Written by Steve Malins (best known for being the biographer of Depeche Mode) and published by Virgin Books in 1996, this book chronicles Paul’s entire career until the release of the “Stanley Road” album in 1995. You also have a good overview of his early years, and the ever-present figure of his father (who was to remain Paul’s manager right until he passed away in April, 2009). That was something I really liked about the book – the way the (quite unique) partnerships in music of a father and a son that lasted for more than 30 years can be seen as it was forming, consolidating itself and then when it was tested by commercial apathy only to stand stronger than ever.
The book has 9 chapters which map out Paul’s life and career clearly enough, with the Jam having the most extensive ones as it is only suitable (pardon the pun). The Style Council’s years receive the right amount of pages, too, and the flow is very convincing – how the band lost its edge gradually, and how Paul became isolated in his own (and misguided) artistic sense. The final segment touches upon his tentative steps as a solo artist (“The Paul Weller Movement”) and the subsequent successes of “Wild Wood” and “Stanley Road”. Continue reading