Posts Tagged ‘The Jam’

setting

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.

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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 the ‘Nashville’ 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 will be released on 20th October 2017

Happy birthday to Paul Weller, born on 25th May 1958, The UK singer, guitarist, songwriter, of The Jam (1980 UK No.1 single ‘Going Underground’ plus over 15 other UK Top 40 singles). With the Style Council, (1983 UK No.3 single ‘Long Hot Summer’, plus 14 other UK Top 40 singles). Solo (1995 UK No.7 single ‘The Changing Man’). Weller has received four Brit Awards, winning the award for Best British Male twice, and the 2006 Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. Do you have a favourite Weller track?

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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.

The Jam: Live at Newcastle City Hall - Exclusive Pressing

Only 1500 being pressed

The Jam live in Newcastle from October 1980, a blistering gig, with the band at their peak, previewing songs from forthcoming album ‘Sound Affects’.

In the time between The Jam’s show at Reading University (on Disc 3 of the ‘Fire & Skill’ box set) and their appearance at Newcastle City Hall 20 months later, there had been more extraordinary developments in the group’s world. ‘Setting Sons’, their fourth album, had given them a Top 3 hit with ‘The Eton Rifles’, which was followed in February 1980 with the stirring Number 1 single, ‘Going Underground’. After three years on Polydor, The Jam had finally become the biggest group in the UK.

Tracklisting:

Disc One

Side 1
1.Intro
2.Dreamtime
3.Thick As Thieves
4.Boy About Town
5.Monday
6.Going Underground
7.Pretty Green

Side 2
1.Man In The Corner Shop
2.Set The House Ablaze
3.Private Hell
4.Liza Radley
5.Dreams Of Children
6.The Modern World

Disc Two

Side 1
1.Little Boy Soldiers
2.But I’m Different Now
3.Start!
4.Scrape Away
5.Strange Town
6.When You’re Young

Side 2
1.The Eton Rifles
2.Billy Hunt
3.Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
4.To Be Someone
5.‘A’ Bomb In Wardour Street
6.David Watts

 

All the details on the 6CD “Fire and Skill” Jam box, which features six previously unreleased concert recordings

Named after the legendary sign painted on Paul Weller’s amp, Fire And Skill is a superb six disc boxed set – featuring six previously unreleased concerts, one from each year of The Jam’s major-label career.

Starting with an incendiary early gig at London’s famous 100 Club from 1977, A Music Machine show from 1978, featuring most of the 2nd album – ‘This Is The Modern World’, Reading University show in 1979 – playing material from their breakthrough album ‘All Mod Cons’, Newcastle City Hall in 1980 – previewing songs from forthcoming album ‘Sound Affects’, London’s legendary Hammersmith Palais show in 1981 – part of The Jam’s four consecutive nights, previewing material from the forthcoming final album ‘The Gift’ and one of the band’s final ever gigs at Wembley Arena in 1982.

Packaged in mini, lift-off lid box this set includes a separate hard-back book and individual gatefold wallets for the discs, as well as new essay, period photos and rare memorabilia. All audio has been remastered at Abbey Road.

‘Fire & Skill: The Jam Live’, a 6 CD deluxe box set, will be released on Universal/Polydor on 30th October 2015.

It’s 40 years since classic The Jam line-up first started touring. The band had a phenomenal impact on pop music and wider youth culture. In their short career, they influenced a generation with their music, style, politics and inspiration.With Somerset House’s current exhibition and Universal Music’s recent CD ‘About The Young Idea’ which both trace the band’s story in hits and images – Universal/Polydor now announce a live box set that follows the journey through incendiary concert recordings.

1.) Starting with an early gig at London’s famous 100 Club from 1977, the show featured took place 10 months after they first played the venue in November 1976, and was recorded for broadcast on American radio ahead of the trio’s inaugural visit to US in October 1977 for a six-date tour.

2.) A Music Machine show from 1978, featuring most of the 2nd album – ‘This Is The Modern World’. This 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’.

3.) Reading University – Feb 1979. Playing material from their breakthrough album ‘All Mod Cons’, this 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…

4.) Newcastle City Hall – October 1980, previewing songs from forthcoming album ‘Sound Affects’. In the time between the show at Reading University (on Disc 3) and this appearance at Newcastle City Hall 20 months later, there had been more extraordinary developments in the group’s world. ‘Setting Sons’, their fourth album, had given them a Top 3 hit with ‘The Eton Rifles’, which was followed in February 1980 with the stirring Number 1 single, ‘Going Underground’. After three years on Polydor, The Jam had finally become the biggest group in the UK.

5.) London’s legendary Hammersmith Palais – December 1981. Part of The Jam’s four consecutive nights, previewing material from the forthcoming final album ‘The Gift’. The shows took in the form of a ‘60s soul revue, showcasing new acts including Bananarama, Department S and TV21.

6.) One of the band’s final ever gigs at Wembley Arena – December 1982. Late in 1982 The Jam announced they were splitting up – there would, though, be a final chance for fans to experience The Jam’s astonishing live shows, with a 14-date ‘farewell’ tour announced. The centrepiece was a five-night stand at Wembley Arena, the 10,000-capacity shed next to the London football stadium (the recording here is from the second date), the biggest live venue in the capital.

* Packaged in mini, lift-off lid box with 72-page, colour hard-back book.* Individual gatefold wallets for the discs, designed as facsimiles of the original tape boxes.

* Includes new essay, period photos, rare memorabilia and set of five postcard prints.* Remastered at Abbey Road.* Featuring stunning live versions of all the band’s classic hits and favourites of which only 11 tracks previously released.

 

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Catch a glimpse of the ‘Growing Up With…The Jam’ deluxe edition book, and place your order, at the link below.

The beautifully presented hardback, packed with celebrity memories paying tribute to the band, coincides with a new Somerset House exhibition ‘The Jam: About The Young Idea’, opening on 26th June.

*Limited edition deluxe format exclusively here. The deluxe edition will come bound in a presentation gift box with draw string cotton bag and limited edition print. *

‘Growing Up…. With The Jam’ is a beautifully presented book in a coffee table packed from cover to cover with celebrity memories paying tribute to the band that inspired an entire generation…. The Jam.Tab_width

‘Growing Up…. With The Jam’ is a beautifully presented book in a coffee table packed from cover to cover with celebrity memories paying tribute to the band that inspired an entire generation…. The Jam. Written by the official exhibition producers Nicky Weller, Gary Crowley, Russell Reader and Den Davis and Published by Nicetime inc.

A host of household names from the world of music, film and media have penned fitting tributes to the band. From stars of the sixties who influenced the band, Ray Davies and Pete Townshend to the bands competing for chart success, Adam Ant, Sir Bob Geldof, Mick Jones and Jools Holland. The stars The Jam inspired, Noel Gallagher, Kelly Jones and Sharleen Spiteri, to actors and media personalities including Martin Freeman, Max Beesley and many many more.

With foreword from all three members of the band, heart-warming personal recollections, spine tingling accolades and unseen photos, this really is a must read for any music fan.