Despite his persistent refusal to rest on past laurels, segments of Weller’s career have been repeatedly anthologised. This latest, and grandest, overview (available in both box set and single disc versions) documents the full range of his stylistic and artistic vision. Each stage of Weller’s 30-year career, from the first flush of punchy punk modernism with The Jam, to the glorious, full circle revivalism of last year’s As Is Now, is covered. Overall, it’s a tribute to his artistic tenacity, with perceptive and insightful songwriting the link between respective epochs. In this context, even his Style Council adventures in jazz, muzak and house have merit, a necessary period of experimentation and indulgence before the equally necessary sharpening of resources that came with the solo years.
By Gavin Martin