Paul Weller – Paul Weller/Wild Wood Review
Unless you had a spare £200, grabbing Paul Weller/Wild Wood on vinyl would be relatively impossible. Until now. John Earls reports…
You’d think that Paul Weller would be at the centre of the vinyl revival. Not only do 7” rarities fit with the Mod ethos, but Weller’s fans have shown their hunger for vinyl whenever the option arises, most recently when The Jam’s Sound Affects gatecrashed the Top 40 album chart after Tesco pressed it on pink vinyl for Father’s Day.
Yet Weller’s solo back catalogue has been surprisingly neglected on vinyl. Early albums have been reissued as deluxe editions, but that was in the mid-00s on CD only, before the vinyl revival began in earnest.
So until now, the only way to get hold of them was the original 90s editions – which means they fetch £80 to £120 each.
With little fanfare, Universal are belatedly fixing that. Similar to 2014’s Classic Album Selection cheap CD box-set that houses Weller’s first five albums with the minimum of packaging, Universal aren’t adding many frills to these overdue reissues.
What’s in the box?
All you get is 180gm vinyl, download code and a reproduction of the original vinyl packaging, plus a poster for Wild Wood and a small booklet for Paul Weller. But that’s really all you need, especially when the alternative costs around £100. And, yes, word is that Weller’s next two similarly rare albums Stanley Road and Heavy Soul are following on vinyl early next year.
Despite their scarcity on vinyl, much of the music will be instantly familiar. If his 1992 eponymous debut saw Weller urgent and angry again, Wild Wood – elegant title track and all – marked the beginning of the elder statesman reputation Weller’s recent innovative albums have done so much to fight against.
The ideal stopgap while Weller gets to work on solo album number 13.