Paul Weller (singer)


Paul Weller (singer)

Infobox musical artist 2
Name = Paul Weller
Dads name = John Weller


Img_capt = Paul Weller in concert
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = John William Weller
Alias = "The Modfather"
Born = birth date and age|1958|05|25|df=y
Died =
Origin = Woking, Surrey, England
Instrument = Guitar
Vocals
Piano
Bass guitar
Cello
Genre = Rock, Mod Revival, Soul
Occupation = Singer-songwriter
Guitarist
Years_active = 1977–present
Label = Polydor , V2, Yep Roc
Associated_acts = The Jam
The Style Council
URL = http://www.paulweller.com
Notable_instruments = Rickenbacker 330
Gibson SG
Epiphone Casino
Fender Paisley Telecaster
Hofner Bass

Paul Weller (born John William Weller 25 May 1958, in Sheerwater, near Woking, Surrey) is an English singer-songwriter.

Weller was the leader and creator behind the formation of two successful bands, The Jam (1976-1982) and The Style Council (1983-1989), before starting a successful solo career in 1990.cite episode |title=Desert Island Discs with Paul Weller |url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/desertislanddiscs_20071216.shtml
series=Desert Island Discs | serieslink=Desert Island Discs |network=BBC |station=Radio 4 |airdate=2007-12-16
] He has remained essentially a national rather than an international star, possibly because much of his songwriting is rooted in British culture. He is also the principal figure of the 1970s Mod revival and is often called the "Modfather" [http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article2347958.ece The modfather returns] .

Early life

Weller was born into a working-class family. His father worked in the building trade as a scaffolder and a bricklayer, and his mother worked as a cleaner. Weller was brought up in Stanley Road, Working in a Victorian council house, which had an outside toilet but neither hot running water nor central heating.

Weller was not academically minded and he disliked the discipline and routine of school; however, he keenly read the lyrics on pop music records and watched "Top of the Pops" on the television. From about 10 years old he was interested in playing in a band, and when he was 12 years old his family gave him a guitar, which he learned to play from a few basic music lessons and by playing along to music. In 1973, at the age of 14 years, Weller performed his first gig, which was at Walton Road Working Man's Club, with his friend Steve Brooks, who helped to form The Jam. They had a regular Wednesday evening slot there and they played cover music to a very small audience. As a teenager, he began to realise that a career in pop music would be ideal when a gig the band played in the lunch hour at his school was successful and popular with girl pupils. The band played in social clubs, working man's clubs and pubs in Surrey and London for about five years, with his father as manager always keen to promote the band and take care of the organisation. They attracted a good following, which was particularly noticeable when they played for three weeks at a pub called the "Red Cow" (now rebuilt and renamed Latymers) in Hammersmith, and increasing numbers of people attended to the extent that queues formed. The Jam were signed by Polydor Records in 1977 for £6,000, at a time when they were short of money, and later in 1977 they performed on "Top of the Pops".

Career

The Jam

Weller first burst onto the national music scene in 1977 with his first band, The Jam, which he had formed four years earlier in Woking with his friends Steve Brookes (lead guitar), Rick Buckler (drums) and Bruce Foxton (rhythm guitar). Weller himself took lead vocal duties and bass guitar. When Brookes left the band, Weller and Foxton swapped guitar roles.

Although The Jam emerged at the same time as punk rock bands such as the Sex Pistols and The Clash, The Jam better fit the mould of the so-called 'new wave' bands who came later. Also, being from just outside of London rather than in it, they were never really part of the tightly-knit punk clique.

Nonetheless, The Clash seemed to take the most notice of the band. Joe Strummer even supposedly had a conversation with Weller and suggested he write songs about things that affected him, as well as songs that involved society and politics. The Clash were also suitably impressed by The Jam to take them along as the support act on their "White Riot" tour of 1977. The Jam went on to be far more successful in the singles charts than The Clash in the UK.

The Jam's single "In the City" took them into the UK Top 40 for the first time in May 1977. Although every subsequent single had a placing within the Top 40, it would not be until the band released "The Eton Rifles" that they broke into the Top 10, hitting the No. 3 spot in November 1979.

From then on their blend of pop melodies and politically conscious lyrics made them hugely popular, and in 1980 they hit number one for the first time with "Going Underground". A popular story has it that hitting the charts at all was in fact an accident for "Going Underground": it was supposed to be a double A side with "Dreams of Children", but a mistake at a French pressing plant meant "Going Underground" was given 'A' status on the labelFact|date=August 2008.

By the early 1980s, The Jam had become one of the biggest bands in Britain. They became the only band other than The Beatles to perform two songs ("Town Called Malice" and "Precious") on one edition of "Top of the Pops" (the feat would later also be equalled by Oasis and Manic Street Preachers). The Jam even had one single, "That's Entertainment", reach No. 21 in the UK singles chart despite not even being released in that country - it got there purely on the strength of the huge number of people buying import sales of the German single release. Weller, however, was eager to explore other musical avenues he felt he could not follow with The Jam. Later Jam songs such as "The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had to Swallow)" - often described by critics as "a Style Council song pretending to be a Jam song" - were written in a more melodic, soulful style.

In 1982, Weller announced that The Jam would disband at the end of the year. Their final single, "Beat Surrender", became their fourth UK chart topper, going straight to No. 1 in its first week, which was still a rare achievement at the time. Their farewell concerts at Wembley Arena were multiple sell-outs. Their final concert took place at the Brighton Centre on 11 December 1982.

The Style Council

At the beginning of 1983, Weller collaborated with keyboard player Mick Talbot to form a new group called The Style Council. Weller brought in Steve White, who was 17 at the time, to play drums. White has been playing with Weller ever since (apart from a two-year break in 1989-1990).

The Style Council played in a wide range of musical styles, from pop and jazz to soul/R&B and the occasional folk-styled ballad. The band was at the vanguard of a jazz/pop revival that would continue with the emergence of bands like Matt Bianco, Sade, and Everything But The Girl, whose members Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt contributed vocals and guitar to a Style Council song, "Paris Match".

One of their early singles "A Solid Bond In Your Heart" was originally written and recorded during The Jam era, this earlier version later turning up on that band's "Extras" compilation. "Walls Come Tumbling Down!" did well in North America, appearing with "The Internationalists" on the Live Aid album and getting airplay on some college radio stations.

Weller appeared on 1984's Band Aid record "Do They Know It's Christmas?" and the Style Council were the second act to appear in the British half of Live Aid at Wembley Stadium in 1985.

In December 1984, Weller put together his own charity ensemble, the Council Collective, to make a record ("Soul Deep") to raise money for striking miners. The record featured the Style Council plus a number of other performers, notably Jimmy Ruffin and Junior Giscombe. In spite of the song's political content, it still picked up BBC Radio 1 airplay and was performed on "Top of the Pops", which led to the incongruous sight of lyrics such as "We can't afford to let the government win/It means death to the trade unions" being mimed amid the show's flashing lights and party atmosphere. Weller also rapped for the first (and, so far, only) time during the song.

The Style Council were marginally more successful in the US than The Jam had been, with "My Ever Changing Moods" providing them with their first of only two singles to ever make the Billboard Hot 100, the other being "You're The Best Thing". In Australia however, they were far more successful than The Jam having a number one in 1984 with "Shout To The Top" and many other top 40 singles.

As the 1980s wore on, the Style Council's popularity in the UK itself began to slide, with none of their singles even reaching the Top 20. The Style Council's death knell was sounded in 1989 when their record company refused to release their fifth and final studio album, "", although this did eventually have a limited vinyl run and appeared on "The Complete Adventures of the Style Council", retrospective CD box set.

olo career

In 1989, Weller disbanded The Style Council and disappeared from the public eye for a couple of years, before returning to prominence as one of the major influences of the mid 1990s (beginning in 1991 as The Paul Weller Movement and later simply as Paul Weller). With his long-term drummer and friend Steve White in tow, Weller successfully joined the 'Britpop' movement that gave rise to such bands as Oasis and Blur. Weller even appeared as a guest guitarist and backing vocalist on Oasis' hit song "Champagne Supernova". During this time Weller's music was also marketed among the emerging Acid Jazz scene. Such tracks include "Here's a New Thing", and "That Spiritual Feeling" (which was recycled from the then-unreleased "Modernism" sessions).

Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher also appeared on Weller's album "Stanley Road", providing guitar and backing vocals on the cover of Dr. John's song "I Walk On Gilded Splinters". Weller was an important influence in the development of Ocean Colour Scene, and members of that band, particularly guitarist Steve Cradock, who has been a regular fixture in Weller's band since the early 1990s, except for 1999-2000 when Ocean Colour Scene had reached their peak and guitar duties went to Matt Deighton of Mother Earth.Weller went back on the road, performing Jam and Style Council covers, under the guise of The Paul Weller Movement, eventually releasing the single "Into Tomorrow" on his own Freedom High record label. His first solo album, the self-titled "Paul Weller", featured photography from Nick Knight. The album was financed partly from the sale of his West End-based recording studio, Solid Bond. The difference between his last work, the house music workout "Modernism - A New Decade" and this solo album four years on were astounding; the self-titled album saw a return to a raw guitar sound, featuring samples and a funk influence, with shades of The Style Council sound. The album also featured a new producer, Brendan Lynch.

Fans and critics hail "Wild Wood" as one of Weller's finest albums. Recorded deep in the English countryside, it had the sound and style of the new "get out of the city" Weller, a man matured and married with childrenFact|date=October 2008.

His own 1995 album "Stanley Road" took him back to the top of the British charts, and went on to become the best-selling album of his career. The album was named after the street in Woking where he had grown up. It marked a return to the more guitar-based style of his earlier days. The album's major single, "The Changingman", was also a big hit,sampling the Electric Light Orchestra single "10538 Overture" and taking Weller to #7 in the UK singles charts. The album also featured a second popular single, the ballad "You Do Something To Me", which was his second consecutive Top 10 single, peaking at #9 in the UK. It also featured the #20 hit "Broken Stones" and a new version of 1994 single "Out Of The Sinking", which made #16. The album also featured "Wings of Speed", inspired by the famous painting "The Lady of Shalott".

"Heavy Soul", the follow up to the million-selling "Stanley Road" saw Weller twist his sound again. The album was more raw than its predecessor; Weller was now frequently playing live in the studio in as few takes as possible. The album reached number 2 in the official UK charts, mainly because a limited edition was deemed to have too many 'freebies' included to be chart-eligible. The issue was that the images featured in the booklet of the main release were separate in the limited version. This would also include a small but often unrecognised use of Gil Scott Heron's "Lady Day & John Coltrane" on the track "science". The first single, "Peacock Suit", which continued in his hard-rock vein, was the most successful released from the album, reaching #5 in the UK Singles Chart.

New Jam and Style Council 'best of' albums took his earlier career back into the charts, including a reissue of "The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had To Swallow") and his own solo 'best of' collection "Modern Classics" was a substantial success in 1998.

In 2000, he released his fifth solo studio album, and seventh solo effort overall, called "Heliocentric" (as well as the "Modern Classics" compilation, there had also been the 1994 live album called "Live Wood"). There were rumours at the time that this would be his final studio effort, but these proved unfounded when he released the No. 1 hit album "Illumination" in September 2002, preceded by yet another top 10 hit single "It's Written In The Stars". Between these two albums he had also released a second successful live album, 2001's "Days Of Speed", which contained live acoustic versions from his world tour of the same name. The LP included some of his best-known songs from his solo career and the back catalogues of his Jam and Style Council days. Weller had again found himself without a record contract and the tour provided him with the opportunity to view his works as one back catalogue.

In 2003, Weller teamed up with electronic rock duo Death in Vegas on a cover of Gene Clark's "So You Say You Lost Your Baby" which featured on the album "Scorpio Rising".

In 2004 Weller released an album of covers entitled "Studio 150". It debuted at No. 2 in the UK charts and included Bob Dylan's, "All Along the Watchtower". The album also contained the singles "The Bottle" originally performed by Gil Scott Heron, "Wishing On A Star" by Rose Royce, "Thinking Of You" by Sister Sledge and "Early Morning Rain" by Gordon Lightfoot. This was a limited edition, coloured vinyl only, double A-sided 7", along with a cover of The Beatles' "Come Together". There was live concert film featuring the material, and accusations followed that perhaps Weller's handlers where trying to "pull a Rod Stewart" on his image.

His 2005 album "As Is Now" featured the singles "From The Floorboards Up", "Come On/Let's Go" and "Here's The Good News". Weller released a double live album titled "Catch-Flame!" on 12 June 2006, with songs from both his solo work and his career with The Jam and The Style Council.

In late 2006, the album "Hit Parade" was released. This collected together all the singles released by the Jam, Style Council and Weller during his solo career. Two versions of this album were released: a single disc with a selection from each stage of his career, and a four disc limited edition, which included every single released and came with a 64- page booklet. However, the album did not include the new "Wild Blue Yonder" single, which was released on the same day. A new album is due to be released in early 2008. Paul Weller's song catalogue is published by BMG Music Publishing.

The double album 22 Dreams was released on 2nd June 2008 with "Echoes Round The Sun" as the lead single.

Paul Weller is touring the UK in 2008 with his new band featuring Steve Cradock on guitar, Andy Lewis on bass, Andy Crofts of The Moons/The On Offs on keys and Steve Pilgrim of The Stands on drums.

His song "Brand New Start" is used in a Versus "Take Back the Tour" commercial promoting its coverage of the 2008 Tour de France.

Personal life

Soon after the formation of The Style Council, Weller and Dee C. Lee, Style Council's backing singer, formed a romantic relationship. The couple married, and have two children. The couple are now divorced. Weller has five children in total: two with Lee, one from a short relationship, and two with his current girlfriend.

Weller has a good relationship with his father and appreciates his practical approach and honest opinions. When Weller's father's health began to fail in 2003–4 he retired from being Weller's manager; nevertheless, Weller still welcomes his opinions.

Paul Weller declined to receive a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list of 2006. [cite web |title=Paul Weller rejected a CBE |publisher=NME |url=http://www.nme.com/news/paul-weller/25851|date = 2007-01-16] Paul i set to release Sea Spray/22 Dreams on 3rd november as well as the weller at the bbc box set

Legacy

* Three of Weller's songs - two Style Council numbers and one song from The Jam - appeared on the soundtrack to the film "Billy Elliot".
* His influence upon the 1990s generation of British guitar bands, coupled with his love of 1960's Mod-era music, had earned him the affectionate nickname "The Modfather".cite web
author = Sara Torello| year = 2007| title = "Paul Weller Plays Final Night of L.A. Residency"
publisher = Spin (magazine)| accessdaymonth = 13 July|accessyear = 2007
url = http://www.spin.com/paulweller/2007/02/070206_paulweller/
] cite web
author = Andre Paine| year = 2007| title = "The Modfather on his latest lifetime award"
publisher = BBC 6 Music| accessdaymonth = 13 July|accessyear = 2007
url = http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/news/20070630_weller.shtml
] In 1995 he collaborated with Noel Gallagher and Paul McCartney to form a one-off 'super group' called The Smokin' Mojo Filters, releasing a charity version of The Beatles' hit "Come Together" in aid of Bosnian children.
* The Style Council came in at No. 97, Weller as a solo artist at No. 21 and The Jam at No. 5 in British national radio station Virgin Radio's poll in December 2002 to find the top 100 British artists of all time. [ [http://www.absoluteradio.co.uk/music/artists/paul_weller/biography/8.html ] ]
* In February 2006, Paul Weller received the Lifetime Achievement award at the BRIT Awards. At the presentation, he played his solo tracks "From The Floorboards Up", "Come On/Let's Go", "The Changingman" and also The Jam's "Town Called Malice".
* With Steve White, Weller also set up a website called [http://www.checkemlads.com/ checkemlads.com] following a chat with a fan Philly Morris who was going through cancer treatment in 2003.
* In 1983, The Jam broke The Beatles' record of seven singles in the Top 100 simultaneously. The Jam placed 14 singles in the same week. This happened when Polydor rushed to re-release their entire back catalogue following the band split.Fact|date=June 2007
* Paul Weller's career features strongly in the arts. In film, The Style Council song Have You Ever Had It Blue featured in the film "Absolute Beginners" starring Patsy Kensit, Eddie O'Connell and David Bowie; The Jam song Town Called Malice is used in the film "Billy Elliot" starring Jamie Bell; The Weller solo song You Do Something to Me appears in "The Truth About Cats & Dogs" starring Uma Thurman as well as having a prominent role in the 2007 BBC Drama "Recovery" staring David Tennant and Sarah Parish. The Paul Weller song Everything Has a Price to Pay is heard in the film "Face" starring Robert Carlyle, Ray Winstone and Phil Davies. On television The Jam song News of the World (Written by The Jam Bass Guitarist Bruce Foxton, not Paul Weller) is the theme tune to "Mock The Week" whilst the Jack Dee comedy "Lead Balloon" includes One Way Road (written by Noel Gallagher, performed by Paul Weller). There are numerous books written about Paul Weller's career and even in the world of fiction the 2004 Lad lit novel "You Are Here" by Steve Horsfall includes a character, Dave Holliman, who is a big Weller fan and there are numerous references to The Jam and Style Council.

Discography

Albums

Studio

*"Paul Weller" - (1992) #8 UK
*"Wild Wood" - (1993) #2 UK
*"Stanley Road" - (1995) #1 UK
*"Heavy Soul" - (1997) #2 UK
*"Heliocentric" - (2000) #2 UK
*"Illumination" - (2002) #1 UK
*"Studio 150" - (2004) #2 UK
*"As Is Now" - (2005) #4 UK
*"22 Dreams" - (2008) #1 UK

Live

*"Live Wood" - (1994) #13 UK
*"Days Of Speed" - (2001) #3 UK
*"Catch-Flame!" - (2006) #17 UK
*"Live At the Royal Albert Hall" - (2008) #140 UK [cite web
title = CHART LOG UK: NEW ENTRIES UPDATE
publisher = zobbel.de
date = 2008-05-31
url = http://www.zobbel.de/cluk/080531cluk.txt
accessdate =2008-06-10
]
*"Weller at the BBC" - (2008)

Compilations

*"Modern Classics - The Greatest Hits" - (1998) #7 UK
*"Fly On The Wall" - (2003) #22 UK
*"Hit Parade" - (2006) #7 UK

Re-issues

*"Stanley Road (10th Anniversary Edition)" - (2005) - #51 UK
*"Wild Wood (Deluxe Edition)" - (2007) - #88 UK

Singles

* [1] Released as The Paul Weller Movement
* [2] Released as Terry Callier & Paul Weller"
* [3] Released as Graham Coxon & Paul Weller"
* [4] Released as Andy Lewis & Paul Weller"
* [5] Released as Gabrielle featuring Paul Weller"

References

*

* [http://www.paulwellerbook.com Wholepoint]

Persondata
NAME= Weller, Paul
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Weller, John William
SHORT DESCRIPTION= English Singer-songwriter, Guitarist
DATE OF BIRTH= 25 May 1958
PLACE OF BIRTH= Woking, Surrey, England
DATE OF DEATH=
PLACE OF DEATH=


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