Long Hot Summers: The Story Of The Style Council

The Style Council

Polydor/UMC, 2020

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Style_Council

REVIEW BY: David Bowling

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 12/08/2020

Music by The Style Council has been readily available for the last three decades. The latest entry, Long Hot Summers: The Story Of The Style Council, is a fine representation of the band's career and is an excellent introduction to their work.

The Style Council begins and ends with Peter Weller. Weller is now 62 years old and remains one of the most respected musicians in English history. It is just about impossible for people in the United States to realize his popularity and musical impact in his home country.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Weller's first band, The Jam, was one of the most popular and commercially successful of the English punk rock bands from 1976 to 1982. He formed the Style Council in 1983 with keyboardist Mick Tolbot, formally of Dexy's Midnight Runners.

The Style Council allowed Weller to move beyond the confines of punk music. He explored, jazz, pop, soul, and folk. His vocals took on new textures and the music was smoother. It was the lyrics that retained some of his punk roots. They were socially conscious and had an anger and bite to them. They were also connected to the band's English roots, which may have prevented them from having a larger commercial appeal in the USA; in some ways, the lyrics tie the band to their era.

This release proves what a fine band the Style Council was throughout their career. If you are looking for just the highlights, then this CD is it. Their American hit "My Ever Changing Mood," "Why I Went Missing," "Walls Come Tumbling Down," "Life At The Top People's Heath Farm," "Ghosts Of Dachau," and a bevy of others all exemplify the best of British post punk and mod music.

Thist is a straightforward release with few surprises. An extended "Dropping Bombs On The White House" and a string-laden "My Ever Changing Moods" are the only significant additions. 

Long Hot Summers: The Story Of The Style Council introduces the Style Council to a new generation or two. There may not be a lot of new revelations, but the old ground is covered very well.

Rating: B+

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