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Long Hot Summers: The Story Of The Style Council
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Audio CD, 6 November 2020
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- Product Dimensions : 12.6 x 14.1 x 1.3 cm; 110 Grams
- Manufacturer : Polydor Import
- Original Release Date : 2020
- Label : Polydor Import
- ASIN : B08FTZMYV9
- Number of discs : 2
- Best Sellers Rank: 800 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Two CDs. The Style Council was emblematic of it's creator. Paul Weller, smart, fearless, audacious, with a social conscience totally unafraid to push the possibilities of pop. With their generous slew of chart hits, The Style Council were one of the defining pop bands of the 80s. And they didn't need big hair to get there. And now, finally Long Hot Summers - the long-awaited and eagerly anticipated definitive career anthology teaming with all the greatest hits and more is released. Named with a nod to the band's biggest hit, "Long Hot Summers" is endorsed and co-compiled by Paul Weller himself. As well as the huge hit "Long Hot Summer", the album also includes the band's sterling debut top 5 single "Speak Like A Child" as well as other masterpieces such as the languid "You're The Best Thing", "My Ever Changing Moods" and dance floor filler "Shout To The Top". Long Hot Summers includes two unreleased tracks - an intriguing demo of the top 5 single 'My Ever Changing Moods' with strings, and the extended, 5-minute plus version of 'Dropping Bombs On The Whitehouse'. Of course, it also Includes all the band's classic singles -12 top-20 hits -including the debut single "Speak Like A Child" and the utterly sublime "Long Hot Summer". The album also features key album tracks and fans' favorites such as "Headstart For Happiness".
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I always thought that the original albums sounded pretty good and I think that the remastering just adds a bit to the clarity and doesn't have a major impact on the sound - so a job well done.
It's a bit surprising that there is nothing on it from 'Modernism: A New Decade'.
This probably wont convert anybody to the Style Council but does emphasis what a fine band they were and makes me think of resurrecting their albums - there cant be many bands that start off with such excellent offerings as 'Introducing' and 'Cafe Bleu'.
I don't normally mention liner notes, but there is an intelligent appreciation by Martin Freeman, which came as a nice surprise, and good notes by Lois Wilson (journalist and Mojo contributor).
I bought the cd as an Xmas gift for my wife and she's played it through a few times now. Couple of things I do like (which bigger fans may not) is that it's not chronological and it's not just a "greatest hits".
The breadth of styles which TSC cover is astonishing - Isley Bros-style up-tempo soul, jazz instrumentals, electro-funk, gospel-tinged house music, lush ballads, gentle acoustic-folk, politically-charged anthems, orchestral mood music etc - which to some may smack of "genre-hopping" but to me seems adventurous, especially when all the tunes are hummable: nothing seems "forced", it seems like the searching curiousity of an artist trying to expand his art and his creative spirit, without resorting to wilful experimentation. Something like mid-period Beatles, after the dope but before the heroin. That I actually knew far more of the singles than first glance told me I would is a testament to the strength of the melodies.
For the long-time Weller/TSC fan none of this will be a surprise; for a newcomer such as myself this compilation was a revelation.
Highly recommended either way.