Weller Wednesday :: “Peacock Suit” :: Paul Weller
It’s that day again, Weller Wednesday, the day we Listen to, Learn about, and Turn Up the Volume to the Quintessential Music of Paul Weller, in all of his many Musical incarnations. This Week’s Weller Wednesday we take a Look, and Listen to, a late 90’s Britpop fueled Track called “Peacock Suit”. We hope you Press Play below, and Enjoy!
Suit optional, but not required.
“Peacock Suit” :: Paul Weller
from the Album, Heavy Soul (1997)
“I’m Narcissus in a puddle,
in shop windows,
“Peacock Suit” is Track 2 on Paul Weller’s 1997 Solo Album, Heavy Soul. The Song also appears on Paul Weller – Modern Classics: The Greatest Hits, as well as the Compilation Albums, That’s What I Call Music! 34 (UK, 1996), 90’s Rock, from Universal Records (2007), Lost & Found: 1990’s Pop, Vol. 2 (2008), as well as on Various Live Music Collections.
Heavy Soul was released in the UK on June 23, 1997, and on August 5, 1997, in the U.S. It was the 4th Solo Album Released by Weller.
The Album received largely favorable reviews, and sold enough to be the # 1 Album the week of its Release in the UK. That said, Heavy Soul was denied its # 1 position due to a technicality – 5 Images within the Album’s Booklet were replaced with postcards of the images in the Special Edition Release, meaning that sales of the Special Edition did not count towards the Album’s Sales, as they were defined as “Free Gifts”.
“Peacock Suit” was Released as a Single, in 1996 (pre-Album), with the B-Side of “Eye of the Storm”.
In the quoted Lyrics above, Weller references Narcissus. Later in the Song he references Nemesis (“Nemesis in a muddle/In a mirror I look/Like a streak of sheet lightnin’/in my rattle skin shoes“).
Paul Weller had this to say about the Song, and the inclusion of Narcissus and Nemesis (interview by Daniel Rachel):
“Yeah, I like all that taking Greek mythology and classic images and putting them in the local high street. I’m not sure the character in the song is meant to be me; maybe it was at the time, I don’t know. It’s kind of conﬁdent ’cause I was a bit of a wanker as well; he’s in love with himself which is probably me, actually, somebody preening themselves in a shop window. Narcissus in a puddle: he’s not looking into a pool or anything classical, just a street puddle.”
The Song has been categorized in the Britpop Genre. I can hear the influences of 90’s Britpop, though one could argue that 90’s Britpop was influenced by Weller himself, and Weller in his past Band incarnations. Like an Sonic Ouroboros, the genre (and Hit Bands within it), and Paul Weller (and his Bands), both influenced each other, and aided (and abedded) in the success of each other. Perhaps that is why so many of the “younger” (at the time) 90’s Britpop Artists work/have worked with Weller.
He will always be the Mod-Father, but perhaps he is also the Britpop Father, as well. Or at least Britpop’s Favorite Uncle, you know, like the Uncle that has all the best Records, and buys you your first Guitar.
“Peacock Suit” (Live, Benicassim 2014) :: Paul Weller
What do you think of “Peacock Suit”? What did you think of the Live Version?
We’d Love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.