On This Day: Paul Weller (2018)
On this day (25 February) in 2018, Paul Weller took to the stage at the OVO Hydro in support of his 13th studio album A Kind Revolution. We're paying homage to "The Modfather" and his legendary achievements as we take a look through the highlights of his musical career, spanning from the early days of The Jam, and The Style Council, through to his successful solo career.
The Early Years
Weller grew up in a working-class home in the town of Woking in Surrey, England, where he was born on May 25, 1958. Without an environment that offered him any formal training, Weller was nonetheless drawn into music at an early age. Inspired by popular British rock bands like The Beatles, The Who, Small Faces, and Status Quo, he learned to play the guitar young and laid the foundation of the first lineup of The Jam in the early 70s.
The Jam: 1976-1982
The Jam were fully fledged by 1976 and became known for their melodic pop songs, distinct English flavour and Mod image. Their chart hits included a long list of singles, among them "Down in the Tube Station at Midnight," "Strange Towns," and "The Eton Rifles" in 1978 and 1979. In 1980 they were graced with another string of hit singles, including "Going Underground", “That’s Entertainment” and "Start". Weller is frequently cited as one of the major figures of the 1970s and 1980s mod revival.
The Style Council: 1983-1989
After gaining widespread stardom in one of the most prominent punk rock bands of its era – Weller went on to pursue a more diverse and soulful style with The Style Council in 1983. Paul formed the group experimenting with a wide range of music from pop and jazz to Soul/R&B, house and folk-styled ballads. Many of the Style Council's early singles performed well in the charts, and they experienced their first success in North America, when "My Ever Changing Moods" and "You're The Best Thing" entered the US Billboard Hot 100. In Australia they were far more successful than The Jam, reaching the top of the charts in 1984 with "Shout To The Top". The Style Council delighted fans for seven solid years with some of their biggest hits, before Paul announced the group’s split in 1989.
Solo Career: 1990-Present
Weller hit the road as a solo artist in 1991, combining classic soul with hippie progressive rock, establishing himself as a leading British singer/songwriter. His creative rebirth coincided with the rise of Britpop, a movement rife with rockers who considered Weller a formative influence. Paul was the recipient of the 2009 BRIT award for "Best Male Solo Artist", and in 2010, he received the Godlike Genius accolade at the NME Awards, plus the Ivor Novello Lifetime Achievement award in the same year. His 2010 album, Wake Up the Nation, was met with critical acclaim and subsequently nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.
There is no doubt that Paul Weller was instrumental in the mod revival in the 1970s and 1980s, leading to him being fondly known as ‘The Modfather’. His singing and skills as a songwriter have earned him many prestigious awards over his expansive music career, which has resulted in one of the most impressive back catalogues of hits from any British musician. His music has always been deep-rooted in British culture, thus still strongly appeals to a nation of loyal fans and continues to inspire the next generation of musical talent.
We're hoping that the legend himself tours the UK again very soon! We'll definitely be there to see Paul Weller's next live show at the OVO Hydro, will you?
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