Sunday 22 October 2017

Weller lands Uncut album honour

Paul Weller won the Uncut Music Award for his latest release Wake Up The Nation
Paul Weller won the Uncut Music Award for his latest release Wake Up The Nation

Paul Weller has been acclaimed for releasing the best album of the year, beating acts such as Gorillaz and Arcade Fire.

The 52-year-old chart veteran landed the Uncut Music Award for his latest release Wake Up The Nation, which was widely hailed as a return to form.

His album was chosen by a panel of musicians, broadcasters and music executives for the annual accolade, organised by Uncut magazine.

Weller's album was also shortlisted for the Mercury Prize earlier this year, although he missed out to the xx.

The former Jam and Style Council frontman said he was "pleasantly surprised" to receive the award and insisted the credit lay with producer and co-writer Simon Dine.

"The album came from him, really. He had these very rough backing track ideas, which he sent me. Once I heard them, I got excited too. I could see a whole new sound emerging out of them," Weller said.

The shortlist for the award included Suburbs by Arcade Fire, Butterfly House by The Coral, American Slang by The Gaslight Anthem and Plastic Beach by Gorillaz.

Chaired by Uncut editor Allan Jones, the judging panel included Hayden Thorpe of Wild Beasts, Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes, Radio 2 DJ Bob Harris and Tony Wadsworth, chairman of the BPI. Jones said: "The eventual winner, after an epic discussion, was an album that united both long-term fans among the judges and others of us who had previously been more sceptical."

He added the album was "the sound of a great artist in the form of his life, absolutely aflame with ideas."

Weller, interviewed in the new edition of Uncut, is the first British winner. Tuareg combo Tinariwen won the award last year, and US band Fleet Foxes won the inaugural prize.

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