Long Hot Summers: The Story Of The Style Council
The Style Council
Review by David Bowling
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 career.
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.
Weller’s first band, The Jam, was one of the most popular and commercially successful of the English punk rock bands 1976-1982. 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 tied to the band’s English roots, which may have prevented them from having a larger commercial appeal in the USA and in some ways ties the band to their era.
This release proves what a fine band the Style Council was through out 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.
It is a straight forward 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 their music to a new generation or two. There may not be a lot of new revelations but the old ground is covered very well.