Paul Weller is an icon of British music who deservedly earned himself the nickname of The Modfather. Weller, of course, started off with The Jam in which he injected all of his youthful angst into becoming one of the voices of a generation, a period of time before he before radically decided to change things up and move into the world of neo-soul with The Style Council.
The 62-year-old’s career has been the definition of diverse, The Modfather constantly mixing things up as his career has progressed over the years with him never resorting to the safe option and this is reflected within his music taste — which is undoubtedly reflected within his own music taste.
Weller’s love of different genres and pioneering characters is a large reason why he has had the unique career that he has had. The former leader of The Jam could have easily chased financial gain by reuniting the band that began the story for him in the first place, but his heart has never been about going backwards and that true artistry of always looking forward is why he is as revered as he is today.
Weller’s favourite record of all time is one that you can hear as a clear influence in his own work, especially the jazz fused material that is solo albums mix that old school British cool and his love of beat laced with elements of psychedelia.
The album that Weller picked when asked by NME was Odyssey & Oracle by The Zombies, an effort which somehow shares similarities with all three of the eclectic chapters of The Modfather’s career. The 1968 record is the definition of a cult classic and, while it was met by indifference at the time of its release, its brilliance has been solidified in the years that followed its release.
“When it came out in 1968, no-one bought it, and by the time it had come out the band had split. I didn’t hear it until the mid-’70s, but when I did it just blew my head off,” Weller said of the album. :Me and my mate used to sit around in his flat, as teenagers, in the Autumn with leaves on the ground everywhere in Woking park, listening to this, writing songs, making plans. It’s obviously a very English-sounding record, and melancholic. There’s jazz and classical influences in there, as well as the psychedelic touches,” he added.
On another occasion, Weller detailed more about those days as a teenager that the record soundtracked, “That was the first time me and my mate [and early Jam member] Steve Brookes heard it,” he said. “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.”
The memories that are attached to the record provide Weller with a sentimental attachment to The Zombies’ sophomore record but the album has aged beautifully and it’s no surprise that the English band are still playing the album in full today over forty years on since it’s release.
Listen to The Modfather’s take on ‘Time Of The Season’ taken from Odyssey & Oracle, below.