long hot summer

Working on the basis that the warm days expected this week in the UK may constitute ‘Summer,’ radio stations across the land are no doubt programming one of The Style Council’s finest moments.

‘Long Hot Summer’ was a big hit nearly 30 years ago in the summer of 1984.

Paul Weller, only a year on from splitting the Jam, was in full experimental mode, trying out all sorts of styles and approaches – and having great fun and commercial success in the process.

His chief partner in what Jam fans regarded (and still do) as the Style Council’s musical crimes was the keyboard player Mick Talbot.

The sharp-eyed will have spotted Mick in the latest line-up of Dexys (‘Follow-Up Albums’ – 18th May 2012).

For the past four decades, he’s been lending his considerable talents as a sideman to successful and not-so-successful bands.

Hearing ‘Long Hot Summer’ again as the temperature climbs into the 70s (I know readers in various parts of the world will be faintly amused by this British concept of ‘heat’), you are aware of Talbot’s contribution to the shimmering sound.

In 2003, I made a two-part documentary about The Style Council for BBC radio.

In particular, I remember Polydor A & R man Dennis Munday being fulsome in his praise for Mick Talbot’s musical contribution to ‘Long Hot Summer.’

If you listen to his keyboard contribution to the song’s arrangement and those vocal harmonies, you understand exactly what Dennis is talking about.

It still sounds perfect – and you can’t say that of every pop track made with the help of synthesisers in 1984.

The video for the song is also hilarious – a quality that isn’t always associated with Paul Weller.

But from my own experience of working with Paul, believe me, the man has a well-developed sense of humour.

The Style Council – Long Hot Summer

Paul Weller website – The Style Council

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