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Jam
United Kingdom

Years: 1972 - 1982
Styles: Mod Rock, New Wave, Pop Rock, Power Pop, Punk Rock

Founder

Paul Weller - Acoustic guitar , Bass Guitar, Guitar, Harmonica, Piano, Vocals (in band: 1972 - 1982)

Members

Dave Waller - Rhythm guitar (in band: 1972 - 1973)
Steve Brookes - Guitar (in band: 1972 - 1976)
Bruce Foxton - Bass Guitar, Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1972 - 1982)
Rick Buckler - Drums (in band: 1972 - 1982)

Biography

RockBoar.com Picture

     The Jam formed in Woking, Surrey, England in late ’73 by Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton, Rick Buckler and the 4th member Steve Brooks – guitar. This quartet first gigged mid-74, progressin to the likes of London’s Marquee, 101 Club & Red Cow in late’76, by which time Brooks had departed.

  Peddling amphetamine charged retro R&B, the band rode in on the first wawe of punk’s brave new musical world. Incendiary live performances had generated a loyal following and considerable record company interest, the band signing with ‘Polydor’ early the following year via A&R man Chris Parry.

     In  Spring ’77, their debut In The City, cracked the UK Top 40, an album of the same name following a month later. Image wise, the band were kitted out in unashamed allegiance to the mod masterplan of yore; sharp suits, parkas, scooters, etc., another factor that set the band apart from the ant-fashion of punk. Something Weller did share with his glue-sniffing peers was anger; yep, befer Weller the ‘red-wedge’ soul smoothie and Weller the patron of ‘Dad Rock’ came Weller the angry young man, so angry in fact, that he professed to voting conservative. Politics aside, In The Citywas a cut above the average three chord punk thrash, bristling with adolescent fury yet psoessed of an irresistible melodic verve.

     „This Is The Modern World(1977) was a hastly recorded recorded follow-up, and it showed. Only the pounding title track (the single backed with a cover of Arthur Conley’s ~ Sweet Soul Musicreally hit the target, the rest of the of the album pointlessly tecycling Who riffs ad nauseum. With All Mod Cons(1978), however, The Jam were onto something big, Weller’s cutting social reportage and songwriting genius translating in such gems as Down In The Tube-Station At Midnight, a cover of The KinksDawid Wattsindicating the heights he was aiming for. Come Setting Sons(1979), and the bile-spewing Eton Rifles, in particular, Weller came pretty damn close to updating Ray Davies claas-conscious agenda for a harsh new age. The single gave the band their first Top 5 success and the album achieved a similar feat upon its release a month later.

     In February of the following year, the band went straight in at No. 1 with Going Underground, a snarling critique of the establishment. The band followed this up with Start!, a virtual remake (well, intro definitely) of George Harrison/Beatles’ Taxman, quite why there’s never been a court case over this matter remains a mystery. Still, the single marked a move into more ambitious musical territory, Weller penning his most accomplished tune to date in the lilting, understated ennui of That’s Entertainment”. The almum, Sound Affects(1980),  confirmed the shift away from powerchord agression with the use of horns and more obviously black music-derived rhytms.

RockBoar.com Picture     By this point, The Jam were on of, if not the, biggest band in Britain although, despite repeated attempts, the American market was apparently impossible for the band to crack. Then again, it’s not hard to see that their defiantly British sound just didn’t translate in the States, in much the same way as, more recently, Blur’s idiosyncratic Englishness has precluded US recognition. Back home though, the band were No.1 again in early 1982 with the heavily Motown-influenced Town Called Malice, The Giftalbum being released the following month. It was to be the band’s swansong as Weller, at the peak of the band’s fame later that summer, announced he was to break the group up te explore his soul fixation with The Style Council. After a final kiss-off with The Bitterest Pill and the brilliant Beat Surrender, the band were no more.

     While Weller went on to a undergo many musical rebirths, there was no such joy for Foxton, who later joined aging punks Stiff Little Fingers. Buckler, meanwhile, forsook the evils of the musicalbusiness for furniture restoration. Thankfully, with no reunion so far, and the possibility of one rather slim, the legend of The Jam remains intact.


The Great Rock Discography - Martin C.Strong, 1st Edition, Publisher: Crown Publishers, ISBN-10: 0812931114, p.


Albums

In the City (May 20, 1977)
This Is the Modern World (Nov 18, 1977)
All Mod Cons (Nov 3, 1978)
Setting Sons (Nov 17, 1979)
Sound Affects (Nov 26, 1980)
The Gift (Mar 12, 1982)

Singles & EPs

In the City / Takin' My Love (Apr 29, 1977)
All Around the World / Carnaby Street (Jul 23, 1977)
The Modern World / Sweet Soul Music / Back in My Arms Again / Bricks and Mortar (Part) (Oct 21, 1977)
I Need You / In the City (Feb, 1978)
News of the World / Aunties and Uncles / Innocent Man (Feb 24, 1978)
David Watts / 'A' Bomb in Wardour Street (Aug 26, 1978)
Down in the Tube Station at Midnight / So Sad About Us / The Night (Oct 21, 1978)
Strange Town / The Butterfly Collector (Mar 17, 1979)
Mr. Clean / Down In The Tube Station At Midnight (May, 1979)
When You're Young / Smithers-Jones (Aug 17, 1979)
The Eton Rifles / See Saw (Oct 26, 1979)
Going Underground / The Dreams of Children (Mar 10, 1980)
Start! / Liza Radley (Aug 15, 1980)
Pop Art Poem / Boy About Town (Dec, 1980)
That's Entertainment / Down in the Tube Station at Midnight (Jan 30, 1981)
Funeral Pyre / Disguises (May 29, 1981)
Absolute Beginners / Tales From the Riverbank (Oct 16, 1981)
Town Called Malice / Precious (Jan 29, 1982)
The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had to Swallow) / Pity Poor Alfie / Fever (Sep 10, 1982)
Beat Surrender / Shopping (Nov 26, 1982)
The Dreams of Children (Mar 23, 1992)

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