In 1995, after Paul Weller had split from his band, he embarked on a solo career that would place him on the battlefield with rising pop-punk bands like Oasis and Blur. But instead of becoming rivals, Weller embraced the up-and-coming bands and even offered to lend a hand, which was especially the case with English rock band Oasis. In the clip below, Weller can be seen lending a hand on the keyboard and background vocals on ‘Talk Tonight’ for Oasis’ debut The White Room appearance.
Weller’s initial announcement to leave his band The Jam came on October 30, 1982, after their UK tour ended. The statement arrived as a shock to not only the world—but to his bandmates Rick Buckler and Bruce Foxton. Buckler shared in a 2012 interview, “It was like we were going to be driving over a cliff at the end of the year, and you keep thinking ‘Well, maybe he’ll change his mind.’”
According to Weller, his reasoning behind leaving the band was a disdain for the idea of continuing to play for as long as they could simply because they were successful. In a 2015 interview with the Daily Mirror, Weller shared: “I wanted to end it to see what else I was capable of, and I’m still sure we stopped at the right time. I’m proud of what we did, but I didn’t want to dilute it or for us to get embarrassing by trying to go on forever,” he said. “We finished at our peak. I think we had achieved all we wanted or needed to, both commercially and artistically.”
Despite the other members’ bitterness, Weller soon found himself thriving as a solo act among the emerging Britpop movement that gave rise to such bands as Oasis, who were on the cusp of superstardom. Oasis and Weller formed a comradeship after their initial introduction that led to many collaborations, most notably the one on April 17, 1995, when Oasis’ appeared on The White Room. During the performance, the band performed ‘Acquiesce,’ ‘It’s Good To Be Free’ and ‘Talk Tonight’ with Weller, a mix of songs between their previous album Definitely Maybe and their upcoming record (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?.
After The White Room appearance, Oasis’ lead guitarist Noel Gallagher went on to lend his skills on the track ‘I Walk on Gilded Splinters’ off Weller’s album Stanley Road. Weller reciprocated the gesture by appearing as a guest guitarist and backing vocalist on Oasis’ hit song ‘Champagne Supernova’. Record producer Owen Morris remembered about Weller on the day of recording, “He [Weller] was a wild man. Totally into what he was doing. He was doing backing vocals in a little vocal booth, freaking out playing air guitar while he was singing. What’s it called? Soul? Passion? he was outrageous.”
Even years after the disbandment of Oasis, Weller still keeps tabs with the Gallagher brothers, despite their ongoing public feud. Noel revealed to Q magazine back in 2015 that he always looks to Weller to keep him updated with the latest trends in music. “I’m really reliant on Paul Weller. I don’t know what he does. He must listen to fucking independent radio all the time because he’s forever on the phone to me all the time saying, ‘Have you got this? Check this out, check this out.’”
Despite the tension of still being friendly with both Gallaghers, when asked about the ongoing feud between the brothers, Weller responded with, “I’ve got better things to think about. I love both of them, anyway… I think they’re both brilliant characters.”
Watch Paul Weller accompany Oasis on ‘Talk Tonight’ back in 1995 below.