Paul Weller 'Classic Album Selection: Vol. 1' Digital Box Set

Paul Weller 'Classic Album Selection: Vol. 1' Digital Box Set

On September 9, 2014, Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) will release the digital box set Classic Album Selection: Vol. 1 featuring the first five albums from Paul Weller's highly successful solo career as he gathered pace to reach his now iconic and legendary status.

It was a few years after disbanding The Style Council in 1989 before Paul Weller released his first, eponymous, solo album for his new label Go! Disc in 1992. It was a Top 10 album in the U.K. and marked a return to his first love, '60s Soul and R&B. The follow up, Wild Wood, launched him on a run of critical and commercial success: The album went to No. 2 in the U.K. and was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize; its multi platinum, million seller successor, Stanley Road (featuring guest appearances by Steve Winwood and Noel Gallagher), spawned two U.K. Top 10 singles ("The Changing Man," No. 7, and "You Do Something to Me," No. 9), went to No. 1 and he picked up BRIT Award for Best Male Artist (which he won again the following year). 1997's Heavy Soul saw Weller twist his sound again to take him back to the top of the charts (No. 2 in the U.K.) and 2000s Heliocentric (erroneously rumoured to be his last album at the time), which was a much lighter affair, did the same and peaked again at No. 2 in the U.K.

These classic albums represent the first half of the catalog of an exceptional songwriter, guitarist and lyricist. It features some of his most successful albums and showcases his constant drive to progress as an artist, never afraid to take chances and desire to always stay fresh.

The albums are:

  1. Paul Weller (Island) 1992
  2. Wild Wood (Island) 1993
  3. Stanley Road (Island) 1995
  4. Heavy Soul (Island) 1997
  5. Heliocentric (Island) 2000

(track listings below)

About the albums:

Paul Weller (Island) 1992
Having split the Style Council and leaving his record label -Polydor, Paul was at something of a crossroads. Forming the Paul Weller Movement, he began playing live shows again. He released the first solo single -"Into Tomorrow" in 1990, on the small Freedom High label. Its modest (by his standards) Top 40 chart placing secured a deal with new label -Go! Discs, who released the album in 1992. Paul re-established his Soul and R&B roots and influences with the new material, as well as his love of Curtis Mayfield, Steve Winwood, Funkadelic, Blue Note jazz records, and new groups such as Gang Starr and A Tribe Called Quest.

It includes the hit singles "Above The Clouds," "Uh Huh Oh Yeh" and "Into Tomorrow," and reached No. 8 on the U.K. album chart. This eponymous solo debut is one of Weller's most under-rated, charming and important albums in his solo career.

"I still really like the record -we weren't making it for any other reason than to make a record and it re-introduced real music to a lot of people again in the way it was made. We were coming out of the technology of the '80s, with those sterile recording methods, and it became about musicians playing live again and enjoying the experience." Paul Weller -2009

Wild Wood (Island) 1993
Paul Weller re-established his place at music's top table with this life affirming, second solo album - gaining the nickname 'Modfather' reflecting his revered status within the U.K. 'Britpop' movement. There was a feeling of stretching out with more diverse influences -particularly the pastoral British folk/pop of Nick Drake, Traffic, Van Morrison and even Crosby, Stills, Nash & (particularly Neil Young!). The hugely successful album features the classic hit singles "Wild Wood," "Sunflower," "Hung Up," "The Weaver" and "Out Of The Sinking." The result is his first true masterwork since ending The Jam.

"Everything seemed exciting, fresh and new. It was almost like starting over. I wasn't making Wild Wood for anyone else. I was making it for myself. And it was a very positive and creative time. I have very fond memories of it." Paul Weller, 2007

Stanley Road (Island) 1995
Weller's landmark, multi-platinum selling No. 1 album stayed on the chart for 87 weeks and spawned the classic hits "The Changing Man," "You Do Something To Me" and "Broken Stones." It's a timeless record, full of great tunes and very personal lyrics. Stanley Road also includes a stunning rendition of Dr John's "I Walk on Gilded Splinters" featuring Noel Gallagher on guitar. The album also features legendary British musician Steve Winwood on two tracks. The album's famous cover collage was created by the British pop-artist Peter Blake, designer of The Beatles' legendary Sgt Pepper's album artwork. The album's title comes from the street in Woking where Weller grew up.

"Essentially it's all the great things about '92's debut solo album magnified and put through a multi-coloured shaker of mod cool, and then filmed in Woking."
NME May 1995

Heavy Soul (Island) 1997
After Stanley Road came the more 'rootsy', stripped-down style of Heavy Soul. Once again the influence of British 'blues-rock' -Free, Spooky Tooth, Cat Stevens shone through (perhaps no coincidence that the album appeared on Island Records label!). Weller's typical Soul and R&B influences are filtered through 1960s psychedelia, and folk -"Up in Suze's Room" is a hazy gem, and the soulful apology "I Should Have Been There to Inspire You" is deeply affecting. The album included hit singles -"Brushed," "Friday Street," the jaunty 60s-inspired "Mermaids" and the riotous, Jam-like "Peacock Suit."

Heliocentric (Island) 2000
A fascinating and often overlooked album, Weller's 5th solo record includes the beautiful ballad "Frightened," the psychedelic grandeur of "Love-Less," the epic "Dust And Rocks," which was recently re-introduced into his live set, and the magnificently strange "There's No Drinking After You're Dead."

Sadness and regret underpin themes of the album, but there's also humor, affection, and, ultimately, optimism running through it. With a varied and slightly experimental feel in its songs and performances, Heliocentric features the hit singles -the rocker -"He's The Keeper," and the catchy "Sweet Pea, My Sweet Pea."

Track Listings:

Paul Weller (Island) 1992

  1. Uh Huh Oh Yeh
  2. I Didn't Mean To Hurt You
  3. Bull-Rush
  4. Round And Round
  5. Remember How We Started
  6. Above The Clouds
  7. Clues
  8. Into Tomorrow
  9. Amongst Butterflies
  10. The Strange Museum
  11. Bitterness Rising
  12. Kosmos

Wild Wood (Island) 1993

  1. Sunflower
  2. Can You Heal Us (Holy Man)
  3. Wild Wood
  4. Instrumental One (part 1)
  5. All The Pictures On The Wall
  6. Has My Fire Really Gone Out?
  7. Country
  8. Instrumental Two
  9. 5th Season
  10. The Weaver
  11. Instrumental One (part 2)
  12. Foot Of The Mountain
  13. Shadow Of The Sun
  14. Holy Man (reprise)
  15. Moon On Your Pyjamas
  16. Hung Up

Stanley Road (Island) 1995

  1. The Changingman
  2. Porcelain Gods
  3. I Walk On Gilded Splinters
  4. You Do Something to me
  5. Woodcutters Son
  6. Time Passes
  7. Stanley Road
  8. Broken Stones
  9. Out Of The Sinking
  10. Pink On White Walls
  11. Whirlpool's End
  12. Wings Of Speed

Heavy Soul (Island) 1997

  1. Heavy Soul (Pt. 1)
  2. Peacock Suit
  3. Up In Suze's Room
  4. Brushed
  5. Driving Nowhere
  6. I Should Have Been There To Inspire You
  7. Heavy Soul (Pt. 2)
  8. Friday Street
  9. Science
  10. Golden Sands
  11. As You Lean Into The Light
  12. Mermaids

Heliocentric (Island) 2000

  1. He's The Keeper
  2. Frightened
  3. Sweet Pea, My Sweet Pea
  4. A Whale's Tale
  5. Back In The Fire
  6. Dust And Rocks
  7. There's No Drinking, After You're Dead
  8. With Time And Temperance
  9. Picking Up Sticks
  10. Love-Less


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Sept 12th Cincinnati, OH Bogart's
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