The only thing that stinks about the bucket list is there are some things you know will never happen. For example, I would love to skydive or walk across the Grand Canyon Skywalk but that damn fear of heights gets in the way. When it comes to music that means wishing some of my favorite bands would get back together and knowing it won’t happen. The Jam tops that list for me. I thought members of The Smiths couldn’t stand one another, The Jam takes things next level.
Thank you Bill’s Records and Audio in Metrocenter for helping introduce me to this amazing band years ago. Too bad that did not happen until I was in high school because they disbanded in 1982. I wore out my copy of the Sound Affects cassette I “acquired” that day. The very first song I listened to from that band was “Pretty Green” and it still may be my favorite tune of The Jam. That booming bass from one of my music heroes Bruce Foxton resonates on that song and every track from The Jam. Foxton may also be rock music’s all-time best backing vocalist. Paul Weller created a style of guitar that combined the frenetic energy of punk rock with the melodic sound of the mod scene, plus his soulful and powerful vocal delivery and the precision on the percussion from Rick Buckler all combined to deliver a package on vinyl that still blows away pretty much any band that has created music since 1982.
The Jam released six studio albums between 1977 and 1982 and all six are completely amazing. Best of all this was a trio that continued to evolve on each successive release. The soul influence came through more and more on the later albums and while the punk aesthetic mellowed after 1977’s In the City, the energy and attitude never dissipated. I strongly recommend the 1997 box set Direction Reaction Creation, it has all six albums plus all the songs from the singles they released and loads of demos. If you are a Jam novice looking to get started then 1983’s Snap! is essential.
Paul Weller may be right, this band was so good and let’s face it, so many bands reunite years later and the new result is terrible. He reportedly stated at one time that “The Jam’s music still means something to people and a lot of that’s because we stopped at the right time, it didn’t go on and become embarrassing.” Still, I can wish, right???
SUCKS that this wish won’t happen. The live CDs (many of which I used tracks from for this playlist) and what I can find on video will have to do. This one is unbelievable, enjoy!