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