Paul Weller quit The Jam at the height of its fame in 1982, and he changed direction as markedly as he could by forming The Style Council. He went from fronting a power trio to becoming a member of a jazz-pop quartet. The change was marked, but not that abrupt – the final Jam album (“The Gift”, 1982), some A-sides like “Beat Surrender” and several late-period B-sides (many of which are found on the “Extras” compilation) show us that the sound of The Style Council was a natural destination to arrive at for someone who loved jazz, soul and Motown as much as good old rock & roll.
He made a deliberate attempt to avoid being placed on the epicenter of it all by bringing a keyboard player in, and letting him have an equal creative role. The one he chose, though, made many fans roll their eyes in disbelief – Mick Talbot had been a member of The Merton Parkas, one of the worst Mod-revival bands of the late ‘70s. Talbot was treated as an equal by Weller all the way through, even when it was evident that Paul had not brought a McCartney (or even an Entwistle) along for the ride.
The remaining councilors were to be singer Dee C. Lee (who was to eventually marry Weller) and drummer Steve White. He remains one of Paul’s most loyal collaborators to this day. Incidentally, he is the older brother of Alan, the drummer for Oasis during their glory days. Continue reading