This Is the Modern World – The Jam (1977)


“As is so often the case for overnight successes, the Jam rush-recorded their sophomore effort during a hurried schedule to capitalize on the debut. This, combined with Paul Weller‘s various personal distractions and temporary lack of interest, led to less than satisfying results, especially in comparison to In the City. This Is the Modern World can be faulted for borrowed Who licks, pale rewrites of the debut, somewhat clichéd sloganeering, and unfinished ideas, but there were still some moments of inspiration, especially in more introspective Weller songs like ‘Life From a Window’ and ‘I Need You (For Someone)’ — both songs feature personal sentiments that the debut was clearly missing. This Is the Modern World is a flawed album by Jam standards, but it would certainly have received praise had it been released by another band.”
allmusic
W – This Is the Modern World
Genius (Audio)
YouTube: The Modern World (Live)
YouTube: This Is The Modern World (Full Album) 12 videos

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

Going Underground – The Jam (1980)


The Jam topped the UK singles chart in the spring of 1980 with ‘Going Underground.’ Released on the Polydor label on March 10th, 1980, the single entered the charts at number one and stayed there for three weeks. ‘Going Underground’ was The Jam’s first number one single and the official start of the band’s creative and popular zenith, which would eventually establish bandleader and songwriter Paul Weller as the voice of a generation. After three albums of enthusiastic Who/Kinks worship and mod revivalism shot through with punk energy, Weller became an equal to his songwriting influences Ray Davies and Pete Townshend. A brilliant standout in a long line of Jam anthems to come, Weller’s slashing guitar, Rick Buckler’s thunderous drumming, and Bruce Foxton’s melodic bass line provide a tough-as-nails bed for Weller’s caustic, insightful lyrics. He criticizes a voting public that’d place trust in elected leadership who have traded healthcare for military might. Absolutely classic. …”
Song of the Day: The Jam “Going Underground (The Reflex Revision)” (Video)</a>
W – Going Underground
Genius (Audio)
YouTube: Going Underground (Top of the Pops 1980)