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Modernism: A New Decade (Mlps) (Shm) SHM-CD, Import

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Audio CD (6 Aug. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: SHM-CD, Import
  • Label: Universal Japan
  • ASIN: B001B56ING
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 729,395 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
The final Style Council album, Modernism: A New Decade, was scheduled to be released in 1989. The material reflected Paul Weller's fascination with the garage house scene which had recently filtered to the hipper UK clubs from the States. Weller saw the music (and the cult surrounding it) as being a natural update of the mod aesthetic. Polydor, who were by now wary of The Style Council's slipping sales, cared little for Weller's new "vision" and deemed the submitted album unsuitable for release.
Regardless of ones feelings for electronic, gospel inspired dance music it should be noted that Modernism: A New Decade includes one of the Council's best songs; the planned first single Sure Is Sure (Promised Land was never part of the actual tracklisting).
This rather dear Japanese import CD is a lovely replica of the final albums planned artwork. Those of you who realise there's more to Weller than All Mod Cons will obviously want to own this historical curiosity.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Housy Doingz... 18 Mar. 2005
By winkingtiger - Published on
Format: Audio CD
'Modernism' was the ill-fated final album by the Style Council, rejected by Polydor at the time (1989). It has finally been made available as a Japanese import (hence the high price). Why rejected? Well, this is Paul Weller and Co.'s stab at 'House' music, as it was in '89. The Style Council were always excellent at immersing themselves in any style, and mastering it--be it soul, latin, jazz, pop or lounge. So this album was very authentic 'House' music. It's actually suited to TSC's heavy keyboard sound and D.C. Lee's disco-diva vocals are perfectly used here, but Polydor probably found this album too generic (and maybe too ahead of it's time) to release...thus pretty much killing off the group.

It's true, because of the nature of this kind of music, the musician's personalities are somewhat obscured by the heavy mechanical sound. This album is probably only for die-hard TSC fans (my hand is up), or fans of the early UK 'house' scene (especially as it WILL cost ya). I'd like to point out a few cool guest appearances: James Brown's horn section on 'That Spiritual Feeling' and longtime Weller biographer and Style Council liner note specialist Paolo Hewitt speaking on 'Love Of The World'. His vocals sound like what you'd expect a rock biographer's to sound like!

There are only eight tracks (although their last single 'Promised Land' would have been a great extra)..and they are mislisted on the blurry cover, a reprint of the original limited 12" vinyl pressing. Yet is still possible to discern these words: The Cappucino Kid Is On Holiday Somewhere In The North Of England...;oD.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Change is down to luck 1 Oct. 2006
By T. Norton - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Polydor understandably lost all patience with Mssr. Weller the moment this was heard. After all, the group had been a marketing department's worst nightmare almost from it's very inception, when the prodigal son of England's Punk scene commited the unforgivable sin of broadening his horizons.

In retrospect, the only real sin he commited musically was the growing tendency to try too hard. Considering the unprecedented hatred the group starting receiving the moment it debuted (which makes the Carpenters look like critics darlings in comparison), how could anyone possibly have avoided such a path? Where Poly went wrong was in trying to market the group by conventional standards. What the Council most needed was the sympathetic and pointed leverage of a hard-hitting indie label - the very kind of label that emerged in the early eighties as a direct result of the movement Weller had defined and exemplified with the Jam.

Initially limited to punk and avant garde rock genres, Britain's "Indie" labels had brilliantly utilized low-cost guerilla marketing tactics while adopting and introducing American house music to the British public. Weller's debut solo release would benefit from the street-level approach of Go! Discs. After years in the red, The Council were bound to Polydor with financial and legal "Super Glue", and disbanding would prove to be the only escape.

While "Modernism: A New Decade" was far short of an Earth-shattering development in house music, it was a brilliant example of the kind of beguiling EP the Council had initially utilized to differentiate itself (with early four and five song twelve-inch vinyl such as "Au Paris" in Europe, as well as the US debut "Introducing"). This fabulous low-key, low-expectation approach to releases was a delight to record buyers, sadly vanishing with the CD era.

Oddly, the Council had started to garner some underground interest in the States with the dance vinyl that was sealing their fate in Europe. A whole generation of record buyers (completely unaware that Weller was a traitor to be despised) had heard something interesting in the records. Perhaps it was the fact that Mick Talbot could actually play all those keyboards. Maybe it was the oblivious approach to the programming (not very hip at the time, but infinetely more listenable today than the records that WERE hip at the time). The Council had always shone brightest as a novelty act with just-that-someting-extra. I suspect Paul himself knew he'd never break out of this trap. Both the final UK single "promised land" and it's Japanese counterpart "Sure is Sure" have the kind of undeniable finality that has to be imbued from the very start. The "freedom" theme could not be more obvious, and was continued into Weller's brilliant first solo effort.

To be a Council fan is almost a religion itself, taunting the listener with constant "What If?"s and ultimately boiling down to an inexplicable faith in the recordings themselves, despite the glaring flaws. The Council arguably took the road less travelled and helped to change the way popular groups approach their material as well as their marketing. The bulk of the luck, however, was not to be theirs.

I personally recommend this release and quite enjoy it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Paul Weller's most misunderstood album - a housey parting shot! 19 Aug. 2008
By G. Mitchell - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is easily the most misunderstood album of Paul Weller's entire career. The Jam was punk/pub rock. The Style Council was jazzy/blue-eyed-soul...until MODERNISM, when they veered too uncomfortably toward their take on authentic late 80s garage house for their own good. The label rejected MODERNISM. The fans despised it. But if you listen carefully, you'll hear Mssr. Weller and mate Talbot dabbling in their latest obsession - U.S. underground house music as produced by Marshall Jefferson, Farley Jackmaster Funk, Steve Hurley, and the like. If you peel away the (somewhat dated) dance club sonics, you'll find a solid, soulful, and ultimately uplifting clutch of ace Style Council tunes that feature Paul's impassioned vocals and positive messages. If you love house like me, you'll know that HOUSE IS A FEELING, and it's a feeling that definitely grabbed hold of Weller and never let go. The Cappuccino Kid wishes with all his might he was ROBERT OWENS or JOE SMOOTH, but deep down, the reality was he was a white kid from the UK. But he still tried his to sound 'black' - and it's an effort well worth investigating.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best for Last 24 May 2014
By Paul Field - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Modernism is a great record and to me the stand out track is Sure is Sure. The great man channels Curtis Mayfield to perfection in that song, in the way that we would all like to pay homage to our own particular heroes. I believe Weller saved his best (with the Style Council) for last. I hope the executives at Polydor who decided not to release Modernism all lost their jobs because this is a great record which stands the test of time. I only wish Weller would play one or two of these songs in his concerts - because he should be proud of this music. It is timeless.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing album 21 Mar. 2016
By Argentofan - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Very happy with purchase.
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