Paul Weller has followed an eventful career path. As the leader and songwriter of The Jam he enjoyed almost universal praise and love, writing some of the finest songs to emerge from the UK in the late 70s and early 80s. Then, with the soul, jazz and dance-influenced The Style Council, his musical dilettantism butted up against the perceptions of critics and the general public. At a low ebb in the early 90s, without a recording contract and struggling for inspiration, he reinvented himself as a solo artist and began to draw on his early influences (The Who, The Small Faces). More importantly, he also found himself falling in love with the kind of music he would have spat on in his Jam days (acid rock, folk rock). After an overlooked 1992 album, he returned triumphantly with the mellow, melodic Wild Wood. This album and the follow-up Stanley Road were commercial and critical triumphs, helped by the fact that Weller was championed as a major influence by the new generation of Britpop artists. Unlike many of his peers he has remained a viable commercial and creative artist well into the new millennium, with his highly ambitious album 22 Dreams reaching the top of the UK charts in 2008. The boy dun' good.
Followers: The Enemy, Noel Gallagher, Arctic Monkeys, Hard-Fi
Influenced By: The Beatles, The Who, The Small Faces, The Kinks, Traffic...