Known Johnson

March 22, 2006

Wild Wood

Filed under: Music — Tom @ 3:17 pm

For whatever reason, I found myself with a bug in my brain about Paul Weller (he of the great 70s band, The Jam) this morning. I’d had his recent album Illumination a couple years back but, other than a few songs, it just didn’t grab me. I knew, however, that his older stuff was preferred for newbies such as myself, and I knew there was a recent two-CD/one-DVD Deluxe Edition reissue of the album that most say is his best, Stanley Road. I’m not prepared to drop $30 on that at the moment, but I figured that maybe there’d be a used copy of the original single disc. Of course, when I got to Zia I found only the Deluxe, but did find a used copy of Wild Wood, which just happens to be the other album that comes highly recommended (I’m sure Chris would know best, a big Weller fan, he.)

It turns out it was an excellent choice for two reasons: one, it’s really quite great afterall, and two, I somehow managed to snag a copy that has a bonus disc attached to it – I didn’t even notice when I picked it up that it was in a slim two-disc jewelcase. Inside was a promo disc with three tracks: “Fly on the Wall,” a live version of “Foot of the Mountain,” and something called “Kosmos (bonus beats.)” What this disc is, I have no idea – AllMusic doesn’t list a version with this disc, and I can’t find anything on Amazon like it, either. Of course, I do know that “Fly on the Wall” offers its title to the boxset of Weller rarities that came out last year, which features all three of these songs, but that doesn’t explain this disc, which bears a copyright of 1994, like the album itself. The mystery remains.

Regardless, it fit a very specific mood I was in today – I needed something just like this: rock with a touch of soul, and Weller’s warm, slightly-gritty vocals are really soothing. That Stanley Road Deluxe isn’t looking so ridiculous of a purchase to me now . . .



  1. Congratulations! Wild Wood is probably my favorite PW album, with Stanley Road a close second (I too have been drooling over the special edition of SR, but have yet to purchase it).

    Illumination is a good album, but not a good first purchase. It actually took me a couple of years to warm up to Wild Wood – I bought it in 1994, and its rustic feel threw me for a curve after his more R&B-influenced debut album. But I now consider it his strongest work. I have the edition you speak of, with the bonus disc of Fly On The Wall tracks. I think those were b-sides of whatever singles were released from the album. The Fly On The Wall box set, by the way, is pretty incredible.

    If you want see what the fuss is about concerning his prowess as a live performer, you should check out his live DVDs – “Live at Braehead” and “Two Classic Performances” are both awesome.

    Comment by Chris — March 22, 2006 @ 9:29 pm | Reply

  2. Yay! Weller! Sorry, I just felt compelled to leave a comment, because the word Zia makes me happy, and nobody in Boston gets it. Except Chris, of course…Zia is one of the first places I brought him when we started travelling to AZ together.

    Your daughter’s facial expressions have made my boring front-desk gig much more bearable today. Thanks for that!

    Comment by Liza — March 27, 2006 @ 2:11 pm | Reply

  3. Liza – be sure and hit up Stinkweeds in Tempe next time you guys are out this way. Great little store. And I’m glad Amanda’s around to provide funny faces for everyone! She brightens up my desk at work, too!

    Comment by Tom — March 28, 2006 @ 8:29 pm | Reply

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