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$8.99

Pop - Released January 1, 1992 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

$11.49

Rock - Released January 1, 1992 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Arriving between the implosion of the Style Council and the commercial comeback of Wild Wood, Paul Weller’s eponymous 1992 debut is sometimes overlooked, but it’s one of his finest records, a smooth, soulful excursion pitched precisely between the sophisticated swing of the Style Council and the rustic rock of Wild Wood. In the wake of the disastrous unreleased house album from Style Council, Weller chose to dig into his roots, relying heavily on Curtis Mayfield records and a dash of Traffic’s jazz lilt, creating a cool groove of an album, one that warmed well to light elements of acid house, whether it’s the extended coda of “Kosmos” or the many remixes of the album’s singles (all collected on Universal’s 2009 double-disc deluxe edition). As pure sound, Paul Weller is seductive -- it’s supple and relaxed, easing into its vamps and rhythms, maintaining its tone through shifts of tempos -- but it sticks because its Weller’s best set of songs in years, anchored by the tight opening rocker “Uh-Huh Oh Yeh,” the soulful lament “I Didn’t Mean to Hurt You,” the insistent pulse of “Bull Rush,” the gorgeous shimmer of “Bitterness Rising,” and the revitalizing rush of “Into Tomorrow.” Every one of these songs bears traces of Weller’s decade-long immersion in soul, but what makes it a leap forward is that no matter how familiar some of this feels -- and there really is no mistaking the lasting impression of Mayfield -- it all plays not as recycled but synthesized, Weller creating something new and true from his inspiration. He would soon underscore the rock and folk elements, quite wonderfully so, on Wild Wood, but everything here laid the groundwork for the third act of Weller’s career and it remains compelling and alluring in its own right. Generous as it may be, the deluxe edition doesn’t exactly deliver a lot of surprises for the hardcore Weller collector, but that’s only because this well has been tapped many times over, with all the stray tracks appearing as bonus discs in various territories, or as part of B-sides collections -- everything except an album-specific expansion, which this 2009 double-disc set is. Weller’s 1992 eponymous debut grows by 25 tracks here, with all the B-sides -- including “Fly on the Wall,” the lengthy jam “That Spiritual Feeling,” and a prescient cover of Traffic’s “Feelin’ Alright” that pointed the way toward Wild Wood -- spread over the two discs, along with a hefty dose of demos, alternate and acoustic versions, and the Lynch Mob beats remix of “Kosmos” that helped bolster his ties to Britain’s underground club scene. Again, none of this material is unreleased, but this may be the best way to hear it all, as it’s presented in historical context, and it’s sequenced in a smooth, entertaining sequence that enhances this already excellent album, turning it into a richer experience. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
$12.99

Rock - Released January 1, 1994 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Sélection du Mercury Prize
Paul Weller deservedly regained his status as the Modfather with his second solo album, Wild Wood. Actually, the album is only tangentially related to mod, since Weller picks up on the classicism of his debut, adding heavy elements of pastoral British folk and Traffic-styled trippiness. Add to that a yearning introspection and a clean production that nevertheless feels a little rustic, even homemade, and the result is his first true masterwork since ending the Jam. The great irony of the record is that many of the songs -- "Has My Fire Really Gone Out?," "Can You Heal Us (Holy Man)" -- question his motivation and, as is apparent in his spirited performances, he reawakened his music by writing these searching songs. Though this isn't as adventurous as the Style Council, it succeeds on its own terms, and winds up being a great testament from an artist entering middle age. And, it helped kick off the trad rock that dominated British music during the '90s. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
$7.49

Pop - Released January 1, 1994 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Weller's career was revitalized with Wild Wood, which sparked an equally successful world tour captured on the energetic Live Wood. The songs remain just as impressive, but what makes the live record worthwhile is the wonderful interplay of the band. They frequently launch into tight jams that never seem bloated, which is the mark of a good live album. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
$7.49

Rock - Released January 1, 1997 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Like Stanley Road before it, Heavy Soul is more about vibe than songs. There are a few sharply written tracks here and there, but what's important is the rootsy, stripped-down atmosphere. Paul Weller's soul and R&B influences reign supreme on Heavy Soul, yet they are filtered through late-'60s psychedelia, blues-rock and prog folk, as he takes songs into extended instrumental jams. The band sounds tight, but Weller has suffered a bit of a songwriting slump, which is evidenced by the handful of keepers that form the core of the album. "Up in Suze's Room" is a hazy, folky gem, the soulful apology "I Should Have Been There to Inspire You" is affecting, and "Peacock Suit" is a fine "Changing Man" rewrite, but too much of Heavy Soul is concerned with texture instead of content. That doesn't make it a difficult listen -- in fact, it's quite entertaining while it's playing -- but there isn't much to explore on repeated plays. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
$12.99

Rock - Released January 1, 1998 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Wrapping up his contractual commitment to Go! Records, Paul Weller delivered Modern Classics: Greatest Hits, his first compilation of solo material, late in 1998. Modern Classics plays it safe, collecting all of his singles and adding a fine new song, "Brand New Start," which may not at first seem live up to its title, but eventually reveals itself to be a weightier ballad variation of the trad rock of Heavy Soul. Regrettably, the album is not sequenced in chronological order, but there was a consistency to Weller's solo work that makes the compilation hold together well. And while it certainly confirms that his solo work is easily his most conservative music to date, it also proves that it wasn't slight -- these singles are uniformly solid, whether it's the driving "Into Tomorrow," the rugged soul-pop of "Uh-Huh Oh-Yeh," the passionate "Sunflower," the ersatz ELO tribute "The Changingman," or ballads like "Broken Stones" and "Mermaids." Like Snap! and The Singular Adventures of the Style Council, Modern Classics is a testament to Weller's strength as a singles artist and a terrifically enjoyable listen in its own right. [The U.K. edition of Modern Classics included a bonus live disc, culled from various shows, which was every bit as good as Live Wood.] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
$13.99

Rock - Released January 10, 2001 | Craft Recordings

$13.99

Rock - Released January 1, 2002 | Craft Recordings

$12.99

Pop - Released July 2, 2002 | Epic

Despite the unplugged boon of the '90s, Paul Weller steadfastly refused to succumb to the acoustic trend until the decade rolled over into the new millennium, and he did a solo tour shortly after the release of his fifth solo album, Heliocentric. This actually turns out to be a blessing in disguise, since Weller sounds relaxed and ready to confront his daunting back catalog, as happy to perform Jam tunes as he is to revisit his solo signatures. This results in a better solo live album than imaginable, since Weller is not only relaxed, he's loose and animated, giving an added dimension not just to his old Jam warhorses but from later Weller favorites. But the best thing about this album is that it sounds intimate and alive, as if he was performing his favorite songs in your living room -- an immediacy that's more apparent in these stripped-down arrangements than they are in full-fledged band versions. This doesn't necessarily result in an album that's packed in revelations for the doubters, but if you've spent any time with Weller's career, from the Jam to his solo albums, this will be a warm reminder of why you've grown with Weller -- and why it was worth it to devote the time. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
$38.49

Rock - Released January 1, 2006 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

$2.49

Rock - Released June 29, 2007 | Parlophone UK

$3.49

Rock - Released June 29, 2007 | Parlophone UK

$27.99

Rock - Released January 1, 2007 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Paul Weller deservedly regained his status as the Modfather with his second solo album, Wild Wood. Actually, the album is only tangentially related to mod, since Weller picks up on the classicism of his debut, adding heavy elements of pastoral British folk and Traffic-styled trippiness. Add to that a yearning introspection and a clean production that nevertheless feels a little rustic, even homemade, and the result is his first true masterwork since ending the Jam. The great irony of the record is that many of the songs -- "Has My Fire Really Gone Out?," "Can You Heal Us (Holy Man)" -- question his motivation and, as is apparent in his spirited performances, he reawakened his music by writing these searching songs. Though this isn't as adventurous as the Style Council, it succeeds on its own terms, and winds up being a great testament from an artist entering middle age. And, it helped kick off the trad rock that dominated British music during the '90s. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
$10.49

Rock - Released January 1, 2004 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

$17.99

Pop - Released January 1, 2009 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Arriving between the implosion of the Style Council and the commercial comeback of Wild Wood, Paul Weller’s eponymous 1992 debut is sometimes overlooked, but it’s one of his finest records, a smooth, soulful excursion pitched precisely between the sophisticated swing of the Style Council and the rustic rock of Wild Wood. In the wake of the disastrous unreleased house album from Style Council, Weller chose to dig into his roots, relying heavily on Curtis Mayfield records and a dash of Traffic’s jazz lilt, creating a cool groove of an album, one that warmed well to light elements of acid house, whether it’s the extended coda of “Kosmos” or the many remixes of the album’s singles (all collected on Universal’s 2009 double-disc deluxe edition). As pure sound, Paul Weller is seductive -- it’s supple and relaxed, easing into its vamps and rhythms, maintaining its tone through shifts of tempos -- but it sticks because its Weller’s best set of songs in years, anchored by the tight opening rocker “Uh-Huh Oh Yeh,” the soulful lament “I Didn’t Mean to Hurt You,” the insistent pulse of “Bull Rush,” the gorgeous shimmer of “Bitterness Rising,” and the revitalizing rush of “Into Tomorrow.” Every one of these songs bears traces of Weller’s decade-long immersion in soul, but what makes it a leap forward is that no matter how familiar some of this feels -- and there really is no mistaking the lasting impression of Mayfield -- it all plays not as recycled but synthesized, Weller creating something new and true from his inspiration. He would soon underscore the rock and folk elements, quite wonderfully so, on Wild Wood, but everything here laid the groundwork for the third act of Weller’s career and it remains compelling and alluring in its own right. Generous as it may be, the deluxe edition doesn’t exactly deliver a lot of surprises for the hardcore Weller collector, but that’s only because this well has been tapped many times over, with all the stray tracks appearing as bonus discs in various territories, or as part of B-sides collections -- everything except an album-specific expansion, which this 2009 double-disc set is. Weller’s 1992 eponymous debut grows by 25 tracks here, with all the B-sides -- including “Fly on the Wall,” the lengthy jam “That Spiritual Feeling,” and a prescient cover of Traffic’s “Feelin’ Alright” that pointed the way toward Wild Wood -- spread over the two discs, along with a hefty dose of demos, alternate and acoustic versions, and the Lynch Mob beats remix of “Kosmos” that helped bolster his ties to Britain’s underground club scene. Again, none of this material is unreleased, but this may be the best way to hear it all, as it’s presented in historical context, and it’s sequenced in a smooth, entertaining sequence that enhances this already excellent album, turning it into a richer experience. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
$12.99

Rock - Released January 1, 2010 | Island Def Jam

$7.49

Rock - Released January 1, 1995 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

In many ways, Stanley Road is Wild Wood, Pt. 2, a continuation of the laid-back, soul-inflected rock that dominated his previous albums. Named after the street where he grew up, Stanley Road could be seen as a return to Paul Weller's roots, yet his roots were in the Who and the Kinks, not in Traffic. (At this point, the sound of the Jam matters little in what this music sounds like.) Weller's music has always had R&B roots -- the major difference with both Wild Wood and Stanley Road is how much he and his band stretch out. Stanley Road in particular features more jamming than any of his previous work. That doesn't mean he has neglected his songwriting -- a handful of Weller classics are scattered throughout the album. Unfortunately, too much of it is spent on drawn-out grooves that are self-conscious about their own authenticity. Still, he has the good sense to revive Dr. John's "I Walk on Gilded Splinters" and invite his disciple Noel Gallagher (Oasis) along to jam. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
$21.49

Rock - Released June 2, 2014 | Virgin EMI

Booklet
$11.49

Rock - Released June 2, 2014 | Virgin EMI

Booklet
$38.49

Rock - Released January 1, 2014 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)