Paul Weller hasn't achieved the same level of fame in the U.S. as he has throughout the rest of the world, but still remains a major force in rock 'n' roll. Now a revered elder statesman in Britain, Weller is the musical equivalent of Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg. A rabid student of rock and soul, he transformed a love of 1960s British Invasion and American R&B into highly personal music that pays homage to his influences while transforming them at the same time. A professional since the age of 14, Weller led his outfit, The Jam, to the top of the U.K. charts throughout the late 1970s and early '80s. Weller went on to form The Style Council, a pop act that embraced retro soul, jazz, lounge music, and folk. The act initially found great success (even in the States), but Weller entered the 1990s as a solo act without a record deal and a reputation as yesterday's man. Forging ahead, his first self-titled solo album was a heartfelt affair that embraced 1960s rock and early '70s psychedelic soul to excellent effect. When Weller released Wild Wood in 1993 his career and reputation rebounded, he was re-embraced by the fickle British public and press, and he's only strengthened his position with such fine albums as Stanley Road (1995), Illumination, (2002), and the acoustic career retrospective Days of Speed (which includes updates of Jam and Style Council cuts). Driven, hardworking, and undeniably talented, Paul Weller has released consistently strong and relevant material over the course of four decades. It's hard to think of another artist in pop with a similar track record over an equal span of time.