Various Artists – Under The Influence: Paul Weller

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Following those of Morrissey and Ian Brown, Weller’s Under The Influence is more surprising than his detractors might expect. Dead certs like Townshend and Marriott are absent for starters, though not so the irresistible Ray Davies (The Kinks’ grimly satirical “Big Black Smoke”).

Often dismissed as a mod stalwart, if nothing else, this confirms Weller’s eclectic ear for black music, from reggae (Big Youth) and soul (Marvin Gaye) to gospel and jazz (Coltrane and a particularly challenging Mingus jam).

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