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The Style Council – Café Bleu &/or My Ever Changing Moods (1984)

February 9, 2016

UK

exemplary artwork by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

Made in the UK Artist #1: Duran Duran

Made in the UK Artist #2: The Charlatans

Made in the UK Artist #3: Elton John

Made in the UK Artist #4: Pet Shop Boys

Made in the UK Artist #5: Jim Dead & The Doubters

Made in the UK Artist #6: The Chemical Brothers

Made in the UK Artist #7: The Style Council

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[Album 448/1001]

When titles are changed for North American audiences, I understand the rationale (less intimidating title = possibly shift more units) but it’s usually a deflating experience for me.

Although I’d like to think I’m supporting an artistic creation, such title modifications take away some of the magic, reminding me that I’m buying a carefully packaged product.

Speaking of magic, the first Harry Potter novel is a fine example of such unfortunate renaming. Sensing “The Philosopher’s Stone” would intimidate potential readers, the much more accessible “Sorcerer’s Stone” was substituted for U.S. audiences. Thankfully, this practice was discontinued on subsequent novels in the series (“Chamber of Secrets” did not become “Big room of Secrets,” “Guy in Wizard Jail” did not replace “Prizoner of Azkaban”).

Harry Potter

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I had a difficult time finding The Style Council album Café Bleu.

I had no trouble however repeatedly seeing a Style Council Album named My Ever Changing Moods, featuring a track Café Bleu.

Upon a wikipedia search, I learned the albums are one and the same. Sort of.

Whereas the Harry Potter novel was essentially the same outside of the odd translation (philosopher – sorcerer, crisp – chip…), this album varied dramatically depending on where, and on what format, it was procured.

style council

style councils

With the 3 versions, tracks were added/removed, closers became openers, alternate versions were included, running orders were shifted around.

Bonus marks if you noticed that track 2 (incidentally my favourite here), The Whole Point of No Return, was the only constant in the track-lists.

I see why Café Bleu was renamed My Ever Changing Moods, clearly there’s nothing more intimidating than an accent aigu!

But in this case, instead of feeling like I was buying a carefully packaged product, the running order games felt more haphazard than calculated.

Considering the indecision on titles/track inclusions, the revised name, My Ever Changing Moods, is apt.

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Once the listener got over this initial confusion, Jam fans may have been similarly perplexed by the actual audio content.

Did anyone see the rap track (A Gospel) coming in 1984?

Weller’s guitar work is unsurprisingly on display but the jazzier ventures may have been somewhat more head-turning at the time.

After really enjoying The Jam’s All Mod Cons and Sound Affects, I was keen to check out this Paul Weller post-Jam effort.

I’m quite pleased it didn’t feel like a watered down version of his previous records, it was a definite change of pace.

This is one of those records that has something for everyone, the diversity of styles was a nice selling feature for me.

However, when anyone can find a track they like, it’s unlikely to be an entirely appealing album to everyone.

Writing something that appeals equally to 7-year olds, 70-year olds, and just about everyone in between can’t be an easy task.

Why, you’d have to be a sorcerer, or a philosophér, to conjure such magic.

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From → 1980s

31 Comments
  1. Thanks for the lesson Geoff! I did not know about the double name.

  2. Zack permalink

    What the hell man? I had to check out the track ‘Dropping Bombs on the White House,’ because of the title. I was expecting something more like The Clash, but angrier.
    I got horns! Horns! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a little bit of jazz occasionally but that just seems deliberately misleading.
    And now the NSA is following me.

  3. jprobichaud permalink

    I’ve got a friend who’s a huge Paul Weller fan and also liked Style Council. I think I threw one of his cassette tapes off my balcony many moons ago because I was so offended by it.

    • I imagine you weren’t alone – many Style Council cassettes were likely tossed from such great heights by Weller fans who’d expected more Jam-ish sounds!

      • jprobichaud permalink

        “Such great heights”, is that a Postal Service reference?

      • It certainly was, I hoped you’d spot it!

    • I applaud you!

      • jprobichaud permalink

        My friend wasn’t too happy at the time.

      • Tough love. It’s still love!

  4. I had this album. I particularly love “Headstart…”. I sing it often 🙂

  5. Paul Weller, ftw!! And Style Council are pretty good. I didn’t know about the changing album titles/covers, but yeah, that happens…

  6. Paul Weller is an icon of British music and I’ve loved all versions of his music, be it The Jam, Style Council or his solo work. I hadn’t appreciated the wholesale changes made for the US market. Does it work the other way with US albums changed for the UK market?!

  7. Who does not love a carefully placed and tasteful accent aigu! Must we repackage everything in order to compel these colonial savages to good form? It is an outrage my good sir—a complete outrage. [side note: I really have to get a job soon—I am starting to crack up :)]

    • I certainly have no objections to all well placed accent aigu!
      Hope the job search goes well Wayne

  8. So, would my copy of Rowling’s Guy In Wizard Jail (in hardcover, first edition) be rare, then? 😉

  9. Pfft. Accent aigu is a pansy. It’s the Accent Circonflexe you need to watch out for…

  10. Great post, Geoff! I need to hear this one.

  11. Also, for people boggled by those differening track lists, maybe wait and see if a deluxe edition (on Japanese import, Mike!) comes out and has all the tracks (and then some) in one place. Problem solved.

  12. Hackskeptic permalink

    I look forward to this Geoff. I’m open to re-evaluate his Style Council work even though at the time I found it hard to forgive him for breaking up The Jam

  13. This is interesting. I wonder whether this was considered when they included it in the 1001. What impact does the order have on the overall listening experience and how it rates as an album …

    Do you think you would have enjoyed Cafe Bleu more than My Ever Changing Moods?

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