The traffic to the blog slows up over the Festive period, and it’s therefore something of an opportunity to take a bit of a breather.

Over a period of 26 days, I’ll be posting a single never previously featured on its own before – it might have sneaked in as part of an ICA or within a piece looking at various tracks – with the idea of an edited cut’n’paste from somewhere (most likely wiki) and then all the songs from either the vinyl or CD.

W is for Wild Wood released by Paul Weller as a single in September 1993.

Again, I won’t take up too much of your time today.

The Jam and The Style Council have featured heavily on the blog over the years, but there’s been next to nothing on the solo career of Paul Weller. The simple explanation is down to the fact that other than Into Tomorrow, the first ever solo single, released under the name of the Paul Weller Movement in 1991, I have just one CD single in the collection:-

mp3: Paul Weller – Wild Wood

I have this as Rachel bought me it.  She had heard it on the radio and was very pleasantly surprised to find out it was the work of Paul Weller, especially as she never had time for any of the work of his two previously successful bands.

I quite like Wild Wood as it’s a pleasant enough acoustic ballad.  I thought it made a bit of a change from the largely lumpen R’n’B stuff of his eponymous debut solo album from the previous year, and it did tempt me into getting Santa to bring me a copy of the Wild Wood album.  I just didn’t take to it, but I did hang onto it for a bit.  The release of Stanley Road in 1995 was the breaking point for me.  I didn’t understand the critical praise that was heaped on it, and I certainly couldn’t get my head around how well it had sold, as I thought it was plain awful, dad-rock with nothing inventive, different or interesting about it.  A colleague who thought Stanley Road was as good as anything they had ever heard in their life was with the recipient of my CD copy of Wild Wood in a secret Santa that next Christmas.  Judging by their reaction, on opening the parcel, I think she was now the proud owner of two Paul Weller albums.

mp3: Paul Weller – Ends Of The Earth

That’s your really dull and boring b-side to the single, which was mostly bought on CD format but was also issued by Go! Discs on limited edition 7″ and 10″ vinyl.  It reached #14 in the singles chart.



  1. It’s the Portishead remix of Wild Wood for me, every time. I had very little interest in Paul Weller’s solo output in the 1990s, apart from this and the excellent Kosmos remixes. I’ve found more of interest in his 21st century stuff but have still pretty much avoided getting full albums. Rightly or wrongly, I also blamed 1990s Weller for inflicting Ocean Colour Scene on us. This may be completely wrong-headed but I find it difficult to separate the music of the two artists during this period for their capacity to bore.

  2. JC and Khayem are bang on the money here. Difficult to see how the rage, intensity and timeless brilliance of the Jam became the soporific, noodling, Jools Holland-friendly, derivative and aimless stuff of solo Weller. Encourages conspiracy theories that the real Weller was kidnapped and replaced by a bland clone.

  3. For all I agree with the post and comments that follow, there’s a case to be made that this single, whilst it didn’t reverse the trend in Weller’s career, at least halted the decline.

    I think one thing everyone will agree on is that it will always be Jam, TSC, solo, in that order … and I’m not just talking chronologically.

  4. I agree with everyone’s comments. But WHY did Weller’s music become more boring over time? I guess that’s a question you could ask a lot of musicians, of every era. Time to start an “I like their early stuff” meme.

  5. I liked the debut solo album, Into Tomorrow (a single already out), Uh Huh Oh Yeah, Kosmos all sounded good to me. As Khayem says, the remixes were great. Looking at the tracklist now some of the songs I don’t remember but it sounded like he’d re- found a reason to write songs. Wild Wood (the song) is lovely. Wild Wood (the album) was one of the few contemporary guitar albums I played repeatedly in 1993, it hit a spot. I agree about Stanley Road, didn’t do much for me at all and it seemed like everyone had jumped on one album too late. Changing Man is good and like Broken Stones but the rest didn’t move me at all. Can’t stand You Do Something To Me. Since then he’s been hit and miss but there’s enough to fill a CD.

  6. I too made it as far as Stanley Road before giving up, for all the above reasons. Saw him live in Amsterdam about that time and Weller’s actual dad came on to play a couple of encores with him. Dad rock, yeah. A friend sent me a Guardian article recently purporting to list Weller’s 30 best songs and I’d never even heard of at least half of them. We all grow old and lose the energies of our youth, but Weller’s ageing has been a dispiriting slump into banality.

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