The Jam – All Mod Cons (1978)

“In 1978, to a backdrop of tribal youth cultures and economic crisis, The Jam answered years of snobbish disregard from the London-based punk elite when their aggressive and melodic sound, previously sneered at by the capital’s hip art school set, came of age with the release of their third album, ‘All Mod Cons’. By 1978 The Jam had released two albums of R&B-infused teenage punk to transient acclaim. … This scathing reaction shook main man Paul Weller and sent the band into a period of severe creative drought. Hoping the location would provide inspiration, Polydor hired an isolated country house to record the third album. Unfortunately the fresh air left little impression on the cappuccino-loving Weller and the new material drew a blank with the label. …”
Clash Music
W – All Mod Cons
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: All Mod Cons (Full Album)
YouTube: When You’re Young (Live), Down In The Tube Station At Midnight (Live)


Anarchy Around The World: Punk Goes Global

“Forty years after it officially crash-landed in our midst, it’s easy to believe punk ‘sold out’ its lofty original ideals, not least because its leading acts all eventually signed to major labels and played ball with The Man. Yet regardless of its shortcomings, punk still had a seismic global impact during the mid-to-late 70s and its legacy can still be felt in everything from its inherent DIY ethos to its (broadly) anti-sexist stance. However, while countless revisions of this flawed – yet exhilarating – period have since been published, they nearly always fix punk as a purely transatlantic phenomenon. … This is entirely understandable, as both nations have reason to claim punk as their own. In North America, the 70s had barely dawned before New York was spawning remarkable proto-punk acts such as Suicide and New York Dolls, while across 1974-76, trailblazing US refuseniks such as Pere Ubu, Patti Smith, Ramones and Blondie were already hurling out remarkable, oeuvre-defining discs. …”
uDiscover (Audio)

“Down in the Tube Station at Midnight” – The Jam (1978)

“‘Down in the Tube Station at Midnight’ was the second single taken from the album All Mod Cons by The Jam. Released on 13 October 1978, it reached #15 in the United Kingdom’s Singles Chart on release. The single was backed by a cover version of The Who‘s song ‘So Sad About Us‘, and the song ‘The Night’, written by Bruce Foxton. … The song tells the story of an unnamed narrator travelling on his own who enters a London Underground tube station at midnight to get the last train home, where he is attacked by a gang of skinheads as he buys a ticket from an automated machine. The song starts with the atmospheric sounds of a London Underground station, then a tense, syncopated beat carried by the bass guitar. The lyrics are sentimental, contrasting the warmth of home and domestic life with the dangers of 1970s London’s urban decay and casual late-night violence. Tension is heightened by a heartbeat audio effect in the left stereo channel at points during the song. …”
Let The Day Begin…Let The Day Start!: Day 308 – All Mod Cons
Genius (Audio)
YouTube: Down In The Tube Station At Midnight (Live), Down In The Tube Station (Live), So Sad About Us, The Night

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.”
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)