Paul Weller, accomplished solo artist and former leader and founder of both The Jam and The Style Council, turns 50 today. Weller, who has been dubbed "the Modfather" because of his being the key figure in the UK mod revivalist movement of the seventies, was born John William Weller on May 25th, 1958. He began making music in his early teens and in fact was still only a teenager when The Jam scored their first UK hit ("In The City") in '77. The Jam, whose mod revivalist sound lay somewhere in between punk and new wave and were huge in Britain but never equally so Stateside, scored eighteen British Top 40 singles (four of them number one pop hits). After The Jam disbanded in 1982, Weller formed Style Council in 1983 and experienced continued major success. In the nineties he went solo, at first calling himself and his backing band the Paul Weller Movement -- later dropping the "Movement" part and just going by his own name.
In celebration of his birthday, below are a selection of videos from the artist's illustrious career that has spanned 30 + years. I've Included a few from from way back in the day with The Jam (how young he looks then!), such as a 1977 live version of their first hit single "In The City," and a TV studio (lip synched) version of "Down In The Tube Station" on UK TV circa 1978, and also "This Is The Modern World" live in concert. There are three songs/two video clips of the Style Council: the video of "Speak Like A Child" off their first album, 1983's Introducing and a live concert excerpt from two years later of them performing 'Internationalist' and 'Walls Come Tumbling" in 1985 to a huge audience at Wembley Stadium and on TV around the world as part of Live Aid. Then there is a video of "From the Floorboards Up" being performed live on Jools Holland's TV show in 2005, as well as a live acoustic guitar/vocal duo with Noel Gallagher doing a great rendition of The Jam's "That's Entertainment." Happy birthday Paul Weller!