After Paul Weller parted company with The Jam in 1982 he wasted little time in moving into the deeper soul soundscapes that he wanted to combine with funk and synthpop while keeping an open mind about the incoming trends: deep house, avant garde or fusion jazz and even progressive elements of new wave. In other words, if he'd felt constrained or frustrated on occasion during his earlier stardom his promise to himself was to make great music.
With new partner Mick Talbot (former member of Dexys Midnight Runners and mod outfit The Merton Parkas) he found the perfect foil, a gifted keyboardist with a penchant for Hammond organ and a sunny disposition. Between 1983 and 1989 The Style Council enjoyed enormous success in the UK and Europe and made inroads into the American market.
1985's Our Favourite Shop is considered by Weller to be the culmination of his faith in the new project, since it had taken guts to walk away from his previous incarnation. His decision was vindicated: Our Favourite Shop hit the top slot in June 1985 and gave the world the superb singles, "Shout to the Top!" "The Lodgers" "Boy Who Cried Wolf" and the smash "Walls Come Tumbling Down." Adding strings arranged and orchestrated by John Mealing (one-time member of the Don Rendell-Ian Carr quintet) to the mix, the whole affair attains its ambition and is well worth new discovery today.