Paul Weller Vinyl, CD & tapes by Paul Weller at Norman Records
WELLER. Wow. He's had a long career, so long in fact that it's easy to forget he was in both the Jam and the Style Council. Enough to keep anyone going but he's had a whole lengthy solo career on top of that which have kept fans satisfied despite his refusal to ever reform either of his old bands.
Weller was at a low ebb when he released his debut self titled solo LP in 1992. He'd just recovered from the shambles that was the Style Council's final at the time unreleased album 'Modernism: A New Decade' and was slowly establishing himself as a solo artist playing low key gigs at clubs and was without a record deal for the first time in his career. Still, this gave him the confidence to release 'Wildwood' one of the strongest albums of his career which was subsequently Mercury Music Prize nominated and its bucolic acoustic sound was a hit with fans and critics alike. Probably his biggest solo album was to come with 'Stanley Road' which tapped into the Britpop scene as Weller began to be known as the 'Modfather' due to his influence on younger bands. From then on in although Weller always had a huge cult following, his output became rather laboured and he started to lack the experimentalism and daring of his early work. He'd become a workhorse, churning out serviceable but uninspiring albums.
But never write off Weller. In 2008 he replaced most of his band and came up with the remarkable '22 Dreams' which saw him experimenting with almost every form of music under the sun including tango, psych pop, electronica and everything in between. He followed this up with 'Wake Up the Nation' and 'Sonic Kicks' which both continued this late flowering willing to experiment. He then signed for Parlophone and released 'Saturn's Pattern' (2015) and 'True Meaning' (2018) which dialled back the weirdness somewhat but no doubt kept fans happy. He'll go on forever we reckon.