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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Advanced windowshopping.
Due, probably, to my age, I first became aware of Paul Weller through the Style Council. Back in the mid 80's, the songs, the style, well, it all clicked for me. Later on I've become an even bigger fan of his work, having discovered The Jam and the solo work.

A lot of work has been made, both by Weller and critics, to put the Style Council well and truly behind...
Published on 23 Aug 2007 by MORTEN AASTAD

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9 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very dated.......and too much politics
Coming back to this album after a twenty year gap, I have to say it's not as good as I remembered it and it sounds really dated both musically and lyrically.
Weller's songs on 'Our Favourite Shop' rail against the (then) Tory Government, big business, private landlords, racist comedians....oh, and did I mention the Tory government. This subject matter is delivered in...
Published on 30 Mar 2006 by Wooltonian


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Advanced windowshopping., 23 Aug 2007
By 
MORTEN AASTAD (Oslo Norway) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Our Favourite Shop (Audio CD)
Due, probably, to my age, I first became aware of Paul Weller through the Style Council. Back in the mid 80's, the songs, the style, well, it all clicked for me. Later on I've become an even bigger fan of his work, having discovered The Jam and the solo work.

A lot of work has been made, both by Weller and critics, to put the Style Council well and truly behind us, in such a way I sometimes feel like there's something wrong with me, for liking this band.

Imagine then how glad I was when I saw this gem of a cd set. Just like they did on the Jam's All Mod Cons and Stanley Road deluxe sets, they've really pulled out all the stops on this one. There's lots to read and look at. The set looks really just as sophisticated as I'm sure Paul wanted the original album to look back in the day.

An even bigger treat here, are all the 12 inch mixes. It really feels like I lived in some far gone world, listening to these. Remember being 14 years old back in 1986, buying Maxi Singles? By bands like Duran Duran, Depeche Mode and even the Style Council? Wow... I really feel old now!

Even though the style has changed, and Paul is the bluesy, rockin' 'Modfather' now, I still think this album is entirely relevant. The lyrics may be coloured by the time they were made, but in so many ways, we haven't really moved on much these past 20-22 years.

A window to a different time for sure, but when you close your eyes and rediscover this great music all over again, I'm sure you will agree with me, it's a great journey to take, and a damned handsome cd set to own!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best album's ever, not just of the 80's, 15 Oct 2005
This review is from: Our Favourite Shop (Audio CD)
I purchased the CD album after having it on vinyl for so long. I hadn't listened to it in ages, but I remember not taking it off my turntable when I first bought it all those years ago. Listening to it again brought back to me just what an amazing album it is. The musicianship and songwriting combine very beautiful, uplifting, powerful, and sometimes poignant tunes.
This is by far one of the best album's ever, not just of the 80's
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Style Council at their very best, 8 Mar 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Our Favourite Shop (Audio CD)
I played this album to death on vinyl. Having bought this on CD 3 years or so back it still sounds as good. The lyrics reflect the backlash to Thatcher's Government in the 1980's. "Homebreakers", "All Gone Away", "A Man of Great Promise", "Luck" and "With Everything To Lose" are all excellent tracks which show just how good the Style Council were. This was by far their best album.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paul Weller's finest hour..., 10 Jun 2005
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Our Favourite Shop (Audio CD)
I'm not sure why The Style Council and 'Our Favourite Shop' have such average reception by people- The Style Council advanced on the late-Jam-singles which nodded towards soul (The Bitterest Pill, Beat Surrender, Precious, Absolute Beginners, A Solid Bond in Your Heart- the latter found on 'Extras') Over several releases, The Style Council built an excellent pop-soul sound with political content and 'Our Favourite Shop' was their peak. Afterwards the records would become distinctly hit and miss, though probably not as dull as Weller's later solo-career which is largely a tribute act to Traffic...
'Our Favourite Shop' continues the homoerotic-allusions made in that 'Brideshead'-nodding video to 'Long Hot Summer' (Weller & Talbot in front of a poster to 'Another Country') and uses then fashionable jazz (Sade, Working Week) alongside pop and soul. There are some great Weller-moments here - 'Come to Milton Keynes' remains one of the great protest-songs of the 1980s and deserves to be ranked alongside Robert Wyatt & 'Stone's Throw Away' is a bleak, strings-drenched example of dissent...
There are hit-singles here - 'Walls Come Tumbling Down' is up there with anthems by The Jam, 'The Lodgers (or she was only a grocer's daughter)' slightly dated synthpop ('Boy Who Cried Wolf' suffers similarly)& this version includes the fine 'Shout to the Top' as a bonus-track. People will also note that 'With Everything To Lose' was re-recorded as 'Have You Ever Had It Blue?' for the flop film 'Absolute Beginners' in 1986...
I'm surprised how well 'Our Favourite Shop' stands up, the irritating Lenny Henry-fronted track apart, and wonder why it isn't as feted as Weller's work before and after. 'Our Favourite Shop' a definite highlight of the British 1980s, and an album to rank alongside 'Rip It Up' (Orange Juice),'Searching for the Young Soul Rebels' (Dexys),'More Specials' (The Specials),'Waiting' (Fun Boy Three) & 'Rattlesnakes' (Lloyd Cole & the Commotions). & a bargain at this price...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Council's best, 26 May 2007
By 
Sean Farrell (london) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Our Favourite Shop (Audio CD)
It's hard to listen to this LP out of context. In many ways it stands up well against other big albums of the time but it's still got some clunking synths. The lyrics are Weller's most directly political, reflecting the polarised times, and are a bit clumsy at times compared with the more oblique references in most Jam songs. However, Our Favourite Shop is still a very good album and I've rewritten this review because I think its politics endure far more than I believed when I wrote the first one (which is below). The best songs include Down in the Seine, A Man of Great Promise and Homebreakers, as well as the hit Walls Come Tumbling Down and a clumsy remix of Shout to the Top (not on the original LP). More recent converts to Paul Weller will probably bypass this en route from the Jam to the solo stuff, but they would be wrong. The cover is great.

Original review: My three stars may be a bit harsh. It's hard to listen to this LP out of context. In many ways it stands up well against other big albums of the time but it's still got some clunking synths. The lyrics are Weller's most directly political, reflecting the polarised times, and seem clumsy now (or have I been indoctrinated?). More recent converts to Paul Weller will probably bypass this en route from the Jam to the solo stuff, but those who remember Our Favourite Shop from the time may find much to like. The cover is great
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The essential one., 12 Jun 2001
This review is from: Our Favourite Shop (Audio CD)
If you're looking for 'the essential' Style Council album, 'Our Favourite Shop' is it. Apart from being a highly under-rated band in general, 'Our Favourite Shop' marks The Style Council out as one of the most important bands of the 1980's. Taking the disillusion of the nation at Thatcher's government and processing the need for CHANGE, Weller's lyrics are astounding. Images such as the false Milton Keynes set against working-class struggles and the ghost town inner city, 'Our Favourite Shop' is the soundtrack to everyone who was lost in the '80's. Buy this album, push it to the limits and SHOUT TO THE TOP!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best political albums ever written - bar none, 12 Nov 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Our Favourite Shop (Audio CD)
I'm a Canadian; when I first purchased this album on vinyl back in 1985 (many years ago) I loved the music, but didn't completely understand the lyrics. As I got older and started to realise what a complete load of crap Thatcherism and Reganomics were....the words became more and more poignant. Aside from being one of the great white soul voices of his generation, this collection of lyrics proves the extent to which Paul Weller spoke for a generation of Brits who were forced to leave their hometown ("Homebreakers" and "All Gone Away") to pursue the hollow promises of Thatcherism. If you love music, this album is worth several listens. if you want to get a feel for what it must have been like to be in your twenties or thirties and out of work in Thatcher's England.....this record is a must listen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fab Album -, 21 Jun 2011
By 
June Wilson "Corkey Wilson" (Cheshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Our Favourite Shop (Audio CD)
I had the tape version of this long ago until I wore it out! Such great lyrics and subjects tackled - my idea of how music can inspire you to think and not just listen. Love the track 'Boy Who Cried Wolf'- if you like to dance this really makes you want to especially the instrumental bit, just don't play it when you are driving!! And how relevant are some of the words in this album to the situation in this country today. Weller has always been a great artist - this is one of his best in my opinion - but then again he has done so much good stuff, how can one choose!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Weller's best album!, 4 April 2011
By 
P. Allsopp "East Seventeen" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Our Favourite Shop (Audio CD)
I write this as I expect there are still some fans of Paul Weller who've not heard this album and are under the impression that his finest hour was Stanley Road. Now, I love that album and I think 22 Dreams is fantastic. But this album is amazing. I first saw Weller when I was 17 and he was in The Jam (yep, I'm that old - and so is he). The music he's produced has inspired me ever since. I moved to London like many others in 1984 as it was the only place I could get a job and this album is like a soundtrack to those years.

I was a socialist then and I am a socialist now. The system that made me angry back then is wrecking lives again now. It's time this lost classic was revisited. Maybe Paul Weller has moved on - he doesn't say much about the state of the world these days - but this album is fantastic and many of the issues that he writes about are as relevant now as ever. The vinyl release quotes Oscar Wilde, Tony Benn and a Greenham Common protester - today they'd be anti-war and anti-cuts protesters (although Tony Benn's still with us).

But this is no sloganeering agit-prop album. 'Our Favourite Shop' is a great pop album in its own right - mixing a variety of styles and with great music throughout. And the issues are addressed from a human perspective - there's nothing abstract about anything here. A great album!
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9 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very dated.......and too much politics, 30 Mar 2006
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This review is from: Our Favourite Shop (Audio CD)
Coming back to this album after a twenty year gap, I have to say it's not as good as I remembered it and it sounds really dated both musically and lyrically.
Weller's songs on 'Our Favourite Shop' rail against the (then) Tory Government, big business, private landlords, racist comedians....oh, and did I mention the Tory government. This subject matter is delivered in a heavy-handed, preachy style. The general tirade is set, somewhat incongruously, against some ironically sunny musical arrangements; a formula that quickly becomes tiresome.
Brass sections and neat, perky string arrangements abound and the overall effect is rather cloying and incredibly dated. For goodness sake, at one point Weller even breaks off into a rant delivered in fluent French. Pretentious, moi?
On the credit side, there are actually a number of good songs trying desperately to rise to the surface on this album, hence the three-star rating. In fact, creatively there is much good material that never quites realises its potential.
In a non-Thatcher era and with less of an eye on style and affectation, this could and should have been a really good album. The truth is that Weller was more focused and direct with the Jam and went on to produce significantly better albums than this as a solo artist, with releases such a 'Wild Wood', 'Stanley Road' and 2005's 'As is now'.
However, in 2006 only Weller fanatics and over-zealous political actvists of the far left will really get anything out of this album.
Not recommended.
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