U.K. Punk icons THE JAM to see their original six studio albums released on vinyl in the U.S. on August 28, 2015 on UMe
Seminal band featuring Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler helped bridge mod and new wave with iconic efforts including In the City, This Is the Modern World, All Mod Cons, Setting Sons, Sound Affects and The Gift
Los Angeles, CA – August 17, 2015 – Combining the ferocity of punk-rock with the stylistic flair of the ‘60s mod movement, The Jam – lead singer/guitarist Paul Weller, bassist/vocalist Bruce Foxton and drummer Rick Buckler – were one of the leaders of the mid-‘70s cultural explosion in the U.K. that continues to fascinate and engage to this day – musically, politically, stylistically. The power trio was widely regarded as one of the top bands of their era -- The Who/The Kinks to contemporaries like the Sex Pistols’ take on the bad boy Rolling Stones and The Clash’s politically charged Beatles. The Jam’s impressive catalog of six groundbreaking studio albums recorded in five years – In the City (1977), This Is the Modern World (1977),All Mod Cons (1978), Setting Sons (1979), Sound Affects (1980) and The Gift (1982) -- will be re-released August 28, 2015, on Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) with audio newly re-mastered on heavyweight 180 gram vinyl and original packaging.
Formed in Woking, Surrey, they championed their working class roots and an “angry young man” outlook that was updated from the late-‘50s/early-‘60s English school of kitchen-sink realism that produced such films as Look Back in Anger, Room at the Top, A Taste of Honey and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. Adopting the high-speed punk, and attaching it to their mod revival roots in soul and R&B, The Jam scored 18 consecutive Top 40 singles in the U.K., including four No. 1 chart-toppers (“Going Underground,” “Start!,” “Town Called Malice” and “Beat Surrender”).
In the City: One of two albums released over a six-month span in 1977, this impressive debut climbed to No. 20 on the U.K. charts, led by the title track, which reached No. 40, the first of 18 consecutive singles to do so. “In the City” is a celebration of youth in the streets, a stylistic nod to early Who (its name comes from an obscure B-side by the band), with a lyrical blast at police brutality that Pitchfork calls “one of the great debut singles of all time.” The album also includes covers of Larry Williams’ “Slow Down” (also covered by The Beatles) and Neal Hefti’s “Batman Theme” from the TV show. NME said Weller’s songwriting “captures that entire teen frustration vibe with the melodic grace and dynamic aplomb of early Kinks and Who.”
This is the Modern World: Released in November, 1977, a mere six months after their debut, The Jam followed up with this album, which reached No. 22 on the U.K. charts. The album’s one and only single, a censored version of “The Modern World,” climbed to No. 36 in the U.K. The disc also includes a pair of Bruce Foxton originals (“London Traffic,” “Don’t Tell Them You’re Sane”) as well as a cover of the Wilson Pickett classic, “In the Midnight Hour.”
All Mod Cons: This November 1978 release peaked at No. 6 on the U.K. album charts, starting a string of four straight Top 10 albums for The Jam, and earning them a British gold disc. Short for the real estate term “all modern conveniences,” the title is a play on the band’s Mod revival reputation, including a cover of The Kinks’ “David Watts” (reached No. 25 on the U.K. charts). The epic “Down in the Tube Station at Midnight” once more revisits the violence in the air, with its tale of a young man beaten by a gang of skinhead thugs on the way home to his wife, peaking at No. 15 on the singles chart. The NME ranked All Mod Cons No. 219 on its list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” in 2013.
Setting Sons: Released a year later, on November 17, 1979, The Jam’s fourth studio album climbed to No. 4 on the U.K. charts and No. 137 stateside (its best U.S. chart position to date).Setting Sons features the hit single, “The Eton Rifles,” a call to arms that reached No. 3 on the U.K. singles chart, the band’s highest to that point. Weller originally conceived the release as a concept album about three childhood friends who reunite as adults after an unspecified war only to discover their differences now set them apart. Bruce Foxton’s “Smithers-Jones” sports an all-strings arrangement, a revamping from a previous B-side release suggested by drummer Buckler. There’s also a nod to the band’s R&B roots with a cover of Martha and the Vandellas’ Holland-Dozier-Holland chestnut, “Heat Wave.”
Sound Affects: Released November 28, 1980, The Jam’s fifth studio album went all the way to No. 2 on the U.K. charts and cracked the U.S. Top 100 at No. 72. The single, “Start!” marked the band’s second No. 1 single in the U.K. (after the 1980 non-LP track “Going Underground”), while the follow-up, “That’s Entertainment,” hit No. 21. Heavily influenced by post-punk groups such as Wire, Gang of Four and Joy Division – not to mention the Beatles’ Revolver and Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall (Buckler’s drumming in particular) – the album has been cited by Weller as his favorite Jam effort. Q magazine named it No. 15 on their list of “40 Greatest Albums of the ‘80s” in 2006, while the NME ranked it No. 487 on its “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” in 2013.
The Gift: This March 12, 1982 release marks the final studio album by the original line-up of The Jam, the band’s only chart-topping U.K. disc, peaking at No. 82 in the U.S. The disc was a tribute to Weller’s fascination with so-called northern soul, which he’d continue to explore in his subsequent band, Style Council, and as a solo performer. The disc’s biggest hit was “Town Called Malice,” which topped the U.K. singles chart and hit Top 50 in the U.S., followed by “Just Who Is The 5 O’Clock Hero,” which went to No. 8 in the U.K. “Carnation” was later covered by Oasis’ Liam Gallagher.