I read this thread while I was walking back home, and I started to build a list of people in my mind...10...15...20 I really thought "I'm gonna literally blow JP's head out of his arse with my reply" By the time I've come home and sat in front of the laptop, I realised that perhaps you're right.
All the other legends I thought of were great, then they started to suck at some point, or died too soon, or got trapped in their own little shtick, became irrelevant, obnoxious or nonces. I couldn't come up with anybody who's been as good, as cool and as British for as long as Weller. So perhaps yes, it is Paul Weller...
I mean, the only counter-argument people might bring up is Paul McCartney, whom I don't like in the slightest but I get it, he's the big one, he managed to stay consistent and relevant through the generations and when he releases an album now, people of all ages still notice. I would never pick McCartney, but I wouldn't freak out if people do. Weller would be Top-10 for his time in The Jam alone, without question. Then add more than 35 years of consistently high quality material ranging from sophisticated jazz-pop to northern soul and yeah, you have a point...
Oh he's a challenger based on The Kinks golden period for sure. The Kinks got shit though and Davies solo stuff has hardly set the world alight. Weller has probably released about 100 great songs since Davies last did.
Gotta be Bowie for me. Yeah he had shit spells but I don't think that can be used to dismiss him. Sure, Weller might be the most consistent over the years but you haven't called this thread who is the most consistent British songwriter of all time. I don't think consistency necessarily equates to greatness. Bowie's high points blow Weller away.
Just my opinion of course. I'm just glad we're getting new threads in the Music section were people are discussing and being passionate about what they love.
Ray Davies was the first one I thought of, but how can you be the best if you haven't written a good tune in 45 years?!
My "actual" picks would have been either Michael Head of The Pale Fountains / Shack or John Cale of you know who
I don't think Mick Head has ever made a bad album...and the latest stuff is just as good as the early stuff. But he's made like, 9 albums in 40 years. That's not enough. He's never really been relevant on a national level, bar one time he was put on the cover of the NME in 1996.
Cale on the other hand was a musician and music composer in two of the greatest albums ever, and has had a long and beautiful solo career, but he's still the quintessential niche musician.
JP DO YOU MEAN GREAT BRITAIN OR THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN & NORTHERN IRELAND?!
Because if you mean THE UK then Van Morrison is another potential candidate.
His stuff with Them is ridiculously spectacular. Some of his solo albums are legendary. He has achieved legendary status not only in the UK and Europe, but also in the US...basically beating Americans at their own game. I mean, Macca was never invited to the Last Waltz, was he?!
He keeps making new albums that are well received and are still relevant amongst people of his generation (but not ours). And he must be a true son of a bitch.
I think there'll be only a small amount of music made in the last century that will survive the ages and will still be played in the year 3000, 4000 etc. Louie Louie, Johnny B. Goode...that kind of songs. Van Morrison has written about 3 of them.