I bought this as a replacement copy. Have regularly played this for over 20 years as it's just packed with great tracks.
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on 23 May 2015
Excellent reminiscing music...feel good sounds
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