“Have You Ever Had It Blue?” (live at Sydney Opera House) by Paul Weller
Happy Weller Wednesday, that special day of the week where we celebrate, listen to and learn about All Things Paul Weller. This week we turn our eyes and ears to a Live Performance from the Sydney Opera House. Paul Weller performing a Song originally by The Style Council, and featured in the Film Absolute Beginners – “Have You Ever Had It Blue?”
“Have You Ever Had It Blue?” was The Style Council’s contribution to Julien Temple’s 1986 musical version of Colin MacInnes’ novel Absolute Beginners (earlier the inspiration for a classic Jam single) was their last truly interesting single, and even it has undeniable echoes of a few songs from the previous year’s Internationalists, particularly “With Everything To Lose” and “All Gone Away.” A horn arrangement by Gil Evans opens the song with an authentically cool jazz nod to the novel’s time period, but the song itself has more of a bossa nova feel, with its subtle Latin percussion and Dee C. Lee’s Astrud Gilberto-like wordless backing vocals. Still, it’s a richly melodic tune and the end of Paul Weller’s continental jazz-pop persona. From here it was the miserable genre-exploitation of the last few Style Council records and a diminishing-returns solo career. (from Stewart Mason at All Music)
“Have You Ever Had It Blue?” by The Style Council
Though Weller tends to disregard Absolute Beginners as a Film, often saying disparaging things about it before performing “Have You Ever Had It Blue?”, its Soundtrack is stellar. The Style Council shares Musical space with David Bowie, Ray Davies, Sade, among others.
Absolute Beginners was released in 1986 and was adapted from Colin MacInnes’ book of the same name. It is about life in late 1950’s London and was directed by Julien Temple. It stars Patsy Kensit, David Bowie, and Sade.
Although the Movie received heavy Media coverage and promotion, it was essentially a box office flop. So, I guess Weller has a point when he talks it down. The Music was what made the Film memorable, especially Bowie’s “Absolute Beginners” Single, and “Have You Ever Had It Blue?” by The Style Council.
Absolute Beginners (1986)
End of Video features “Have You Ever Had It Blue?”
The Song lives on well past the unfortunately low-rated Film. It also seems to have lived past The Style Council itself. Weller still plays it often during Solo shows, breathing new life, and an Acoustic update to the Song, keeping it relevant and quite lovely to hear.
“Have You Ever Had It Blue?” (live, KEXP Radio) by Paul Weller
What do you think of the Song? Do you prefer the Absolute Beginners/Style Council Version or Weller’s Live Acoustic stylings?