The Style Council were Paul Weller’s answer to Wham!. Think about it. By 1982, he’s tired of what he perceived as The Jam’s straitjacket, ill-equipped to re-fashion his music in a more soulful guise. George Michael, by contrast, offers a fresh twist on blue-eyed funk, capturing the dawn-of-the- 80s zeitgeist perfectly.
This might be designed to antagonise, but then so were The Style Council, Weller’s most adventurous and impish purple patch, a seven-year itch that resulted in some of his most melodic, lyrically-inspired and enduring songs. Jam fans were divided, reuniting in the 90s during Paul’s renaissance as a solo artist.
You won’t find such theories espoused in Mr Cool’s Dream, the latest edition (and, with a foreword from Weller himself, by far the most authoritative) of Munn’s chronicle. “The Complete History” is a brave boast but its exhaustive lists of records, radio sessions, musicians, gigs and a detailed diary will satisfy even the hardened Wellerphile, interspersed with a plethora of primitively-printed but still worthwhile photos. The facts are coloured by quotes, like this from the then-young man from Woking: “My favourite bit outside the music was me and Mickey Talbot shopping in Rome for clothes like two grannies at a jumble sale!”