Thursday, 19 August 2010


Ive had a recent revisit so to speak of these 3 Jam albums ,having played them to death in my youth, over the years ive played the odd track and played paul weller's versions of some of the songs from live recordings etc,my first encounter with the jam was the "in the city" single, from the opening 5 second or so guitar riff i was completely hooked and from that day they where the band for me,the debut album was simply entitled "in the city" and came out in 1977 on polydor and was very influenced by the guitar styles of pete townsend and wilko johson of the feelgoods, the tracklisting is.......

Art School
I've Changed My Address
Slow Down
I Got By in Time
Away from the Numbers
Batman Theme
In the City
Sounds from the Street
Non-Stop Dancing
Time for Truth
Takin' My Love
Bricks and Mortar

there are 2 cover versions on this album, the batman theme, which the who covered as well, and slowdown, a larry williams song, with listening to this album 33 years after release it still jumps out and attacks you with anger and aggression, the opening track of art school comes straight at you like a missile, with weller screaming "1-2-3-4" you just know that the album is going to be packed full of short sharp guitar riffs, which when listening to it now is a perfect snapshot of what was happening in 1977 a mixture of 60s townsend guitar and 70s wilko johnson riffs. Sounds from the street is weller's answer to the reception he got from various punks regarding his actual status in the whole punk movement, with the line "i know i come from woking, but you say i'm a fraud, my hearts in the city where i belong" a pretty good answer i would say!
All Mod Cons, this is the 3rd jam album, it was a kind of “make or break” album for paul weller,bruce foxton, and rick buckler. After the poor follow up to “in the city” the jam or weller had to pull out all the stops to put themselves back on track.Released in 1978 it was commercially more successful then “This is the modern world” weller had sort of burnt himself out with the writing and making of modern world so had to prove himself all over again, on release of this album I played it non stop and just about knew all the words by heart, on seeing the jam for the very 1st time in 78 on the “All Mod Cons tour, tubestation was released from this album and was there most successful single to date reaching no 15, a taster for the album of david watts (kinks cover) showed what was to come.on listening to this album again after many years I still think it sounds really fresh, to be someone, and mr clean are 2 of the stand out tracks on the 1st side, and the sides closing track of in the crowd with the feedback at the end, a nod in the direction of mr townsend yet again. The unlisted track english rose which 30 years later has been used in a tv advert.The 2nd side starts with billy hunt, the story of a young man starting his 1st job and the pitfalls of yet again going from a boy to a working man, the album finishes on a high with a bomb in wardour street and the classic tubestation, the album came out at the right time with the mod revival just starting and the release of quadrophenia, 6 months after this album most of my mates had parkas with the all mod cons target on the back and it had influenced a new generation of youth to take a bit of the past and a bit of the present and make ourselves a movement.
TRACKLISTING IS..............................
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
1 Billy Hunt
2 It's Too Bad
3 Fly
4 The Place I Love
5 A' Bomb in Wardour Street
6.Down in the Tube Station at Midnight
this was the 4th jam album, altogether a much harder and bleaker sound then the poppy All Mod Cons from 78,Paul Weller originally conceived Setting Sons as a concept album about three boyhood friends who later reunite as adults after an unspecified war only to discover they have grown up and apart. The concept was never fully developed, and it remains unclear which tracks were originally intended as part of the story, though it is commonly agreed that "Thick AsThieves","Little Boy Soldiers", "Wasteland", and "Burning Sky" are part of  this concept  with a kind of short story running throught these 3 songs,i bought this album upon release, i remember i wagged school one morning to make my pilgramage to virgin records in sheffield town centre, this album went massive as it was just at the height of the mod revival of 1979,the changed arrangement to strings of "smithers jones" was probably bruce foxton's finest song, again a great snapshot of the late 70s, a song about a man working hard for a giant company, only to be tossed to one side as just a number whilst making the boss rich,Listening to the lyrics now of "Thick As Thieves",its certainly a theme that many people can relate to in later life,having not listened to this album in a long time i found it very refreshing and the words still standing true well over 30 years later,the closing track is a cover of the Martha and the Vandellas classic "heatwave" which although a very good song was probably put on to fill the album out, or in fact to show the direction paul weller would be going  3 years later,(the song included "merton" mick talbot), the album also included the biggest jam hit single to date in "eton rifles" which many regard as weller's finest song,myself included! the tracklisting is.....................
1."Girl On The Phone"

2."Thick As Thieves"
3."Private Hell"
4."Little Boy Soldiers"
1."Burning Sky"
2."Smithers-Jones" (Bruce Foxton)
3."Saturday's Kids"
4."The Eton Rifles"
5."Heat Wave"