In The City – The Jam (1977)


“… In The City was The Jam’s debut album, and as such it was the rawest, most punk album of their catalogue. Frontman Paul Weller would turn 19 only five days after the release of In The City, so ‘Art School’ kicks off the album with a celebration of the freedom of going off to college, particularly a very permissive art school. ‘Slow Down’ was a cover of an old blues song by early rock and roll artist named Larry Williams that ha7d been covered by many other artists, most notably the Beatles. Not too many punk groups dabble in the blues, but The Jam make a great cover out of it. Before they had even been signed, ‘Slow Down’ had been a common song of their early live sets. Of course, the album’s other cover stands as one of the greatest punk rock covers of all time. I’m talking, of course, about their cover of the ‘Batman Theme.’ Okay, I’m kidding a little bit, but I do love their cover of it where they give it a blisteringly fast drumbeat and a classic mod bassline. It was another obvious song for them to cover as it had already been covered by the Who and the Kinks. The album’s title track, ‘In the City,’ became their first single, although it was an unsuccessful one at the time. The song actually steals its title from an obscure Who B-side of the same name. It’s a sort of celebration of youth culture, but it’s also got a very political section about police brutality that almost seems out of place, in which Weller sings: ‘In the city, there’s a thousand men in uniform/And I hear they now have the right to kill a man.’ While it sounds reminiscent of modern day America, I would like to remind you that only 10% of police officers in the UK carry guns, meaning that if a cop wants to kill you, he has to really want it.  …”
Punk News
May 20: The Jam released their debut album In The City in 1977 (Video/Audio)
W – In The City
Genius (Audio)
Discogs (Video)
vimeo: In The City (HD) TOTP

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