Never been fussed by The Jam and can't bear solo Weller - is it wrong to think The Style Council were by far his best band?
You're not wrong. You're not alone either. I infinitely prefer The Style Council to The Jam and don't mind that some of their stuff was a bit Shakatak, a bit Spandau Ballet even. Oh, and until you've heard Weller's latest album, I wouldn't dismiss him. It's a far cry from the meat and potatoes, Small Faces/Family influenced bollocks of his early solo career and it's really rather good.
Dominic Sandbrook doesn't understand what the punk movement was about. This is a movement, remember, that included The Stranglers, Siousxie and the Banshees, The Damned, X Ray Spex, The Clash and The Sex Pistols. All of these bands had instantly idenitifiable sounds and although most of these bands didn't achieve the kind of sales figures of Elton John, Abba, Fleetwood Mac and the like, many of the people who grabbed the punk ethos baton did. Some may laugh but bands like Duran Duran, Simple Minds, New Order, The Cure, Depeche Mode and Adam and the Ants were all hugely influenced by Punk. They all shared the same ideology. They all wanted to give the music scene a good shake. They were all railing against convention and lower case conservatism. They were all saying 'fuck you' to the establishment. Unfortunately, the money men moved in and most of these bands were urged to dilute their sounds to achieve massive sales figures. The DIY ethic was replaced by big producers and, in the case of Duran Duran, big budgets for music videos that would get them attention from MTV, which was still in its infancy. The bands learned to play their instruments properly, the music became glossier, sometimes over-produced glossy but most of these bands still retained much of their original ideology, especially in the way they looked and dressed. Much of that ideology has filtered down to the youth of today.