When I heard the JAM for the first time it was 1977 and I was 18 years old. The song was "In the City" off their debut studio album of the same name. At only 19 seconds over 2 minutes the song cut through me like a buzz saw. The impression was immediate and creatively life changing. I was in a band at the time and all of the sudden our music turned on it's head. The bass lines became heavier, the pacing more frantic and chased. We were a 4 piece out fit but the sound became more three piece, spartan but punchy with an attitude. We were called 210 IQ and were less punk than the JAM but the trio had left it's blue collar musical manifesto imprinted on my brain. I guess in some way I wanted to be a Paul Weller. That is of course impossible. There is and will always only be one. Bruce Foxton's fertile bass lines were an inspiration for my bud Matt's bouncy bass riffs. We never went far but those were cherished times and The JAM were the fuel for our youthful fire.
The JAM's records have stood the test of time. Put one on at a party of teens or college students and the songs filtered in with current indie rock bands feel as current and formative as they did way back in the late 70's and early 80's. Weller's guitar playing inspired by the likes of Pete Townshend and Wilko Johnson shaped later bands and interestingly has some of the free wheeling abandon of current indie artists like Tim Presley from White Fence or Thee Oh Sees John Dwyer.
I am pretty stoked that UMC- Polydor is releasing a completely comprehensive and all embracing vinyl box set for The Jam - 'The Studio Recordings' - AND it looks gorgeous too.
This 8 piece box set features all 6 studio albums remastered on vinyl bring all the old school oomph back (remember when every sound wasn't so bloody compressed?) plus 2 extra discs of non album singles and b-sides, photos/memorabilia, and a hardback book with new liner notes and an introduction written by the man, Paul Weller.
I feel pretty blessed to own 5 of the 6 original vinyls in my collection. If you somehow have not been so lucky to get into this iconic band, then this is the time to do so or if you want to have a beautiful set with remastered sounds this is for you as well. This all brings back such lovely memories.
The Jam – ‘The Studio Recordings’
8 album vinyl box set + download card
Release date: November 25th 2013
• Eight piece vinyl-only box set – limited edition
• All six studio albums, re-mastered
• Two brand new discs of non-album singles and b-sides
• Heavyweight vinyl
• 44-page hardback book with new liner notes by John Harris (Guardian / Mojo)
• Introduction by Paul Weller
• Period photos and memorabilia
• Housed in full-colour rigid slipcase
• Includes a voucher to download an MP3 version of the albums
One of the most popular bands to emerge from the UK punk rock scene of 1977; The Jam had a phenomenal impact on pop music and wider youth culture. In their short career, along with the likes of the Sex Pistols and The Clash, they influenced a generation with their music, style, politics and inspiration.
Taking creative direction from a wide sphere of influences – The Who, Dr Feelgood, The Kinks and Motown amongst others, they achieved 18 consecutive Top 40 singles in the UK (including 4 number 1s) - they had a fanatical following, their singles entering straight in the top 10, or number 1 in some cases. Their gigs sold out within minutes.
Still beloved of original fans and new supporters through Paul Weller’s solo career – he still plays many of the Jam songs in his live sets today.
1. In The City - 006025 3745908 7
2. This Is The Modern World - 006025 3745909 4
3. All Mod Cons - 006025 3745910 0
4. Setting Sons - 006025 3745911 7
5. Sound Affects - 006025 3745912 4
6. The Gift - 006025 3745914 8
Singles: 1977 – 1982 (Volume One) 006025 3745915 5
Singles: 1977 – 1982 (Volume Two) 006025 3745916 2
1. In The City - 3745908
• Incendiary debut LP from May 1977. With influences from the likes of The Who & Dr Feelgood.
• Includes hit single – In The City (which gave the band their Top Of The Pops debut) and Weller’s most ambitious early song – Away From The Numbers
2. This Is The Modern World - 3745909
• Very fast follow-up, released a few months after debut in late 1977.
• Includes hit single The Modern World
3. All Mod Cons - 3745910
• Landmark album from 1978 that marked a turning point in The Jam's career, Weller's more melodic, complex, and lyrically incisive song-writing influenced by The Kinks.
• Includes the classic hit singles Down In The Tube Station At Midnight, and double A-side David Watts / 'A' Bomb in Wardour Street.
4. Setting Sons - 3745911
• Released at the end of 1979, number four in the U.K. and their first charting album in the U.S.
• Loosely conceived as a ‘concept’ album, with a distinct link between key songs - Thick As Thieves, Little Boy Soldiers, Wasteland and Burning Sky.
• Includes hit single Eton Rifles and the Bruce Foxton penned Smithers-Jones.
5. Sound Affects - 3745912
• The ambitious, experimental Sound Affects followed in 1980, moving away from the classic Jam sound it made number two in the U.K. At the time Weller considered the album a cross between Off the Wall and Revolver and cites it as his favourite Jam album.
• Includes no. 1 single Start! and one of the band’s most cherished songs – That’s Entertainment - number 21 in the U.K. as an import single, confirming the band's enormous popularity.
6. The Gift - 3745914
• The band’s final studio album from 1982 and first number 1 album – a departure from the harder Jam sound, including more soul and funk influences that would preface Weller’s next project - The Style Council.
• Includes the double A-side number 1 single Town Called Malice / Precious. - the band became the first group since the Beatles to play two songs on BBC's Top of the Pops.
‘EXTRAS-SPECIAL’ SINGLES: 1977 – 1982
The Jam existed in the long age of the 45, that perfect pop form via which the best artists not only created era-defining ‘A’ sides, but usually ensured that their supporting features were worthy of repeated plays. Any student of British pop’s first golden period will be familiar with the best examples: The Stones’ The Last Time came with Play With Fire, The Beatles’ Hello Goodbye with I Am The Walrus, The Small Faces’ All Or Nothing with Understanding.
The Jam were masters of this, as proved by the music collected on this set’s last two LPs – a kind of shadow history of the group, full of moments of revelation. To instantly understand their talent, listen to such songs as Smithers-Jones, Tales From The Riverbank, or Pity Poor Alfie: treasured items in their catalogue, and all ‘B’ sides, which gave the records on which they came a richness and fascination greater than some people’s albums.
‘Extras-Special’ Singles: 1977 – 1982 (Volume One) - 3745915
1. All Around The World
2. Carnaby Street
3. News Of The World
4. Aunties And Uncles
5. Innocent Man
6. So Sad About Us
7. The Night
1. Strange Town
2. The Butterfly Collector
3. When You’re Young
5. See Saw
‘Extras-Special’ Singles: 1977 – 1982 (Volume Two) - 3745916
1. Going Underground
2. Dreams Of Children
3. Liza Radley
4. Funeral Pyre
6. Absolute Beginners
7. Tales From The Riverbank
8. The Great Depression
1. The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had To Swallow)
2. Pity Poor Alfie / Fever
3. Beat Surrender
5. Move On Up
6. Stoned Out Of My Mind
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