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In Concert

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Album Review

The live album Home & Abroad, which the Style Council released at the height of their popularity, was rather boring and lifeless, showing that they could re-create their sophisticated studio sound on-stage, but it never conveyed how exciting the band could be in person. Released almost a decade after they broke up, In Concert actually does a much better job showing what a vital, unpredictable, and energetic live group the Style Council actually were than the earlier release. The tracks are culled from various concerts over a four-year period and highlight key album cuts, singles, B-sides, tunes they never captured in the studio, and classic soul covers. The group often changes the arrangements of songs, adds (or subtracts) instruments from certain numbers, or gets into extended instrumental jams. The Style Council were never thought of as a very exciting band, but this overview of their concerts shows that they were a unifying and crowd-pleasing live act that was much closer in spirit to a 1960s soul review than to other big 1980s pop groups of the time. Rather than being a cash-in project, In Concert is a must-have for Style Council and Paul Weller fans.


Formed: 1983 in London, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s

Guitarist/vocalist Paul Weller broke up the Jam, the most popular British band of the early '80s, at the height of their success in 1982 because he was dissatisfied with their musical direction. Weller wanted to incorporate more elements of soul, R&B, and jazz into his songwriting, which is something he felt his punk-oriented bandmates were incapable of performing. In order to pursue this musical direction, he teamed up in 1983 with keyboardist Mick Talbot, a former member of the mod revival band...
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