Paul Weller (born John William Weller, 25.5.1958)
Paul Weller is an English singer / songwriter, who first found fame in the punk era, as the singer and guitarist in The Jam.
Childhood: Paul Weller was born in Woking, England in a working class neighbourhood. He was brought up in Stanley Road; the street name was later used for the title of one of Weller's solo albums.
Paul wanted to form a band from the age of around 10 and aged 12, he was given a guitar by his family and he learned to play along with the music that he listened to. At 14, he played his first gig with his friend Steve Brooks at the Walton Road Working Men's Club.
The Jam: The Jam played in the lunch hour at their school and the interest shown by the female pupils made Weller realise that a career in music could be quite a tantalizing prospect! The band, with Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler alongside Brookes and Weller, continued to play around Surrey and London, managed by Weller's father. Their popularity grew; notable when they were booked to play at the Red Cow in Hammersmith, with queues forming around the block to see them play.
In 1977, Polydor Records signed the Jam for £6,000. Later that year, they appeared on Top of the Pops, the show that Paul Weller used to watch avidly as a child. Although they rose to fame at the same time that the punk scene was popularized, The Jam were never a part of the London clique and were more akin to the 'new-wave' style of bands that followed punk bands like The Sex Pistols.
The Clash was one London band that did take notice of The Jam though, and took them on their White Riot tour in 1977. Eventually, the Jam outsold The Clash in terms of UK singles sales and went on to be the more successful of the two bands. The Jam's first venture into the UK Top 40 was 'In The City', released in May 1977. 'Eton Rifles' was the first of their singles to reach the Top 10, reaching number three in 1979. The next year, 'Going Underground' reached number one. This achievement was followed with 'Start!' and 'Town Called Malice.'
In 1982, it was announced that The Jam would be splitting up. 'Beat Surrender', their fourth number one, was their last ever single. Their final concert, at the Brighton Centre, was a sell-out.
The Style Council: Weller formed The Style Council in 1983, with keyboardist Mick Talbot and Steve White, who has continued to play with Weller ever since.
Weller's new band was not as commercially successful as The Jam, yet Paul Weller's public profile continued to grow. Weller appeared on the charity record, Band Aid's 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' (he was filmed miming Bono's part on Top of the Pops, as the U2 singer was unavailable) and The Style Council played at the huge Live Aid event at Wembley in 1985.
The Style Council's popularity in the UK began to decrease throughout the 1980s and in 1989, their record label refused to release their fifth album, Modernism: A New Decade. Later that year, Weller broke up the band.
Solo career: A few years after The Style Council split, Paul Weller returned, with Steve White, firstly as The Paul Weller Movement, then simply as Paul Weller. He became a frontrunner of the 1990's 'Britpop' movement, along with the likes of Blur and Oasis. His first solo album was Paul Weller.
The album's follow-up, Wild Wood, is considered by many to be one of Weller's finest moments and Stanley Road, his third solo outing, became the biggest selling album of his career. 'The Changingman', a single from the album, reached number seven in the UK singles charts. Next up, the Heavy Soul album, reached number two in the album charts and in 2000, Weller released Heliocentric. At the time, there were rumours that this would be his final studio album but two years later, he released the number one album, Illumination. 'It's Written In the Stars', taken from the album, was a top 10 single. In 2004, Weller released Studio 150, a covers album, followed a year later by As Is Now. In 2008, Weller's new album, 22 Dreams will be released.
As well as May Day, Star Wars Day, British Sandwich Week and The FA Cup Final, May also has some very promising new releases to look forward to.
As 'normal life' seems to be a few steps closer, as the first experimental music events take place, and as everyone gears up for a summer of festivals and fun, we take a look ahead at the new releases due out this May. If all goes to plan and the recent warehouse club-night, fronted by Fatboy Slim and The Blessed Madonna, and the sold out 5,000 strong Blossoms gig, both in Liverpool, work as a pilot to enable further events then we should be in for a much brighter summer than last year. The lack of any real 'live' music hasn't meant that we haven't been treated to some musical magic this year. We've already had some wonderful releases from Girl In Red, Justin Bieber, Olivia Rodrigo, Foo Fighters, The Pretty Reckless and a whole host of others, but there are many more on the horizon. Little Simz has an album due out in September, John Grant releases his latest in July, Lana Del Rey drops her second album of the year on Independence Day and Billie Eilish is set to release her second album three weeks later. Ahead of them all though we have some great records due out in May. Here are our top 5.
Gary Numan - Intruder.
In a week that had seen unprecedented rainfall, numerous flood warnings, evacuations, road closures, sink holes and even advice not to travel, "unless absolutely necessary", the prospect of spending three consecutive nights in a forest field began to lose its appeal by Thursday. As beautiful and idyllic as it maybe, Bedgebury Pinetum in torrential rain is not somewhere you'd necessarily choose unless you were a wading bird.
Watching the weather all week made for a somewhat more anxious wait than expected but low and behold, come Friday, cometh the sunshine. The timing couldn't have been better. The sun began to shine, the ground began to dry out and the excitement of seeing some fantastic live acts in such wonderful surroundings was once again very tangible.
Forest Live didn't organise the weather, but, as with every year since the inception of these country wide events, they did do a damn fine job of selecting the artists for this year's performances. On Friday night Kiev flew in from California to treat us to a selection of songs they described as either Rock songs, "weird long ones" or "picnic music". Yak were the Kiev and Foals sandwich filler which possibly doesn't sound that appetising but they were very good indeed. The noisy trio played a brilliant, succinct set that barely took a breathe. Oliver's driven guitar riffs, and in particular, Elliott's relentless machine gun percussion were spellbinding. There was a brief moment paid in respect of the recently deceased Dr John, a great version of last years final single, 'Fried', and an impassioned 'Blinded By The Lies' as the sun shone in the early evening.
Continue reading: Forest Live 2019 Live Review
Forest Live at Bedgebury Pinetum, Kent is on between 14th and 16th June.
Forestry England's now well established series of Forest Live concerts look set to be some of the best yet this summer. With weekend dates across June and July in seven of the country's most outstanding areas of natural beauty, a septet of the UK's biggest headline acts take to the stage in some of the most picturesque venues in England.
Forest Live / Photo Credit: Fraser Allen
Having entertained 1.75 million people over the last eighteen years, Forestry Live goes from strength to strength as it continues to build on a winning formula of pairing great acts with iconic settings in an informal, family-friendly environment. The opening weekends of this year's concert series start within a day of each other at both The National Arboretum in Gloucestershire and Bedgebury Pinetum in Kent.
Continue reading: Forest Live 2019 Preview
Seven British bands who couldn't grasp the Holy Grail of the American market.
The histories of American and British pop music is inextricably linked. Often, the same bands that enjoy success in the States also hit the charts in Old Blighty, and vice versa. Think The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, or Nirvana headlining Reading ’92 – common language and similar culture make the transition easy for many.
However, there are notable exceptions on this front – artists who, however massive they make it in Britain, for whatever reason can’t crack America. Here, we look at seven of the biggest British bands who just couldn’t make it out there.
Continue reading: Seven British Bands That Couldn't Crack America
Featuring a stellar cast of guest musicians, 'True Meanings' will be released on September 14th.
The indefatigable Paul Weller has announced details of a brand new studio album, titled True Meanings, which will be released on September 14th via Parlophone Records.
Not content with resting on his laurels despite releasing two albums in 2017 alone – his last studio album proper A Kind Revolution and the soundtrack album Jawbone – the former frontman of The Jam and The Style Council is to release a new set of songs in a couple of months’ time, promising a “dreamy, peaceful, pastoral set of songs to get lost in”.
True Meanings will include the single ‘Aspects’, which was released back in May this year, and will reportedly feature the greatest number of guest musicians than any previous record of his.
Continue reading: Paul Weller Announces 14th Solo Album 'True Meanings'
Surprisingly Jawbone represents Paul Weller's first fully-fledged attempt at a film score. The Modfather has of course, donated the occasional composition to previous soundtracks, but he's never tried his hand at creating a soundscape to accompany a cinematic venture. Jawbone stands apart from his discography as a wonderful oddity, one that in its best moments sounds like Vangelis being remixed through Brian Eno's laptop. It's that unexpected and bold approach that really shows how committed Weller is to this project.
The main suite of music that Weller has composed, perhaps constructed is a more apt term, sits proudly at the start of the album. 'Jimmy/Blackout' is a real achievement, because with minimal fuss Weller manages to keep your attention for more than twenty minutes. He creates an atmospheric journey through a world constructed primarily of woodwind instruments and electronic samples and loops. It slowly shifts and morphs through different moods and conveys a life of regret and sorrow punctuated with occasional joy and trauma. This is a revelation to any Weller fan, it's like those little sonic experiments he hinted at on 22 Dreams have now bloomed into a full grown opus. It's four minutes until you even hear a hint of a guitar, over ten before you get a guitarist and drummer working in tandem, and nearly twenty until you get a Weller vocal performance which acts as a coda for the track. The experience is engrossing and while the crooning vocal dripping in reverb seems a little jarring at first, it does provide a suitable crescendo for the track. Without the vocal the composition could otherwise have slipped into a meandering musical cul-de-sac.
The album has such a promising start that the rest of the record stands cowering in the shadow of 'Jimmy/Blackout'. Occupying around sixteen minutes the remaining six tracks feel a little more traditional and subservient to the format of a soundtrack. Weller presents two acoustic ballads that could sit comfortably on any of his other albums, while everything else remains instrumental and brooding. These pieces of Weller's score are successful, but feel like unfinished thoughts in comparison to the epic sweep of the first half of the album. Perhaps placing this material around the suite would have made the record feel more balanced, rather than the latter stages having a whiff of afterthought.
Continue reading: Paul Weller - Jawbone OST Album Review
The musician worked with screenwriter Johnny Harris on the new movie.
He may have a brand new album on the way, but Paul Weller also has another very special project set to be unveiled in the coming weeks. Boxing drama 'Jawbone' marks Paul Weller's very first venture into film scoring, and features the sensational new track 'The Ballad Of Jimmy McCabe'.
Paul Weller does the soundtrack for 'Jawbone'
In his film soundtrack debut, the Modfather teamed up with long-time fan Johnny Harris ('Fortitude', 'This Is England', 'Whitechapel'), who wrote and stars in the film and approached Paul in the early stages of the production to appeal to his genius and invite him to work with him.
Continue reading: Boxing Flick 'Jawbone' Marks Paul Weller's First Soundtrack Album
This week, The Killers frontman dominated the chart all on his own.
After taking over London in a series of gigs this week, Brandon Flowers has also conquered the UK Charts. His second solo album, The Desired Effect, now sits pretty at the top of the album chart. It was a close race between Flowers and fellow indie frontman Paul Weller, but eventually Flowers’ album finished 5,000 combined chart sales ahead of the rock veteran.
Flowers and his shiny jacket took over the UK charts this week.
Flowers played one date in Dublin and two at London’s O2 Academy in the past week. In the next few days, the tour will hit Edinburgh, Leeds and Birmingham.
Continue reading: This Week's Album Charts: Brandon Flowers, Paul Weller, Sam Smith
But there’s no stopping OMI’s ‘Cheerleader’ in the single’s chart.
The Killers’ frontman Brandon Flowers has scored his second UK number one solo album after The Desired Effect went straight to the top of the charts this weekend. Flowers’ previous solo offering, Flamingo, took the top spot in 2010, while The Killers’ have scored four number one albums in their career so far.
Flowers has topped the UK album chart for the second time.
Flowers outsold his closet rival Paul Weller by just 5,000 sales with the Jam frontman’s Saturn’s Pattern entering in the number two spot. In the number three position was last weeks chart topper Mumford & Sons with Wilder Mind, which slipped two places, while Taylor Swift’s 1989 enjoyed its 30th week in the top 100 at the number four spot.
Continue reading: Brandon Flowers Tops UK Albums Chart With 'The Desired Effect'
Paul Weller has won damages from Mail Online.
Singer-songwriter Paul Walker has won £10,000 in damages from Mail Online after complaining that the website "plastered" pictures of his children in a story in October 2012. The High Court in London ordered Associated Newspapers to pay the amount in relation to its story that bore the headline: A family day out: Paul Weller takes wife Hannah and his twin sons out for a spot of shopping in the hot LA sun.
Paul Weller Performing in Holland
Weller and his wife Hannah descried the photos as "plainly voyeuristic". The couple sued the Daily Mail's publishers for misuse of private information on behalf of their daughter Dylan, who was 16 at the time, and twin sons John-Paul and Bowie - who were 10 months.
Continue reading: Mail Online Pay Paul Weller £10,000 Over Paparazzi Photographs
Date of birth
25th May, 1958