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4.5 out of 5 stars
24
4.5 out of 5 stars
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Price:£11.79


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on 6 August 2017
A bit unfashionable, some overly earnest clunky lyrics, a bit too reliant on keyboards, but there were some fantastic tunes on this album, and there was a point to it. We need songs like Internationalists now more than ever.
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on 26 April 2017
Excellent
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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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on 6 June 2017
I have loved and adored the truly wonderful Style Council since the 1980s and in my opinion the Style Council does represent one of the very finest groups of this time.Both Paul Weller and Mick Talbot had such interesting ideas and were so utterly unique and very special. This is with all the other albums very wonderful and most musical in its breath and scope. A well recommended purchase at great value for money.
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on 23 August 2007
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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on 26 May 2007
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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on 13 March 2017
Another true gem from the genius of Paul Weller, along with "Café Bleu" his finest accomplishment in my books. I've always treated "Our Favourite Shop" as a "Revolver" of the 80s - there are so many hooks here, every song is a bit different yet there's a certain coherence that welds all the elements (pop/rap/soul/funk) together. Unfortunately it was too daring for The Jam fans and too melancholic/sophisticated to win the hearts of the American audience.
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on 8 March 2003
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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on 4 April 2011
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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on 15 October 2005
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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