London, Summer of 1985.
As great actor and music connoisseur Martin Freeman was recently talking in Q Magazine about how much the fantastic second Style Council LP Our Favourite Shop, released on 8 June 1985, influenced him – I remembered the days when I bought this fabulous record which is still very special to me.
Those were lucky days then. I bought Our Favourite Shop in the best place to buy it – that means in London, when I was there throughout August for holidays with my amore, the love of my life up to this day. We sat on the banks of the river Thames or somewhere in Hyde Park or Kensington Gardens and listened to Our Favourite Shop on our Walkman, because we had bought it on music cassette, too. The LP with its grand fold-out sleeve, collecting many of The Style Council’s roots, had to wait of course until we were home again.
I also bought in London, I guess, the Italian music journalist Andrea Olcese’s fine Style Council book Internationalists that explored the world of The Style Council and explained Paul Weller’s way of thinking, song writing and making music then and it impressed me a lot.
With Our Favourite Shop and its forerunners Introducing The Style Council and Café Bleu The Style Council opened my musical horizon and broadened my mind; they made my musical taste much more diverse, brighter and deeper, and they also influenced my political thinking. And they bettered my way of clothing, too, which wasn’t a very difficult task to be quite honest. And they inflamed my interest and love for all about Italy and France, especially Paris and Rome.
I listened to Our Favorite Shop again today, like I do quite often, and with all its magnificent spirit and splendid mix of jazz, rhythm and blues, soul, funk, sixties beat and sixties pop and some funky rap, it hasn’t lost any of its appeal. From Homebreakers and Come To Milton Keynes to Internationalists and Boy Who Cried Wolf to Man Of Great Promise, With Everything To Lose and Walls Come Tumbling Down – one marvellous, brilliant song after another. No more than direct hits!