Posts Tagged ‘Bruce Foxton’

Album artwork for Wake Up The Nation

Paul Weller’s incendiary Mercury Music nominated album “Wake Up The Nation” 2020 remastered edition is out now. Remastered by Jan ‘Stan’ Kybert and Paul himself, “Wake Up The Nation” includes the hit singles – No Tears to Cry, Wake Up the Nation, Find the Torch Burn the Plans, & Fast Car/Slow Traffic. Featuring re-styled cover artwork and packaging (with colour poster ), this version of “Wake Up The Nation” is available on CD and digitally now. The vinyl version is coming early 2021. 

Buzzing with guitars and gurgling effects, and built upon a succession songs that barely crest the two-minute mark, Wake Up the Nation doesn’t share much with the follow up “22 Dreams”, apart from that sense of adventure with Weller cramming a suite’s worth of twists into a song. As packed as these tunes are, they’re drawn with crisp lines; for as busy as these are, nothing feels cluttered, they’re all teeming with life. Many of the left turns arrive via the arrangements — witness how everything careens out of control after the chorus of “Grasp & Still Connect,” the elastic psychedelia of “Andromeda,” the updated New Orleans shuffle of “Trees’ — or the unexpected collaborations, whether it’s the tightly wound reunion with the Jam’s Bruce Foxton on “Fast Car/Slow Traffic” or bringing in My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields to craft the dense dangerous heartbeat of “7&3 Is the Strikers Name,” but this isn’t window-dressing: the entire effect is 22 Dreams in reverse, contracting where its predecessor expanded, substituting introspection for action, swapping contemplation for excitement. Wake Up the Nation pulsates with an energy considerably different than the stomping rock & roll of As Is Now.

That was all musical muscle, but this is music of the mind that remains fiercely visceral, music that feels of a piece of Weller’s entire body of work, but is quite unique in its execution and impact.

“I was never happy with the mix on Wake Up the Nation, so when someone pointed out that it had been 10 years since it’s been out I thought it was a good opportunity to try a re-mix on it. I liked the chaos and intensity of the original but I could hear how much you couldn’t hear in it. I think the new mix reveals lots more parts that you didn’t hear in the original while still keeping the energy.” – Paul Weller

Wake Up the Nation was the tenth studio album from Paul Weller and was released on 19th April 2010. It was nominated for the 2010 Mercury Music Prize. The albums was dedicated to “absent friends – John Weller, Pat Foxton and Robert Kirby. It is the first of Weller’s albums since 1982 to feature contributions from Bruce Foxton, formerly of The Jam. Weller told Mojo magazine: “We’d both lost loved ones and without getting too spiritual that was the spur of it. I spoke to him this time last year when his wife Pat was ill and that broke the ice, then I invited him down to Black Barn (studio).

There was no big plan, it was easy, a laugh, and nice to see him and work together again. We just slipped back into it.” Wake Up the Nation received great acclaim from most music critics. In Metro, John Lewis awarded the album 4 stars out of 5 and commented: “Since turning 50 two years ago, the Modfather seems to be making the most adventurous music of his career, astounding even the most Weller-phobic critics … Most of the 16 tracks are short, sharp, clever and often wonderfully odd: check out bonkers music hall epic “Trees”, “In Amsterdam” or militaristic sound collage 7&3 Is The Strikers Name (an unlikely collaboration with My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields). Weller loyalists will be reassured by the copper-bottomed dad-rock staples, while Style Council fans will love Aim High, his finest blue-eyed soul ballad in ages.

The Jam – “Sound Affects” is the fifth studio album by the Jam, released on this day (28th November) in 1980.  It is the only Jam album to be co-produced by the band themselves, and contains the only album track co-written by the entire band, “Music for the Last Couple”. Unhappy with the slicker approach of Setting Sons, the Jam got back to basics, using the direct, economic playing of All Mod Cons and “Going Underground,” the simply brilliant single which preceded Sound Affects by a few months.

“Sound Affects” is The Jam’s magnum opus. From beginning to end, it is their most consistent and inventive album, filled as it is with compelling, mesmerizing songs. Here the Jam develop into a legitimate post-punk outfit, taking cues from contemporaries, Mixed with this fresh sounding development of their sound is the Jam’s already familiar love for 60’s music. The emphasis here is more often than not found in the psychedelic aspects of the album. Songs like “That’s Entertainment” and “Monday” paint brilliantly vivid pictures of everyday working class life through a psychedelic lens. 

Thematically, though, Paul Weller explored a more indirect path, leaving behind (for the most part) the story-song narratives in favour of more abstract dealings in spirituality and perception — the approach stemming from his recent readings of Blake and Shelley (who was quoted on the sleeve), but more specifically Geoffrey Ash, whose Camelot and the Vision of Albion made a strong impression. Musically, Weller drew upon Revolver-era Beatles as a primary source (the bassline on “Start,” which comes directly from “Taxman,” being the most obvious occurrence), incorporating the occasional odd sound and echoed vocal, which implied psychedelia without succumbing to its excesses. From beginning to end, the songs are pure, clever, infectious pop — probably their catchiest — with “That’s Entertainment” and the should-have-been-a-single “Man in the Corner Shop” standing out.

On the more post-punk side of things, there is “Music for the Last Couple” and “Scrape Away,” where brilliantly unconventional production, jagged guitar licks and existential lyrics collide to awesome effect.

The lyrics are up to the standard one would expect from Weller, which is to say they are completely brilliant. The ability of Weller as a young man to dissect the true nature of the world was always astounding, arguably on this album more than ever before. There is the usually scathing social commentary combined with a thoroughly existential, philosophical tone. “Sound Affects” is one of the greatest albums of all time, and arguably the best album The Jam ever made.

THE JAM’s“Sound Affects.”

It features the single “Start!,” plus new tracks, “Pretty Green,” “Monday,” “But I’m Different Now,” “Set The House Ablaze,” “That’s Entertainment,” “Dream Time,” “Man In The Corner Shop,” “Music For The Last Couple,” “Boy About Town,” and “Scrape Away.”

The cover of the album is meant to be a parody of the ’60s BBC Sound Effects LPs. As expected, it’s a huge hit the UK, going up to #2 on the album charts. In America, where the band has never found a foothold, it becomes their first charted record, but stalls at #72. In the NME Paul Du Noyer writes that, “…it’s a brave departure and an earnest effort to break new ground. ‘Sound Affects’ is the Jam today and that’s what we need most of all. The new songs represent a band that’s as vital and as capable of anger as ever; but more than ever be.
The Jam’s attacking spirit is being allied to melodic invention, and to lyrics that are increasingly thoughtful. Ignore any suggestions that they’re going soft of ’67.”

In Sounds Dave McCullough writes that this is, “…their best album yet…a truly stirring record. It has a depth that appears impenetrable. My head is still going round with the possibilities.”

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“The Jam – Last Concert, Brighton 1982.
This was their last performance and the last ever shot of the Jam on stage. I worked with the Jam the most out of all the bands I photographed. I first met them through 5th Column, the famed T-Shirt silk screen printers from the punk days. Before the big merchandising companies took over, they designed and printed for most of the punk bands. I would do all the photography for the t-shirts. This led to meeting many bands on a social level and also getting access to take photos. That’s how I met The Jam. We used to go to all the gigs and deliver the merch.

Paul rang me up and asked me if wanted to cover the last gig since I had covered so many of their concerts. The band gave me an all-access pass. I got good stuff before and after the gig. I even got a classic shot of John Weller (Pauls’s dad and manager) walking across an empty arena after the gig. Everybody has gone and he looks pensive as he contemplates the end of the Jam. The only shot I had never taken of the band was from behind the stage I had many from the side. I wanted to capture the last moment looking through the band and to the audience. All the others I took could have been taken on any night, but the band “saying goodbye” to their fans was the shot I had to get. On the last song, I dived back behind Rick’s drums and got my chance. After that shot, I rushed back to the dressing room before they arrived and got the last shots of them coming backstage as the Jam“.

Andy Rosen – Photographer.

Not great footage but a fairly historic event, 33 mins of history. The Jam’s last ever gig December 11th 1982.. not the best pic… but hey ho its 38 years old .


The Clash’s ‘London Calling’ wasn’t the only shapeshifting punk record released in 1979. That honor also went to the Jam’s ‘Setting Sons.‘ The rabble-rousing “Girl on the Phone” and “Private Hell” are puncture-wound Britrock, while the surging standout “The Eton Rifles,” one of the Jam’s best songs, is a ferocious, biting piece of class commentary. Still, the graceful, strings-driven “Smithers-Jones” and the note-perfect, power-pop trifle “Thick as Thieves” reveal maturity and sophistication the Jam would soon embrace even more.

Having released four albums in two and a half years, The Jam had become one of the most prolific – and insightful – bands of the late 70s. By the time Setting Sons came out, on 16th November 1979, they had developed far beyond their initial punk/mod revivalist beginnings and were beginning to explore ever more ambitious themes in their work, with frontman Paul Weller stepping out as the new wave’s answer to The Kinks’ Ray Davies.

The only single to be released from the album, ‘The Eton Rifles’ recounted events of June 1978, when a fight erupted in Slough between Right To Work marchers and Eton pupils. Reaching No.3 in the UK – the group’s highest placement yet – it epitomised Weller’s knack for putting social commentary to catchy tunes. The song was initially part of a broader patchwork, as Weller had intended for Setting Sons to be a concept album of sorts, telling the story of three friends who, after having gone their separate ways and lived through a war, reunite only to discover how much they’ve changed. The concept didn’t survive to the end stages, yet the album remains a high-water mark in The Jam’s career.

Almost a year after Setting Sons was released the group were on stage at Newcastle City Hall, on 28 October 1980, showing fans how much they had changed in the preceding months. With their forthcoming album, Sound Affects, just a month away, The Jam tore through all but two of the then unknown songs (curiously leaving future classic ‘That’s Entertainment’ off the setlist), revealing the even more ambitious sonic palette they were working with. The album’s nods towards British psych and Weller’s beloved R&B rightly took the group to No.2 in the UK charts.

That Newcastle gig was recorded for posterity, offering fans an unparalleled insight into the band’s development at this crucial time in their career.

Sound Affects [VINYL]

On the 28th November in 1980: The Jam released their 5th studio album, ‘Sound Affects’, on Polydor Records…by Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton & Rick Buckler It featured the group’s second UK single, “Start!”; as well as other excellent Jam gems such as the funky “Pretty Green”, the raging “Set The House Ablaze”, ballad “That’s Entertainment” & the horn-driven “Boy About Town”; one side of the cover design was a pastiche of the artwork used on various sound effects records produced by the BBC during the ’70s; Paul Weller later cited it as his favourite Jam album in a BBC documentary; in 2006.

For many this album represents the musical zenith for The Jam. It is a fantastic album from start to finish in terms of the songwriting. The earlier Setting Sons has few brilliant anthemic tracks such as Thick as Thieves or The Eton Rifles and was intended as a concept album with the themes of friendship over time being the focal point but by Paul Weller’s own admission had a few fillers such as Girl on the Phone, Private Hell and the cover of Martha Reeves’ Heatwave. This album by contrast is a highly polished offering, perhaps a little too over produced at times and as such saw The Jam going in a new direction. Gone is the earlier raucousness and anger and the imperfect guitar playing and vocals which added something to the songs and at times made them seem rather like live tracks. Instead, this album has a veneer and a polish which firmly established The Jam as a post-punk band.

The Jam’s most consistent effort, ‘Sound Affects’ finds the trio splitting the difference between retro mod-pop (“Boy About Town,” the lovelorn “Monday,” jangly “Man in the Corner Shop”) and kicky power-punk (“But I’m Different Now” the herky-jerky “Start!”). Yet ‘Sound Affects’ also has a menacing tone—check the wary whistling on “Set the House Ablaze” and the record-closing, post-punk march “Scrape Away” a dark soundtrack suitable for stalking prey—that gives the music enduring depth. Plus, the LP contains one of the band’s finest moments, the nostalgic and bittersweet classic “That’s Entertainment.”

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Tellingly, when Paul Weller came to record 2010’s Mercury-nominated Wake Up The Nation, it was 1980s Sound Affects that his collaborator and producer Simon Dine held up as a model. Sound Affects was originally released at a time when The Jam was considered the biggest band in Britain. The album followed the band’s first number one single– “Going Underground” and features the group’s second UK number one single, “Start!”–a track built around almost exact copies of the bass-line and guitar solos from The Beatles’ “Taxman” (at the time Weller considered the album a cross between Off the Wall and Revolver). It includes many of the band’s classic songs: “That’s Entertainment” (written in a caravan in Selsey, after the pub), never released as a single in UK,”Man in the Corner Shop”, “Pretty Green”, the pure-pop of “Boy About Town” and “Dream Time”. It’s regarded by critics and fans (as well as Weller) as their most adventurous and experimental collection of material, drawing musical influences from the ‘post-punk’ groups of the late-70s–Wire, Gang Of Four and Joy Division–as well as neo-psychedelic touches from The Beatles and The Zombies.

The 30th anniversary two-disc, CD deluxe edition of the classic Jam album has been digitally re-mastered and features 22 bonus tracks, demos, b-sides and alternative versions. Also included is a 24-page booklet with extensive new sleevenotes by writer John Harris, a brand new interview with Paul Weller, rare photos and period memorabilia. The bonus material includes eight previously unreleased tracks: demos of “Pretty Green” and “Start!”, alternate versions of “Set the House Ablaze” and “Monday” and a cover of Kinks’ “Waterloo Sunset”, and two instrumental demos.

The Jam regrouped and refocused for All Mod Cons, an album that marked a great leap in songwriting maturity and sense of purpose. For the first time, Paul Weller built, rather than fell back, upon his influences, carving a distinct voice all his own; he employed a story-style narrative with invented characters and vivid British imagery à la Ray Davies to make incisive social commentary all in a musically irresistible package. The youthful perspective and impassioned delivery on All Mod Cons first earned Weller the “voice of a generation” tag, and it certainly captures a moment in time, but really, the feelings and sentiments expressed on the album just as easily speak to any future generation of young people. Terms like “classic” are often bandied about, but in the case of All Mod Cons, it is certainly deserved.

All Mod Cons, released to wide acclaim in 1978, firmly cemented the group’s rise to extraordinary heights. Indeed, for many it was the first essential Jam album and listening to it now its impact has not diminished over time.” When I think about English records I think of The Kinks’ The Village Green Preservation Society, The Smiths’ The Queen is Dead, The Who’s Quadrophenia and The Jam’s All Mod Cons. To me all those albums are quintessential English
Recorded between 4th July 1978 to 17th August 197 at 8RAK (Upper London) and Eden Studios
It’s their third full-length LP. It took it’s title from a British idiom one might find in housing advertisements, is short for “all modern conveniences” and is a pun on the band’s association with the mod revival as well. Of Course it is also Paul Weller’s view on the music business as a ‘con’.

Film about the making of “All Mod Cons” by The Jam in 1978 with interviews from all involved including band members Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler

The single “Down in the Tube Station at Midnight” was one of the band’s most successful chart hits up to that point, peaking at #15 on the UK charts. In 2000, Q magazine placed All Mod Cons at number 50 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. I think it is The Jams most fully realised album, it is their best album.

British Invasion pop influences run through the album, most obviously in the cover of The Kinks’ David Watts and It’s too bad a song The Who would have been proud of.

To Be Someone (Didn’t we have a nice) time is an early jab at the rock’n roll lifestyle, about the hollow and empty life of a star, supposedly written after a horrible tour pairing in America with Blue Oyster Cult. The Bass line is a cool rip-of of Paul McCartneys bass line to “Taxman”.

All the tracks are really strong, great playing and great singing all around. The Production is unusually complex and sophisticated for a punk/new wave album.
The song “Down in the Tube Station at Midnight” is a first-person narrative of a young man who walks into a tube station on the way home to his wife, and is beaten by far right thugs. The lyrics of the song “All Mod Cons” criticise fickle people who attach themselves to people who enjoy success and leave them once that is over.

Track Listing:
1. All Mod Cons
2. To Be Someone (Didn’t We Have A Nice Time)
3. Mr. Clean
4. David Watts
5. English Rose
6. In The Crowd
7. Billy Hunt
8. It’s Too Bad
9. Fly
10. The Place I Love
11. A Bomb In Wardour Street
12. Down In The Tube Station At Midnight

This deluxe repackaged, remastered edition contains single b-sides, demos and rarities. It also features a new film, The Making Of All Mod Cons, with new interviews, promo clips, and previously unseen live footage.

In October Universal Music will release The Jam / 1977a new 40th anniversary, five-disc box set celebrating the busy debut year of The Jam when Paul Weller, Rick Buckler Bruce Foxton delivered two albums and three hit singles.

This forthcoming collection features remastered versions of both albums “In The City” and “This Is The Modern World”, and despite a plethora of Jam box sets in the last five or six years the label have dug out six previously unreleased demos from the first album which feature on the second CD alongside five further demos which have been issued before.

CD four is a live disc and includes a previously unreleased concert (15 tracks) from “Live at the ‘Nashville’ – September 10th 1977 recorded on 10th September 1977.

This is paired with two John Peel Sessions from the same year. Finally the fifth disc – a DVD – features TV appearances and promo videos.

This discs in this box set are packaged in mini-LP vinyl replica wallets with printed inner bags. In The City uses the US version of the inner sleeve and This Is The Modern World features an alternate Gered Markowitz cover image. The box is a rigid card, lift-off lid variety and comes with a 144-page book, featuring new liner notes, period photos etc. It comes with five postcards.

The Jam / 1977.


The Gift’ was The Jam’s final studio album,  the follow-up to The Jam’s critically and commercially successful 1980 album “Sound Affects”. When The Jam finished recording their sixth album, in the winter of 1982, none of the members knew the band would cease to exist by the end of the year. Although frontman Paul Weller has, in retrospect, recognized that the trio was “winding down,” at the time the singer-guitarist was merely trying to find a way to merge his increasing interest in funk and R&B with the Jam’s powerful sound.

What had begun as a British punk (or at least punk-adjacent) outfit in the mid-’70s had become a more mainstream rock outfit by the turn of the ’80s, integrated into the new wave. The Jam had tinkered with the mod revival and neo-psychedelia, but for The Gift, Weller began drawing inspiration from styles rooted even further in the past.

“We got into soul again,” Weller said in 1998. “We started backtracking. I was into soul as a kid. I was on a big learning curve.”

The band’s primary songwriter was particularly inspired by Northern Soul, ’60s R&B: Stax/Volt singles, James Brown chestnuts and Tamla Motown compilations. Bruce Foxton funked up his Rickenbacker bass (“Circus”). Horn sections blurted in the background (“Precious”). The backbeat from the Supremes  “You Can’t Hurry Love” was re-purposed (“Town Called Malice”).

Paul Weller would more fully explore Northern soul/R’n’B and jazz in his next band, the Style Council, but for now he was exploring black American music within the confines of a power trio. “The influence of soul music pointed in the direction of where I was going to go after that,” Weller recalled to the NME in 2012, “but it was very much our sound, we were trying to expand it and do something else with the Jam sound.”

Although the Jam were drawing on old records to expand the band’s sonic playground, Weller was often being inspired by present political circumstances in his lyrics. As a result, The Gift is also a celebration of the working class in Margaret Thatcher-era Britain.

“I was thinking about the times we were living in,” Weller said about “Town Called Malice.” “It wasn’t the height of Thatcherism but she was well into her stride by that time. The country was being depleted and the working classes were being s— on. It was a very desolate time. You couldn’t help but be touched by the politics of the time, you were either for or against it and I was reflecting what I saw around me.”  The message is not altogether negative though and the song stands as a potent rallying call to roll with the changes. One of the quintessential “state of the nation” songs in the band’s catalogue it is still frequently performed by Weller in concert as a rousing finale to the set.

On “Just Who is the 5 O’Clock Hero?” Weller drew on his memories of his father to honor the folks who endure the working grind every day.

“My dad had been a hod carrier [bricklayer’s assistant] most of his life,said ” Weller . “It was tough work. He’d come home looking like he’d been sandblasted, covered in cement. I liked the irony of that. But he always had a smile on his face. You could hear him arriving home, whistling down the funny little alleyway that ran beside our funny little house in Woking. He was the ‘5 O’Clock Hero’. He made the money and fed and clothed us.”

Whether it was the political statements, the Jam’s new soul-rock sound or just the irresistible catchiness of “Town Called Malice,” The Gift became the trio’s first U.K. No. 1 LP after it was released on March 12th, 1982. The double-a-side of “Malice” and “Precious” became a massive hit, debuting at No. 1 in Britain and becoming the group’s sole chart success in North America.

Despite the Jam’s increasing success, Weller was feeling artistically constricted by the band. In the summer of ’82, he made the decision to break up the band following a farewell tour on the ‘Trans-Global Express Tour’. The news was met with confusion from fans, bandmates Foxton and drummer Rick Buckler and even Weller’s own “5 O’Clock Hero.”

“My dad thought I was bonkers,” Weller remembered. “Rick was quite philosophical about it. But Bruce was devastated. … But if you look at the photos of the final gigs, you can see us smiling, all three of us. A load had been lifted. I didn’t shed a tear at the final gig. I felt a sense of relief. I was 24. My life was just starting.” Their biggest hit of the album was “Town Called Malice”.

The Jam

The Jam: Live At Reading University - Exclusive Pressing

Live At Reading University – Exclusive Pressing,

The Jam at Reading University, playing material from their breakthrough album ‘All Mod Cons’, was The Jam’s first live appearance of 1979, and found the band in a radically different place to their showcase at the Music Machine 12 months before. In that time, their third album, ‘All Mod Cons’, had been released to critical acclaim, and their status as one of the New Wave’s most musically substantial and exciting bands had been secured. And Paul Weller was still only 20 years old…

The Jam: Live At The Music Machine

Live At The Music Machine ,

A Music Machine show from 1978, featuring most of the 2nd album – ‘This Is The Modern World’. The show was The Jam’s sixth live show of the year and one of four low-key shows in the capital to fanfare their new ‘News Of The World’ single under the banner ‘The London Blitz’.

The Jam: Live at The 100 Club - Exclusive Pressing

Live at The 100 Club – Exclusive Pressing ,

Continuing The Jam exclusive live vinyl releases, we now have the concert from London’s 100 Club September 1977 for you, this is a double LP on 180g heavyweight vinyl and very limited.

  • Double LP packaged in exceptionally stylish gatefold sleeve with printed inner bags.
  • Re-mastered at Abbey Road and pressed on heavyweight vinyl.
  • Includes period photos and rare memorabilia.
  • Featuring stunning live versions of all the band’s classic hits and favourites.