|Released 9 May 1985|
Our Favourite Shop (1985) Home and Abroad (1986)
Release date 9 May 1985
Artist The Style Council
Label Geffen Records
|Recorded December 1984 to March 1985|
Genres Pop music, Rock music, New wave, Pop rock
Producers Peter Wilson, Paul Weller (for Solid Bond Productions)
Similar The Style Council albums, Rock music albums
The style council our favourite shop album version
Our Favourite Shop is the second studio album by the English group the Style Council. It was released on 9 May 1985, on Polydor, and was recorded ten months after the band's debut Café Bleu. It features guest vocalists, including Lenny Henry, Tracie Young, and Alison Limerick. The album contained "Come to Milton Keynes", "The Lodgers", "Boy Who Cried Wolf", and "Walls Come Tumbling Down!" which were all released as singles, with corresponding music videos. The three singles that were released in the UK all reached the top 40 on the UK charts.
- The style council our favourite shop album version
- The style council our favourite shop
- Critical reception
- Retrospective review
- Track listing
On release, the album was received favorably by the majority of music critics, although opinions have become more negative in subsequent decades. The Style Council's most commercially successful album, it was an immediate commercial and critical success, and remained at the top of the charts for one week, displacing Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits. The album was the Style Council's first and only number one album in the UK. According to the BPI, the record sold over 100,000 copies, and was certified gold.
The multigenre album incorporates diverse stylistic influences, including soul, rap, jazz and rock styles. Recording was completed in March 1985. The cover, depicting the band posing inside a shop, was designed by Paul Weller and British artist Simon Halfon.
The style council our favourite shop
The album features fourteen original compositions (eight by Paul Weller, four co-written by Weller and Mick Talbot, and one co-written by Weller with Steve White), with one instrumental from Talbot, in its original British form.
Lyrical targets include racism, excessive consumerism, the effects of self-serving governments, the suicide of one of Weller's friends and what the band saw as an exasperating lack of opposition to the status quo. All of this pessimism is countered with an overarching sense of hope and delight that alternatives do actually exist—if only they can be seen. They also took a more overtly political approach than The Jam in their lyrics, with tracks such as "Walls Come Tumbling Down", "The Lodgers", and "Come to Milton Keynes" being deliberate attacks on 'middle England' and Thatcherite principles prevalent in the 1980s. "A Man of Great Promise" was Weller's eulogy to his school friend and early Jam member - Dave Waller - who had died from a heroin overdose in August 1982.
The majority of the album's material was released (with different sequencing and packaged with an entirely different cover design) in the USA as Internationalists by Geffen Records (which has been a sister label to Polydor Records, the band's UK label, since 1998, under Universal Music Group).
Most countries (except for the original UK pressing) omitted the track "The Stand Up Comic's Instructions" as it was believed that its satire of racist attitudes would be misunderstood. The guest vocalist was the black British comedian, Lenny Henry imitating comedians such as Bernard Manning and Jim Davidson. It was included on the UK and CA pressing.
In his consumer guide for The Village Voice, Robert Christgau gave the album a B+ and commented that "One reason Paul Weller's rock and roll never convinced non-Brits was his reedy voice, which he has no trouble bending to the needs of the fussy phonographic cabaret he undertook so quixotically and affectedly after retiring the Jam." and also commented that "I'm sure the move has cost him [his] audience, but the new format suits the specifics of his socialism."
Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic gave the album four and a half out of five stars and wrote that "the Style Council's second proper album, was still quite eclectic, but it didn't seem as schizophrenically diverse as Café Bleu." adding that "the record was more cohesive and stronger than the debut."
All songs written by Paul Weller, except where noted.
- "Homebreakers" (Mick Talbot, Paul Weller)
- "All Gone Away"
- "Come to Milton Keynes"
- "Internationalists" (Talbot, Weller)
- "A Stones Throw Away"
- "The Stand Up Comic's Instructions" *
- "Boy Who Cried Wolf"
- "A Man of Great Promise"
- "Down in the Seine"
- "The Lodgers (or She Was Only a Shopkeeper's Daughter)" (Talbot, Weller)
- "Luck" (Talbot, Weller)
- "With Everything to Lose" (Steve White, Weller)
- "Our Favourite Shop" (Talbot)
- "Walls Come Tumbling Down!" (Weller)
Later CD issues included "Shout to the Top!" ("Vision Quest" Version) as a bonus track.
3Come to Milton Keynes3:02