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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 6 September 2000
At last, Polydor releases a proper Style Council singles collection - almost.
Unlike 'The Singular Adventures...', which included re-worked or remixed versions of early tracks ("You're the best thing", "Money-go-round", "Long hot summer"), all the tracks on 'Greatest Hits' appear in their original mixes - and in chronological order, even - which alone makes this collection worth getting. Even "Come to Milton Keynes" and "The big boss groove", which were left off the earlier collection, are here - though "Soul deep" is still missing, and "Long hot summer 89" was presumably not included in order to avoid redundancy.
At the same time, 'Greatest Hits' and 'The Singular Adventures...' are sort of funhouse mirror opposites of each other:
1. 'Greatest Hits' includes the 12-inch or LP versions of "Shout to the top!", "The lodgers", and "It didn't matter", which appeared on 'The Singular Adventures...' in their 7-inch versions. Similarly, it includes the 7-inch versions of "Long hot summer", "My ever changing moods", and "Have you ever had it blue", which appeared on 'The Singular Adventures...' in their 12-inch versions.
Then there's the weird case of "You're the best thing". On 'The Singular Adventures...', we got a re-worked/remixed version of the 7-inch, with the extra half-verse in the middle repeated. On 'Greatest Hits', what we get is essentially the 7-inch arrangement of the LP version (minus the brief percussion-only intro), with the extra verse completely absent. I don't recall this being on the 12-inch, so its inclusion here is a bit of a mystery.
2. Like 'The Singular Adventures...' and 'Here's Some That Got Away' before it, 'Greatest Hits' sports a 'Cost Of Loving'/'Jerusalem'-era cover photo. Why Polydor insists on using photos and design motifs (especially that orange!) associated with the period widely considered to be the band's nadir on what are otherwise supposed to be "best of" collections is still baffling.
That said, 'Greatest Hits' is still a welcome addition to anyone's Style Council collection, and a vast improvement on the three other compilations released since 'Here's Some That Got Away'. The tracks here don't seem to suffer (or suffer as much) from the over-compression that mars the rest of the Style Council remaster series (you'd think that this would have been addressed in the two years since the release of the box set); and the versions of "Money-go-round", "You're the best thing", "The lodgers", and "Have you ever had it blue" have not been available on CD until now; and the liner notes are probably the best I've seen on a TSC compilation. A few Cappucino Kid sleevenotes would have been nice, though...
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on 21 May 2004
I sometimes feel TSC were often overlooked in the 80's, sadly maybe due to the principal songwriter's changing career from his previous band.
From 1977 - 82, Paul Weller was a serious young man, not really smiling just creating some of the most energetic,influential music of all time, but from 83 - 89 he became less serious, adding humour, soul and fun with TSC, ably co-coordinated by Mick Talbot.
That previous band ceased whilst at their peak and this new career direction evolved into the soulful, political and much more pop venture The Style Council.
Some band's simply run their course before they and their audience grow tired and like the TSC leave us with some wonderful music to reflect on.
83' was a great year for music, the wonderful and charming debut 'Speak Like A Child' soulful and catchy, the political follow up 'Money Go Round' then the summer track of all summer tracks, 'Long Hot Summer' perfect radio music to unwind too then the wonderful 'Solid Bond In Your Heart'.
The lovely 'You're the best thing' came from the diverse and jazzy LP 'Cafe Bleu' and was a summer song for 84' before TSC
peaked at around the 'Our Favourite Shop' period, tracks 'The Lodgers' and the much criticized but in my opinion the comically and charming 'Come to Milton Keynes', which had a wonderful video.
Even the last few years of TSC produced some lovely singles in
'Wanted' , 'How she through it all away' so we are left with a lovely snapshot of the 80's
I suggest alongside purchasing this CD, try the DVD 'The Style Council on film' it just is a nice companion to the collection here and shows how Paul Weller and Mick Talbot let their hair down and just enjoyed themselves.
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on 21 August 2015
Having made the audacious decision to dissolve The Jam in 1982, Paul Weller teamed up with keyboardist Mick Talbot to form The Style Council. This second phase of 'The Modfather's' career saw him exploring a wide variety of musical styles including R&B, Soul and smooth Pop music. The highlights of this hits compilation include the likes of 'Walls Come Tumbling Down', 'Shout To The Top', the classy 'My Ever Changing Moods' and a couple of gorgeous, slow songs in the shape of 'Long Hot Summer' and 'You're The Best Thing'. Although the second half of this 18 track collection rather struggles to maintain the high standards set in the first half of proceedings, this is still an album worth adding to your collection.
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on 20 February 2001
This CD reminds me of Top of the Pops in the eighties ---- Paul Weller in a punt with a lemon coloured jumper tied over his shoulders, singing to camera through a misty filter in flaming June. I love the sound of the Style Council and Paul Weller -- to me it summarises the best of eighties cool. I find this to be Mr.Weller's finest hour ------ freed from the burden (as they admitted) of carrying The Jam, his solo period was a great wave of freshness producing a sound which I have never heard anywhere else. Produced using piano/synthesizer in association with a mellower Paul Weller guitar it has reminiscences of a pre-great war music hall, parodying the London cultural inheritence, so often his subject matter. "Speak like a child", the first track, begins with this swirling, anachronistic electric organ sound and seems to say ; don't judge me on my New Wave creations alone, my heritage goes back further into the Cockney maelstrom which I'm a part of. Weller's socialism was a breath of fresh air amidst the all encompassing growth of Thatcherism, and this music is the respectable face of the eighties left. Just how it is that some people can pull a song and sound out of the air will always be a mystery. A complex character? An over developd conscience? Who can say...... However, the sheer warmth of Paul's character and the long hot summers of the eighties can literally be felt in these tracks. My favourite is "you're the best thing", a unique melody which sounds as fresh now as then, and will always stand as a timeless love song celebrating the intoxicating suffusion of twenrty-something love. I prefer Paul Weller to be in love, with his M&S Cardy on, punting down the River Cam mimicking the middle class people rather than fund raising for a refuge in Kings Cross. For nostalgic reasons as well as artistic ones buy The Style Council's greatest hits, if only to remind you of the long hot summers and Paul's inimitable sweater wear.
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on 23 January 2014
I saw this on amazon as a MP3 at £3.99, and looking through my collection find I had a big hole when it comes to Style Council, so thought lets fill that gap.
This collection is more than a gap filler, it is exceptional, and provides the longer versions of many of the hits.
My son (34!) loves Promised Land, he didn't realise it was the Style Council, and says it is great for the gym!!
Unlike many collections this is truly greatest hits, and if like me you're missing it, add it now!!
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on 6 June 2013
Not a bad selection of Style Council songs but Im struggling to believe the recordings were taken from the masters. The whole cd sounds like a low bit mp3 file even when I pump up the levels on the graphic equalizer. Can anybody enlighten me?
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on 22 June 2016
In search of new old, and different tracks for monthly Ballroom & Latin Dances that I host. Have you ever had it Blue is great for a Samba and at a good speed. The rest of the album reminded me of my youth!
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This is a pretty good "Greatest Hits" collection but would more accurately be called "Almost All the Greatest Hits" as not all of them are here. The band didn't have a vast number of hits, though it did release many decent records that charted. even so, this is the best of the hits albums out there, until someone has the sense to put all the hits on one album.
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on 15 June 2013
This record contains the stand out tracks of the too short lived Paul Weller Style Council "experiment".
Some innovative tunes that have lasted the test of time and sound as fresh today as when released.
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on 26 March 2008
Speaking about this band the other day with workmate, he said "The Style Council...wasn't that when Weller went a bit gay and French?" (I'm only quoting). They don't have the obvious integrity and outsider status of other great '80s bands like Smiths as they were deliberately making slick pop music. The range of influences on their music made them a conundrum to many Jam fans and still inspires love/hate reaction: socialist nouvelle vague 80s casual cockney synthesiser soul. But 25 years later you can clearly hear the progression from the later Jam to earlier TSC: Speak Like a Child, Solid Bond in your Heart, You're the Best Thing, Money Go Round, Shout to the Top, Walls Come Tumbling Down and Come to Milton Keynes for example are every bit as good as Beat Surrender. It's peerless get-up-and-go Saturday morning music.
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