The Modfather Paul Weller lists his 13 favourite album
The incredible influence of Paul Weller, the former leading man of punk outfit The Jam, known to many as the Modfather, and known by all in the industry as a serial trailblazer. The artist has never stood still, never wanted to be held back by genre or other’s definition. With so much influence on modern music attributed to the Modfather we were thrilled to find this list of his own favourite albums.
Compiled by the good folk over at The Quietus, and in particular Mat Colegate, in 2015 the list explores some of Weller’s own influences as well as tipping his hat to some more modern stars. He finds room on the list for everyone from the Kinks and David Bowie to Laura Marling and Noel Gallagher.
The list and the complimenting words from Weller show him off as the legend we all know. Not content to sit and play favourites with British legends, the singer shows off his notorious modesty and keen ear for the moderne.
We loved it so much that we have created a brand new list of all the albums in one handy playlist. Take a listen below, but first, read up on why Paul Weller found this list of alums irresistible.
Hotel Shampoo – Gruff Rhys
“He’s such a talent, that fella. I’m a massive fan of him and the Super Furries. He’s always trying something different. I’ve only ever seen him live a couple of times on his own, but I thought both times were brilliant. He just follows his nose and sees where it takes him.”
Bryter Layter – Nick Drake
“I was torn between this and Five Leaves Left, which is more acoustic. But Bryter Layter just has great pop songs. Great playing as well. It’s a shame that he never caught people’s attention at the time. I think he was disappointed that he didn’t get the acclaim. He’s such a one-off, just the sound of his voice and the tunes are very unique.”
Odessey And Oracle – The Zombies
“In my mind, it conjures up those crisp autumn days. The first time I ever heard this record wasn’t at the time [of release], it was a few years later. They put it out as part of a double album. That was the first time me and my mate [and early Jam member] Steve Brookes heard it. Steve lived near Woking Park and it was autumn time, so I guess that’s always been part of it for me in terms of the sensations that it brings up.”
“I was half tempted to put in all of The Beatles’ albums. It’s really hard for me to pick one because I fucking love all of them. They mean so much to me. I think Revolver, because it pointed the way forward. It’s interesting that ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’, which still sounds like something that’s coming from the future, was the first song that they started work on. They started that in early 1966 or whatever. Pretty far out when you think about it.”
Live – Donny Hathaway
“I love the playing on it. I think it’s Willie Weeks who plays the bass on that record and he does a bass solo, which is never the most interesting thing, but he just plays on one note for ages and it’s great. But it’s all about Donny’s voice and his playing. I don’t know how recognised he is but for me he’s up with the greats. Maybe not as consistent as Stevie Wonder, but in terms of talent, definitely.”
Lonerism – Tame Impala
“He’s a great talent, I think, Kevin Parker. I’ve loved all of his records so far. That whole little scene he’s involved in as well, with Melody’s Echo Chamber and Pond. You can see where his influences are from but it still sounds contemporary to me. It couldn’t be made at any other time.”
Once I Was An Eagle – Laura Marling
“I think it’s her masterpiece. I’ve liked most of her records but this is just fantastic. The first three or four songs are almost like a suite, they just run into each other. It’s got that dark intensity. She’s a real talent.”
“I love all of his stuff from A Love Supreme onwards. I love the whole spiritual nature of those tunes. Love Supreme was his hymn to god and it sounds like it. Whenever I hear that first track it makes me think of opening a window and all this fresh, clean spring air coming in. It’s uplifting, in the tradition of gospel, but abstracted. All of his stuff from that point onwards was a hymn. It’s constantly influential and inspiring.”
I Talk With The Spirits – Roland Kirk
“I love Roland Kirk’s stuff, it’s always got these mad quirky bits in it, a bit like Mingus or like Monk, but very unique to him. It’s a really sweet record, really beautiful, and again it has a link to nature and spirituality. It’s deep but it has a lot of humour. Charming arrangements and melodies and a real lightness of touch. I love all those things where you hear him growl on the flute or shout or let off one of his conches.”
Electric Warrior – T-Rex
“I liked [Marc Bolan] at the time and I bought his records probably up until Electric Warrior. I wasn’t a massive fan, but I was aware of him and I liked his music. Interestingly enough my very first TV appearance was on Marc Bolan’s show, so I actually got to meet him as well. He was very nice but he made me think of one of those old film stars, like Gloria Swanson or something. In his mind, he was still a star, and I guess he always would have been. Faded or whatever, but that’s just the way he was. He was an original mod as well and in John’s Children, which was quite punky in a way. He’s quite underrated. I was checking his guitar playing on Electric Warrior a few months ago and I was like, ‘Fucking hell, he’s really unique’. You know his sound instantly. It’s not anything technical, he’s just got a sound. Certainly I’ve started to appreciate him more in recent times.”
Chasing Yesterday – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
“I could have chosen an Oasis record, but if I’m really honest I think this record and the one before are his best work. I don’t want to piss on anyone’s parade but I think the songs here are fucking great. It’s very clever to be able to write something anthemic. It’s not easy and he just seems to roll them out.”
Face To Face – The Kinks
“For me it could be every Kinks A-side from 1964 to 1969. Just an amazing run of the most fantastic pop songs. Village Green Preservation Society is obviously a great record, but Face To Face has some fabulous songs on it. It’s almost a concept record. I don’t think there’s any lyrical theme to it, but it’s very complete, which a lot of their records weren’t before. What a writer, I can’t say how much influence [Ray Davies] has had on me. The artistry of condensing all those ideas into a little three-minute song is just fantastic. I’m always still knocked out by that.”
Low – David Bowie
“I bought all of Bowie’s records from Hunky Dory onwards, up until Scary Monsters. I thought every record was fantastic, just groundbreaking. Whether or not I liked the music, I still respected the fact it was out there and different.”