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The first song Paul Weller fell in love with

As far as vital English musicians go, it does not get much more treasured than the eminent king of Woking, Paul Weller. He is undoubtedly one of the finest songwriters from this tiny sceptred isle known as Great Britain, and his career has been one of such creative triumphs that he has inspired – and continues to inspire – many contemporary artists. 

Weller acutely understands the need for a musician to continue to progress, and this is by mixing things up. Duly, his career has seen him go from punk hero to master of blue-eyed soul, to a more experimental and cerebral solo musician creating cuts like ‘Wild Wood’. This unwavering desire to never go stale has created a back catalogue that is comprised of many surprising twists and turns, a testament to the genius that is Paul Weller.

Weller is affectionately known by his fans as ‘The Modfather’, a nickname that has origins in the mod revival that his first most important project, The Jam, set in motion. In existence from 1972 to 1983, the Surrey trio rose to become one of the country’s most exciting bands, creating an electrifying racket that set them apart from their other punk peers, with the young Weller saying more than any of his contemporaries could do, with much more of a bite, augmented by the fact that he is a guitar hero. 

His words on anthems such as ‘Going Underground’ and ‘Eton Rifles’ remain timeless, as does the angular twang of his Rickenbacker that dovetailed brilliantly with the busy basslines of Bruce Foxton, one of the era’s most talented yet consistently overlooked rhythmic masters.

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After The Jam split, Weller went on to form The Style Council alongside Mick Talbot, a blue-eyed soul group that produced some of the best-written and headiest pop songs of the era, including ‘Shout to the Top’, ‘Long Hot Summer’, ‘You’re The Best Thing’ and ‘My Ever Changing Moods’.

After The Style Council split in 1989, Weller became a solo artist, and after the release of his eponymous solo album in 1992, he would continue to go from strength to strength, just this time, he was doing it all alone, something that freed him creatively. He has enjoyed a stellar career since, and one that shows no signs of abating. 

Whilst Weller’s artistry is inspired by the works of a whole host of musicians ranging from The Small Faces to Sex Pistols and the likes of John Coltrane, there was one group that had a defining impact on his life by way of being the first group that made him fall in love with music. Unsurprisingly, the band were The Beatles, and the first song he fell in love with was 1964’s ‘She Loves You’. Hearing the track set him on his long journey to becoming the legend we all know and love today.

Weller told the NME: “It isn’t my favourite Beatles song now, but it was when I was five or whatever I was. That was the first time I saw The Beatles on TV: they played the 1963 Royal Command performance thing and they played ‘She Loves You’ on that. That was the first time I fell in love with The Beatles really, so right from that age and it’s never stopped.”

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