Articles Tagged: The Jam

Certain Songs #708: The Jam – “Ghosts”

the-jam-the-gift Album: The Gift
Year: 1982

Talking about going out on a high note. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned, The Gift is my favorite album by The Jam, a near-perfect combination of their punk-rock roots and the more soul-oriented music that Paul Weller ended up exploring with The Style Council.

By opening and closing each side with the more driving numbers, they filled in each side with funk workouts like “Precious,” proto-Britpop songs like “Carnation,” and the low-key gorgeous soul number, “Ghosts.”


Certain Songs #707: The Jam – “Funeral Pyre”

the-jam-funeral-pyre Album: Snap!
Year: 1981

And then there was that time The Jam were on Tomorrow with Tom Snyder.

It was summer of 1981, and of course, they were neither the first nor the last New Wave (because sure why not) band to show up and have a discussing with the disheveled, chain-smoking Snyder. And while The Jam’s appearance wasn’t as notable as the infamous PIL “We’re not a band, we’re a corporation” appearance (which, if you’ve never seen, you should stop everything and watch it right now, I’ll wait), it had a moment that I’ll never ever forget.


Certain Songs #706: The Jam – “That’s Entertainment”

the-jam-thats-entertainment Album: Sound Affects
Year: 1980

Unlike The Clash, I didn’t try to make everybody I came into contact with listen to The Jam.

Maybe it was because The Jam didn’t change my life the way The Clash did, or maybe it was because I so resolutely failed with The Clash, who were even getting radio airplay by mid-1979, that I didn’t even meet another Jam fan — outside of Tim, of course — until I joined KFSR in its pre-on-air days in early 1981.


Certain Songs #705: The Jam – “But I’m Different Now”

the_jam_-_sound_effects Album: Sound Affects
Year: 1981

While I’m still not certain that it’s my favorite Jam album — The Gift has always killed me — as I’ve been planning and writing these posts, I’ve come around to thinking that Sound Affects is their best album.

I certainly think it’s the album that balances all of their strengths — riff-based rock, Beatlesque psychedelia, soul basslines, acoustic introspection — into one ever-changing and ever-surprising package.


Certain Songs #704: The Jam – “Start!”

the-jam-start Album: Sound Affects
Year: 1980

Switching gears after the apocalyptic fever dream of “Going Underground,” “Start” — The Jam’s second straight U.K. #1 single — is a far more introspective and, ahem, Beatlesque tune.

Or at least the bassline is: Bruce Foxton famously steals Paul McCartney’s bass part from George Harrison’s “Taxman.” Even if he adds an extra note during every bar, it’s so utterly brazen that it could only be a interpreted as a homage.