The Style Council's Legacy Is Ripe For Fresh Exploration

The Style Council's Legacy Is Ripe For Fresh Exploration

The Magic Gang's Gus Taylor is your guide...

When Paul Weller confirmed that The Jam were to split fans were left distraught.

Arguably the biggest band in the country at the time, the Woking three-piece had powered the Mod Revival, before parting company right at the top.

Swapping the clearly defined, carefully delineated imagery of The Jam for something more nuanced and experimental, The Style Council's wayward journey sparked devotion and opprobrium in equal measure.

Perhaps the most misunderstood and unfairly maligned part of Paul Weller's career, it found the songwriter linking with organiser Mick Talbot and a host of guests across a series of superb albums.

New compilation 'Long Hot Summers: The Story Of The Style Council' is an entrance point for a new generation, bringing together some of their most viral cuts in one place.

Out on October 30th, it comes as the band's legacy enjoys something of a swansong, sparking a book, a documentary, and general re-assessment of their work, and its true meaning.

The Magic Gang are huge fans - just check out the Style Council influence on soul-pop belter 'Think' for example - and have been outspoken in their praise of Weller's 80s output.

The band's Gus Taylor is your guide to their wayward story.

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Thank you for indulging me. This list might read like a greatest hits compilation, but let’s be real, they’re the best tunes from their first three releases (the last two albums have a few good bits but they’re no 'Cafe Bleu').

I love this band, they’re audacious. These are my favourite tunes by The Style Council, hope you enjoy.

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Speak Like A Child

Absolute stomper. I love the intensity of the vocal delivery on this tune. Big fan of the organ work throughout. That bass sound is so in your face.

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Money Go Round (Parts 1&2)

I like this side of The Style Council, it’s teetering towards art-punk. I think they’re a band that manage to slip their political views into their music seamlessly, it’s clever. This tune’s properly hard though, it’s got purpose.

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Long Hot Summer

I reckon if I had to play one Style Council tune to a nonbeliever then it would have to be this one. Everything about it is so tasteful, the sonics, the pop sensibilities in the songwriting, the delivery of the vocals. There aren’t many choruses out there that can match it’s euphoria.

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My Ever Changing Moods

This tune is just so beautiful! Both versions! The weaving chord progressions take you all over the place. Weller is so brilliant at writing those long chord & vocal phrases. They take you on a journey.

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You’re The Best Thing

How do they get away with writing so many tunes over four minutes long? It’s beyond me, but it works for them. Huge key change for the chorus. There aren’t enough key changes in pop music nowadays, feel like we need to address that.

It’s silky smooth this one, a bit sleazy, a bit sweet, it’s 10/10.

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The Paris Match ft Tracey Thorn (Everything But The Girl)

When you think of The Style Council - you think disco, you think soul, you think boogie. But they’ve got this down too, they do the cool jazz thing really well.

This tune’s so wavey. Beautiful chords, beautiful melody. Featuring Tracey Thorn too! What’s not to love?

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Shout To The Top

A dancefloor filler. God this song is just so good. It doesn’t waste a second of your time, every bar is so well thought out, it keeps your ears pricked the whole way through. It feels so good.

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The Magic Gang's new single 'Somebody Like You' is out now.

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