Paul Weller oozes vintage and has phenomenal taste, as his list of favourite albums of all time confirms. Although Weller began life in The Jam, traditional rock music doesn’t take up a significant part of his record collection which, instead, is vibrant and eclectic.
Interestingly, there isn’t one period in time which prominently dominates his list. Unlike many artists of his age, refreshingly, Weller has retained a strong interest in discovering new music rather than religiously replaying the records from his youth. Additionally, the LPs from that time which meant the most to him growing up are no longer the same — as his picks show.
Somewhat surprisingly, despite Weller’s glowing comments about The Beatles on several occasions, and given that the former Jam frontman previously cited Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band as the first album to affect him, it’s another psychedelic record from that age that he named his first choice.
Weller opted to go for Odyssey and Oracle by The Zombies, which famously features the hit single ‘Time of the Season’. Weller noted to the YouTube channel of the retailer HMV how the record was released “after the band had disbanded” and “didn’t really do anything at the time”, but time has been kind to the album.
“It’s a fantastic album, right. Every track on it,” he said. “‘Time Of The Season’ most people will know anyway but I think every song on this, the melodic element to it, and the vocal arrangement is fantastic with great lyrics.”
Next up, Weller decided to go for a record most people reading this will likely will be unfamiliar with. He chose Arrivals by Declan O’Rourke, which he co-produced, and admits “nepotism” played a part in its inclusion. “Fantastic songs again, great storytelling. Dec’s voice is amazing, and his guitar playing is something else. Definitely worth your hearing,” Weller said.
Meanwhile, Weller’s third inclusion is from Stevie Wonder and his album Innervisions. The Motown release includes the singles ‘Don’t You Worry ’bout a Thing’ and ‘Higher Ground’, but for Weller “every song (on Innervisions) could be a stand-alone track”. Detailing further, he added: “We all know how brilliant he is anyway, but, he’s probably at the height of his powers with this album.”
Penultimately, the former Style Council founder selected Down By The Jetty, the debut album by Dr Feelgood. This record influenced the early years of Weller’s career with The Jam and still resonates with him all these decades later. “They were a band from Canvey Island and part of the pub rock scene which was happening in the mid-70s leading into punk. This was a real blast of fresh air when this record came out,” Weller noted.
Finally, rounding off his selections, Weller chose English singer-songwriter Ed Harcourt and his 2018 release, Beyond The End. “Beautiful, beautiful record,” he exclaimed. “I can only liken it really to modern classical music or impressionistic music. It makes me think of people like (Claude) Debussy or Eric Satie, and that style of music.”
Listen to a playlist of Weller’s selections below.
Paul Weller’s favourite albums:
- The Zombies – Odyssey and Oracle
- Declan O’Rourke – Arrivals
- Stevie Wonder – Innervisions
- Dr Feelgood – Down By The Jetty
- Ed Harcourt – Beyond The End
Stream the playlist, below.