Paul Weller - Hit Parade Album Review
Now depending which part of the fence you sit on in terms of passing judgment on the creative merits or not of one Paul Weller, you will either view this 23 song compilation as a must have or just go out and buy one of the many "Best Of."'s that compile either The Jam, The Style Council or his solo stuff.
As it happens, my own personal seat of choice is firmly in the Jam camp, and one thing that stands out about this compilation - particularly where such ingenious pieces of agit-pop such as 'Down In The Tube Station At Midnight' and 'Going Underground' sit side-by-side with more recent labours (literally) of love such as 'Hung Up' and 'From The Floorboards Up' are the stark differences between the, admittedly more youthful Paul Weller of then and the all-grown-up post-millennium version standing before you today.
Granted, no one should stand still either and continually retread the same old ground, but the contrast between the quality of material bases old and new is so vast that sometimes it's hard to believe this is the same bloke behind it all.
Whilst the early stuff on here is faultless - and let's be honest, if you don't already own a copy in some format or other of 'Town Called Malice' or 'Going Underground' there really is no hope left for you - what came next really does epitomise the phrase "change for change's sake" (The Style Council) before evolving into the precise dictionary definition if there were to be one of that genre known as dadrock.
Sure, 'Speak Like A Child' and 'Long Hot Summer' are both pretty and poignant by the same token, while last year's 'Come On/Let's Go' shows that when he wants to, the old man can still write a pretty decent tune that doesn't demand a dosage of Pro-plus to withstand it's listening contents from beginning to end, but the be-all and end-all here is, if you really want to hear the BEST of Paul Weller, buy an album called 'Snap!'. You know it makes sense.