The Jam

Can you imagine if they did a tour with Green Jelly? Ah MAN, I nailed that one! Or TRAFFIC?? Oh this is getting better and better!!!! How about The Dicks???

Got worse at the end there.

*special introductory paragraph!
*In The City
*This Is The Modern World
*All Mod Cons
*Setting Sons
*Sound Affects
*The Gift
*Beat Surrender EP
*Greatest Hits
*Dig The New Breed

The Ham were a late-70s British early punk rock outfit that dabbled in mod clothing and culture, sounded about as punk as Elvis Costello and got better as they went along. They make musical references to the Beatles, Kinks, Who and others all throughout their work, but sometimes actually manage to transcend their influences. Their leader Paul Weller had a voice a lot like Elvis Costello's - kind of gruff and unpleasant. He had his moments though. Don't we all. Don't we all have our moments. Don't we all.

Mine do not include right now.

In The City - Polydor 1977.
Rating 6

This is the band's only real "punk rock" release, chock full of early-Clash-sounding basic 3-chord scruffy slappers, with some slower ugly cabaret pop thrown in for the girls. And it's about as memorable as the five billion other punk rock albums that came out that year (like The Vibrators' debut, where every damn song is one word repeated three times!!). The dude plays his rhythm guitar as if he's trying to re-record Meet The Beatles and most likely he WAS! Just with slightly faster drumbeats.

As befits a band with no determination at all to escape its influences, The Jam here offer complete ripoffs of "Everyday People," "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" (complete with "ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo"!s), "Holidays In The Sun," basic Motown, unbelievably predictable early `60s rock and roll and probably lots of other songs that you'll recognize from your father's childhood. Most of the tunes are too derivative to be emotionally resonant at all, and to be honest, I don't really know how anybody could love a non-hardcore band whose singer sounds this unlikeably unmusical - presumably all their fans were drunk. The guitarist sounds good when he plays actual arpeggiated *notes* though, and some of the songs are a lot of fun in their Beatlesque simplicity. The harmony vocals are also a nice addition when they show up - the singer actually sounds okay when there are harmony vocals going on (to be fair, he DOES hit all the notes - he just has a really hoarse, rough British voice). But not until the final track, the coooool dark "Bricks And Mortar," does the band showcase the mature, diversified future towards which they weren't quite heading just yet because they still weren't really very good at all.

Reader Comments (Justyn Dillingham)
For some reason I feel like a jerk for pointing this out, but "In The City" came out several months before "Holidays In The Sun." So the ripoff would be the other way round. (Yue Ting Cheng)
Although Your basic comments as regards to this album being revivalist, etc etc are pretty accurate, and I wouldn't disagree with them, I think you have missed the point of the Jam completely.... The Jam although they evolved from punk, developed quickly especially after their first two albums. Okay, so they took lots of different 60's influences and meshed them together, but Paul weller as a songwriter is s generation apart- In England he's seen as the Modfather, the songwriter of his generation; without the Jam, Oasis and a million other "britpop" bands would have never existed. His anger is geniune unlike a lot of other punk bands at the time; Weller came from a proper working class background unlike members of the Clash, Pistols, Stranglers, Wire et al and his anger is far more geniune than say the political posturing of say the Clash (as much as I hold the Clash in ultra high respects)- I think you're looking at the Jam from a far too American perspective- you don't see things from the outside. (Eric Sweenor)
Rather more energy than tunes here. Too bad all I can remember is "In the City" and their cover of the "Batman" theme. A very shoddy debut, really, the first two albums were scarcely anything but filler, filler, filler. 5/10. Weller's voice is most definitely scraggly, ugly, and annoying here, but now that he's, you know, old, he sounds really good...

And for what it's worth, "Into the Future" from the first Vibrators album is a seriously great song! Yeah, they were total phonies but they had a couple decent tunes. (Jay Banerjee)
OK, Prindle, let's get this hate "In the City" because it rips off "Holidays in the Sun"--except it DOESN'T, since this came out months earlier--and yet you have nothing but approbation for the likes of, say, The Clash's self-titled debut? The LP that kicks off with the most shamelessly blatant "Can't Explain" knock-off of all time?

Well I love "The Clash". And I love "The Who Sings My Generation". AND I love this record. "Who knock-off blah blah blah, revivalists, blah blah"...shut the fuck up and listen to the goddamn LP! It's "My Generation" only, like, better. Less innovative, perhaps, but better. Faster, more energetic. And in the place of two excruciating James Brown covers, killer takes on "Slow Down" and the "Batman" theme. Yeah! Incidentally I must mention that I think the sound of Bruce Foxton's bass on "Slow Down" is the coolest fucking thing I've ever heard in my life.

And while "My Generation" had two all-time classics (the title song and "Kids Are Alright") to this record's one ("In the City"), the other cuts are so consistently good that the overall quality of the LP does not diminish in the least. "Art School", "Takin' My Love", "I've Changed My Address", all blistering with the most ebullient youthful energy of any punk rock record ever made by anybody. Maybe not all the songs are so great, but they're executed with such energy that it's impossible not to love them. The only really bad moments on this record come when they try and slow things down a little, because Paul Weller wasn't a consistently good enough songwriter yet to handle it. And there's an exception even to this, and that's the restrained yet still kick-ass "Bricks and Mortar".

And accuse The Jam of being knock-offs all you want, one original thing they had going for them was Paul Weller's distinctive lead/rhythm-combined style. Just listen to the opening licks of "In the City". Classic song from start to finish, punk rock at its finest if you ask me. And a hell of a lot more energetic, meaningful, and enduring than "Holidays in the Sun".

Never mind the fact that the musicianship on this album is better than that of, like, ninety-nine percent of all punk albums, but not in like a masturbatory, dinosaur rock kind of way. Just tight, taut, and roaring. Rick Buckler was one of the best punk drummers ever, rivalled only by The Buzzcocks' John Maher and The Chords' Buddy Ascott. His killer sense of rhythm just drove practically every song in their discography.

And yeah Weller's voice was a little gruff at this stage (it's really amazing when you compare this to the soulful vocal work-outs he'd undergo in a few short years with the likes of "The Bitterest Pill"), but it all adds to the program. One smart thing you did in your review (along with giving a nod to "Bricks and Mortar") was singling out the harmony vocals on this record. God knows Bruce Foxton couldn't sing lead if his life depended on it, but when he did harmonies he sounded remarkably sharp and tuneful. Strange phenomenon. And that's another many punk bands were doing fucking vocal harmonies at this stage? The Buzzcocks were still in their New Hormones years, The Undertones were hammering out covers in Derry pubs...nobody, that's Who. Derivative my fat ass. (David Wells)
One of the first Lps I ever bought and worth every penny. So there are some naff moments but generally this is a tight, loud, complete album. Some of their other albums had better quality songs but did not always hang together well as albums - Sound affects always seems a mess to me whilst Setting sons is a lot tighter. On this album slow down, away from the numbers and in the city as well as Bricks and Mortar are all top A1 cracking tracks. The Jam were like a number of other groups - they used the impetus of punk to get famous but unlike the dross put out by Squeeze and the Police, the Jam put out good stuff which did not really compromise their original stance. Lets also remember that a lot of the punk rock starts had played in pub rock bands (Ian Dury, Joe Strummer and .... I've just realised these two are dead.......
bought this album as a 15yr old on the day of lizzies silver jubilee, only good thing about royalty was we got the day off school.

been listening to it again recently and with the passage of time it still stands out as one of the best albums ever, not just best debut albums, if only weller could get back to that style he wouldn't be the boring old fart we've all become. can't listen to his recent stuff, the angry teenager in me won't allow it.

foxton and buckler have never been given the credit for being the tightest rythmn section in the history of music, pure class,

live the jam could wipe the floor with any of their contemporaries, absolutely brilliant, weller may have been the driving force but without the other two he's just a sadd old git in his late 40's with a bad haircut, the is no edge to his music, the passion is gone, ok he was speaking as a young man in the late 70's early 80's but now he's a father with children the same age as he was and they face the same things that he wrote about then.

fuck off with the moon june crap, it's plain to see when the only jam song he now plays live is the insipid thats entertainment, give me a break!!!!!

There isn't much to say about an album like this. It's like 31 minutes long, with no songs that really stand out, and the whole think is over in the blink of an eye. No crappy songs, but the album is pretty monotonous. It kind of reminds me of the first Black Keys album. My personal favorite is "Sounds from the Street."

Add your thoughts?

This Is The Modern World - Polydor 1977.
Rating = 4

Holy Christ are they fond of switching to minor chords during the chorus. If I wanted to hear a band switch to minor chords during the chorus, I'd listen to that song by Cheap Trick that goes "It's not easy baby/It's not that hard to tell." I sure as hell wouldn't listen to The Jam It Up Your Ass, that's for crying out sure. These songs are slower than the debut, more predictable than the debut and even more reliant on early `60s chord sequences than the first album that The Jam put out, entitled Take A Shitty.

The entire album is as lifeless and lacking in balls as a dead woman. Like Angelina Jolie is gonna be in about a year and a half when Billy Bob's career goes south and he beats her to death with a whiskey bottle, the abusive egotistical prick. Only the excellent poppy pep song "Life From A Window" shows any progression at all. Not that ALL the others suck - "Tonight At Noon" is a very pretty little ballad that breaks no new ground and it's hard to dislike "Standards" if you like "Can't Explain" at all (same guitar rhythm, slightly different chords!). But it's hard for an avid music listener and enjoyer to ignore the dreary creative void exemplified by such meager fillings as "Don't Tell Them You're Sane," "London Girl" and "In The Street Today," which they should be laughed out of the country for having the gall (bladder) to claim they wrote.

They even ruined "In The Midnight Hour"! How do you ruin a three-chord song?

I'll tell you one place you're NOT going to find the answer --- in Britney Spears' brilliant, era-defining remake of the obscure Rolling Stones song "Satisfaction."

Which reminds me - whenever you hear her sing "I can't get no satisfaction," don't you just want to find out where she lives, break in through the sunroof and say, "Fine. Fuck me, you pricktease-for-a-living"?

Yes? That's all I needed to hear. You're under arrest for cyberstalking and sexual harrassment. So get down on your knees and polish my knob.

No no, my DOORknob!

(On my ass door.)

Reader Comments (Jay Banerjee)
Yeah, this LP is the worst of their career. Like "The Gift", however, it's also tremendously underrated. The title track is a classic, and "All Around the World"--which at least appeared on the US version of the album--is a mod anthem on par with anything The Who ever did. OK, maybe the shouts of "Youth explosion!" are a bit callow and na‹ve, but they're delivered with such sincerity and fire that they're hard to resist. Plus it's a damn catchy tune. And the title track, too, ventures a little into that same clich‚d sloganeering, but also boasts some very trenchant sentiments: "All my life it's been the same, I've learned to live by hate and pain, it's my inspiration drive."

But damn inconsistent, that's for sure. Fucking Bruce Foxton!! Great bassist, great backing vocalist, great dresser, TERRIBLE TERRIBLE songwriter. Paul Weller, so the story goes, found himself a girl and lost interest in the group and Bruce picked up the slack. We the listeners are rewarded with "Don't Tell Them You're Sane" (what?) and "London Traffic". Actually, "London Traffic" is pretty damn catchy, and features a sharp, mod/Beatles-esque guitar kick, but Bruce Foxton sure as fuck can't carry a tune, and he can't even get his awful lyrics to rhyme, for fuck's sake. I mean, Christ, how fucking hard is it to RHYME?! As long as your songs rhyme, people will go up to you and say, "Wow, your songs are so brilliant, they touch me in such a deep and personal way, blah blah blah". But Bruce had no lyrical talent whatsoever. And really, can you get a more pedestrian subject than literally "London Traffic"?p> I really don't like "Tonight at Noon" or "In the Midnight Hour" (the worst cover in a discography absolutely saturated with covers) either, but the rest of the LP is passable enough. "Life from a Window" is pretty cool, and it's good to see The Jam begin to truly branch out stylistically, although the lyrics could get cringeworthy now and again. "Grey sky...want to paint it blue..." Jesus Christ, shut up!p> There are two more truly great songs in addition to the singles, however. "In the Street, Today" pumps along with that great surf bassline at 100 mph, just a great barbed wire blast. And maybe the best song on the LP, "I Need You (For Someone)", a great sixties-style pop song with cool Foxton harmonies and smart lyrics. This song alone, even amongst the mediocre dross in which it finds itself surrounded, is enough to make even casual listeners realize that The Jam were going to be something special.

Everybody loves to take a shit on this album, and you seem to be one of those people. It was easy for me to see that this was actually a step forwards rather than backwards for the Jam. The songs on here actually have tunes, and have a lot more going for them rather than just being three chord headbangers. My favorites here are "The Modern World," "In the Midnight Hour," "Here Comes the Weekend," "London Girl," "In the Street Today" and "London Traffic."

Add your thoughts?

All Mod Cons - Polydor 1978.
Rating = 8

THis mark Scam.s enterprise, specially they steal the bass line are To are some person's way artistic peak (Didn.t we have the Nice time from Taxman.?) The That.s truly creativity and I hope they very quick make it again. This belt sounds completely maturely in this, proposes song is quite different and fully collection which realizes. Without punk, less silence uncommunicatively sound early 60s wannabe- isms: Compared with is colorful, melody and arrangement. Mr. the Clean wire style is intense. upbeat happy Billy hunting. Prettily classically picks Fly. A bomb 2 strings garages stomp in Wardour street. -- ---- This is outstanding pop/rock album makings. It look like < b>Some Girls come besides the same year production are very clean and are full, you.d never guesses, but their can.t unfortunately delivers it from begending to the inn. Why all does Beatles imply? I already mentioned To are Taxman (Didn.t we have one Nice Taxman?) It.s too badly has one components completely rips from She loves you (??). The English sound likely meaning is the sequel i loves her to And Ross. And had the way too many these shift correlation small string is Beatles does behind way chorus thingies when the rock-and-roll heart still beat (in the Cleveland. Detroit! UHH! Rock-and-roll heart!) And is worst all, pesters their cover. The David watt sound likely completely is ripped, is not from Beatles, but from pesters! I mean, songwriting in that first song is so ray Davies? ~? ~? ~? ~? ~this is one is truly low 8, while convenient says one. One wrong measure, Paulo WELLER, with it.s SEVENSVILLE next time ROUND. I.m accusingly aims at you, Paulo Weller! And my finger.s a-wagglin. Back and forth! Waggledy-waggledy-doooooooooooooooooooooooooooocOoooooooooooo Oooooooooooooooooo!

(Note: If you think this review looks like I translated it into Chinese and then back into English, that's because you're a racist. I always write like this.)

(Especially "~? ~? ~? ~?" I'm constantly saying that in real life.)

Reader Comments
I, like Prindle do not understand the appeal of the Jam except for in the singles territory. Buy the Best of the Jam or one of those Jam singles collections and feel the power of their skritchy Rickenbacker Guitar, It's damn good and better than any of their albums. I don't like All Mod Cons that much except for the last two tracks. Down in the Tube and A Bomb are two of my fav songs ever but the rest is just middling power pop. (Yue Ting Cheng)
For the average British music critic (and I consider myself to be a very different music critic in that I don't listen to shit music) All mod cons would be their finest hour. For the first time they have a sound of their own rather than a mix of derivativeness - (despite the fact that I still rate the first two albums highly) but its full of winners- Down At the tube station at midnight is one of the Finest songs ever- It encapsulates the bleak feeling of late 70's London in a tube station like no song has ever done, before or after. English Rose is a slow burning ballad which is one of those songs which sticks out in the mind upon first time of listening. You may need to listen to this album several times to appreciate it fully, but you might also need to be British as well.... (Jay Banerjee)
"All Mod Cons", huh? I don't know about this record. One thing I have to say is that the production sounds a bit dated, more so than perhaps any other Jam record, even "The Gift". Just the guitars get so whiny now and then. It's weird.

Whatever, it's still a damn good LP. Of course it's propelled mostly by the single sides "'A' Bomb in Wardour Street" and "Down in the Tube Station at Midnight", but there are other really fantastic songs, too, like "To Be Someone (Didn't We Have a Nice Time?)" and "It's Too Bad".

But again I'm pretty ambivalent about it. Not so much because it's bad but just because it's not to my taste. I put on "English Rose", an acoustic sea shanty, and think to myself, "Wow, what a brilliant song. Paul Weller's shown remarkable growth as a pop songwriter. Hmmm. Can't wait 'til the opening chords for 'A' Bomb kick in."

And the cover of "David Watts"! OK, first of all, much of it is sung by Bruce, which can't be a good thing, plus they flub the lyrics. ("He is a pure and noble creed"?) But I guess it's passable, even though it sounds less energetic than the original, and this is supposed to be a punk rock group.

Yeah, there's something about this record I just can't put my finger on. Not "rock" enough maybe, not "punk" enough maybe. Maybe it's just the production. I mean songs like "Fly" don't really do anything for me. So while most critics, especially British ones and those who aren't big fans of the rest of The Jam's work, like a certain vulgar young cretin who shall remain nameless, rate this as The Jam's finest moment, I put it somewhere in the middle. Still, with a group like The Jam, that's hardly an insult, and the songs are consistently awesome..."Mr. Clean", "Billy Hunt", the title track, wow. But again the best songs are unquestionably the two single sides. And they're already on "Compact Snap!".

I don't love this album. Even though I do see why people consider this as the definitive jam album, I personally don't. Even though it is more diverse and interesting than "This is the Modern World," I don't really find it to be a better album song wise. A couple of songs are pretty lame, like "Billy Hunt," "Mr. Clean" and the over sappy "English Rose." But then again, there are some terrific songs like "In the Crowd," "The Place I Love," "It's Too Bad" and "Fly." The rest of the songs are pretty good too, and while it is a pretty good album, it's definitely not the Jams finest moment.

"A" Bomb on Warbout Street is superb, and their cover of "David Watts" is sprited. "In the Crowd" has a nice psychedelic jam at the conclusion. Oasis was influenced by this underrated group.

Add your thoughts?

Setting Sons - Polydor 1979.
Rating = 7

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Ahhhh, Hell! A bunch of damn Jive-Talking Swedish Chef Valley Girl Deep South Elmer Fudds with German Accents got a-hold of my review, and then ran it through a Spell-Check!

What do you mean, you don't find my hilarious "filter" humor as funny as I do?

Oh alright pissy, here's what I really wrote:

A longass time ago, and this was before you were born, I was listening to some The Jam and I said to my friend Jeff Robins (older guy from the radio station, odd bird - petite!), "Jeff. What is the appeal of The Jam? I don't see anything special about them at all." And his response, and remember this is just his response, Rich, so don't get all piss-filled. He says to me, "Well, that's because you've been listening to punk rock for years. The Jam were a great way for mainstream people to experience punk rock for the first time." In other words, it's friendly, happy, britpoppy, bouncy, loud British guitar skrinkle-skrankle. With vocal harmonies.

This album was post-punk rock already, though. Early alternative like The Replacements would be credited with pioneering shortly - yet sounding a HELL of a lot like the late-70s and early'80s work of The Kinks. Enjoyable and melodic, yet really suffering in the "originality" department. There are way too many generic "nothing to `em" guitar melodies on here. But they're played so darned adequately and professionally, and with such energetic "we mean this!!! No, seriously!!" vocal s that you can't hate it. CAN'T. CAN'T! Plus, there's not a single bad song on here. A bunch of OKAY-TO-MIDDLING-EH-NOT-BAD songs, but nothing "It's Too Bad" or "Sounds From The Street" (two SHITTASTICALLY SUCKBADDY songs from previous Jam albums). As for moving forward, they aren't really. This is the same mature, rainbow of musical flavor-states as the last one - pianos, violins, flutey recorder deals, songs of varying degrees and styles - just with fewer extraordinarily clever songs. "Private Hell" and the last two songs are near and dear to my heart though, for personal nostalgic reasons. You see, I was listening to them the other day while hanging around in my apartment. So from this point on, I will always associate this album with hanging around in my apartment. It's special moments like this that make music such an important indicator of those special times, the times so special that you want never to erase them from your bank of memoirs.

Reader Comments
After reading this, and all the other, reviews of The Jam's releases, I'm grateful I actually have all the album's prior to this and don't have to rely on reading the above gibberish as any sort of intelligent commentary.

I've enjoyed The Jam's music since I first bought Setting Sons when it originally got released. I know there are some very average moments in The Jam's catalogue, but when they're good, they crap all over ANY so-called American 'punk/new wave' band! Period!

The lyrics capture the essence of how the social/class system held back the youth of a nation and expresses the anger and apathy that caused. Weller was the Ray Davies of the late seventies, well until Ray remembered how to write great lyrics again (spurred on by the punk movement to do so, I believe).

Trouble is the Yanks didn't get UK punk or it's background and gripes about society. US Society is a bit too 'middle class' to fully understand such concerns, unless Daddy takes their T-bird away. An example of this is Talking Heads, described as a 'new wave' band by most music journos. Well thanks for nothing. Were they a joke band? Pretentious pseudo-intellectualism at best, mediocre elevator music mostly.

Only The Ramones got the UK scene, and that's why when people talk about the glory years of punk the only US groups who'll get a mention (outside the US where music does actually exist) are Joey and the lads, plus Patti Smith and the Dead Kennedys.

Even Australia had punk bands (Radio Birdman, The Saints) who were true to the ethos.

The Jam were up there with the best of them, Pistols / Damned / Stranglers / Clash / etc, so that alone makes many of your comments in these reviews absolute rubbish!

Anyway, I've been reading the reviews on Pringles' site for over 3 years now and I definitely plan to continue! Hey, he's managed to boil my blood with this one and for that shaking of my apathy, I thank him :-)

Keep up the great site man, all the best.
"Private Hell" is the best Judas Priest song ever recorded. (Jay Banerjee)
Sharp of you, Prindle, to point this out as one of the first post-punk records, along with the likes of "London Calling". And while not as ambitious and certainly not as recognized, at least here in the States, as "London Calling", this too is an all-time classic, unquestionably The Jam's finest hour.

Even die-hard Jam fans will tell you...The Jam had a proclivity to include at least a couple songs' worth of filler on every damn album they did. But this was the sole exception. Not one vinyl groove is wasted on an extraneous note.

Start to finish, just great. After the somewhat coddling production of "All Mod Cons", this record just gets great ballsy rock production. And that doesn't mean that there's no room for ambition: there's the recorder line on "Wasteland", the Kinks-esque multi-movement pop "Little Boy Soldiers", even the all-string arrangement of Bruce Foxton's shining moment as a songwriter, "Smithers-Jones". (Bruce could always write a good hook, but the man finally learned how to rhyme, and write about things other than tabloids and traffic jams, and he let Paul sing on it. Good choice.) But everything is done with such fire that it just blows the listener away.

Can't say it enough. Every song on here is great. Musically, lyrically, whatever. Weller was really on to something here with his "concept" album. Few rockers are willing to touch the too wussy subject of male relationships, but Weller does so with both heartfelt sincerity and bitter incision. Hell it's a lot more cogent than a double LP about a blind kid who becomes a pinball genius, now isn't it?

Oh, those snappy pop sensibilities. I love "Girl on the Phone", which has all the pop kick of "All Mod Cons" combined with a killer production. And their much-maligned cover of "Heat Wave" consistently blows me away. It's the best cover they ever did, bar none. Just great, joyous release to it after a terribly bitter album about housewives on valium and kids in war and parents dying of cancer.

This album has received some criticism for its thin melodies, which may be true. The production definitely emphasizes power. So it's a fair point. That "Judas Priest" comment is a little too close to the truth about "Private Hell", too. And much as I love "Smithers-Jones", I think I still prefer the power trio version that appeared on the B-side to "When You're Young" some time before this LP was first released. So it's not quite a perfect album...but damn close. Must mention the bonus tracks that accompany the CD release of this record...OK, first of all, "Going Underground" is there, which as far as I and many other Jam fans are concerned is their absolute pinnacle, and was their first British #1. Then there's, like, eight more bonus tracks, including all-time classics like "Dreams of Children" and "Strange Town", the full-on rock version of "Smithers-Jones" and the gorgeous mod-pop B-side "See Saw". From the period of "Strange Town", which preceded this LP, to "Going Underground", which followed it, The Jam could do no wrong, and cut nary a single song short of utmost brilliance. (Nathan)
What's up with that first reader comment? What the hell is this guy talking about? Ok, first of all, the Brits did not invent punk. They certainly had a part in it, but they didn't solely invent it. In fact, I'm pretty sure most people would argue that the Americans did. What happened to The Stooges, Television, and The New York Dolls on your list?

The US is too 'middle class' to understand these concerns? What concerns, youth rebellion? Seriously, if the Clash isn't rich-kids rebellion music, i don't know what is. Not that that's a bad thing---London Calling is one of my favorite albums ever.

Oh, and take back what you said about the Talking Heads! They're way better than The Jam anyway...
Again, another great Art Rock album, 4 whatever that's worth 2 U. "Private Hell," "Thick as Thieves," "Strange Town," "Little Boy Soldiers," "Wasteland," "Smithers-Jones" (w/ big orchestra, like the Boomtown Rats' "I Don't Like Mondays" & w/ the same ironic impact), "Burning Sky," they're all great. Paul Weller shoulda finished his plan 2 make a science-fiction concept album about 1979 Britain.

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Sound Affects - Polydor 1980.
Rating 6

You know that Steve Martin song "King Tut"? That's what this whole album is.

HA! I fooled you there for a second! No no, come on. Can you imagine the lawsuits? With bass guitar to diefer and cool guitar interplay, this baby doll starts off impersonating a really really good album for three astonishingly well- written songs before inevitably running out of steam (whoo whoo!) and turning into absolute El Shito Mexican Food with "Start!," which marks like the fifteenth time they've stolen the "Taxman" bass line and thought I wouldn't notice. After that, you get some jackass boringballs ballad about a guy in a corner shop who wishes he could have an exciting job in a factory while - get this - this is so fucking ironic - it turns out that the guy in the factory wishes he had a great job like the guy in the corner shop!!!! Oh folks, this is Paul Simon-style storytelling here! With a little twist - unexpected little jingle-jangle - that makes the whole song worthwhile.

Oh hell, did I say "worthwhile"? I of course meant "worthpile(sofshitonmydick)".

I'll say this for the weak middle (it gets really powerful at the end again, with the fantastic bouncy-ass catchy "Music For The Last Couple" and dark, eerie, intelligent, ringingly cool guitar tune "Scrape Away") - the songs aren't generic `60s retreads. They just feature melodies and riffs that for some reason don't shake me by the coathanger. Especially "Dream Time," which I classified in my notes as "another song - whoopee." Adding to that, I will remark that it is one of several Jam songs where the rhythm guitar accents the second and fourth beats instead of first and third. What does this mean? Why, it sounds more like The Beatles, that's what it means! The day this band gets a record contract is the day I slice my peter off and give it to Ralph Nader to shove up his ass for safety.

Oh hell.

Reader Comments (Adrian Denning)
No mention of 'thats entertainment'? One of the best songs ever written? No? I guess i like this album a whole lot more than you do. This is my favourite Jam album, no contest. Well, All Mod Cons is ok too, you know? But, this is irresistable, yet you resist? Arrrghhhh! (Michael Rodriguez)
You must have been going thru some really shitty girlfriend problems at the time you listened to this album, that girl fucked up your senses. I bet you didn`t even like pizza or bugs bunny. Must have been one hell of a woman, how else to explain you so casually dissing one of the greatest albums ever???? The Jams one masterpiece is on par with anything in the decade. " Thats Entertainment" is a song that once heard will never ever be forgotten by anybody in his/her proper frame of mind. "Boy about town" "Monday" "Pretty Green" , All of them present a band stretching it`s horizons, and successfully matching it`s ambition. That Bitch did you wrong.
I'm inclined to agree with the above Michael...what were you going through when you wrote this? I wouldn't call Sound Affects one of the best albums of all-time, but it's the Jam's best album. Lyrically and musically, it's diverse and exciting, and all of it holds my interest, whereas most of the Jam's other albums tend to meander once you move past the five best tracks or so. At least you noted how great "Scrape Away" is...and I don't like "Start!" much either. But how could you not mention the brilliantly paranoid and harsh "Set the House Ablaze"? Or "That's Entertainment"? The ethereal "Monday"? And what about the incredibly catchy raving "But I'm Different Now"? Really, Prindle. (Jay Banerjee)
Good record, this. Got some problems, though. Most records do, really. I'm not a big fan of psychedelia altogether, and I'm not sure how well it becomes The Jam. 'Cause there's a hell of a lot of it on this record. Not, like, TOO much, but enough to make the songs drag a little longer than they should, enough to bury the vocals at the bottom of the production. All too often you can't even make out the words, save on the choruses.

Yeah, "Man in the Cornershop" is good stuff, as is "That's Entertainment", although I must admit I'm partial to the punchier "Snap!" version. You know, where they actually let Rick Buckler play. It's so raw and caustic it makes the LP version seem tame. The coolest tracks here are the sub-2:00 pop bursts, "Boy About Town" and "But I'm Different Now". All the other tracks have cool moments, too, however. Dig the chorus on "Set the House Ablaze".

The Jam buck years of precedent by making the single perhaps the worst track on the album. I never understood the fuss about "Start!". Beyond being such a blatant "Taxman" rip-off that it's hard to get past that fact alone, it's really just an unspectacular song, save the "Never ever see you--see you, see you..." bridge. And the instrumental seems pretty pointless.

I mean, the high points of this album are really freakin' high and the low points really aren't that low at all, so it's truly better than well over ninety-nine percent of all rock and roll albums ever made. But while it's not too far behind, I still don't think it matches up with "Setting Sons" or "In the City".

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The Gift - Polydor 1982.
Rating 5

Thanks for the shitty gift, "Preesh." I can't make a connection with The Jam. I feel no friendliness in their music. I even somehow learned to make a connection with Rod Stewart, and he only has like two good albums! But The Jam? Just not there. Same with Elvis Costello - I just can't "connect" on a listener's level. I don't feel like The Jam are "my band," nor would I ever want them to be. That's me though. I'd appreciate you telling me how you feel so close to them, if you're a fan.

As for this record, it's DiFfErEnT! ThEy'Ve AdDeD dAnCe BeAtS aNd FuNkY dIsCo BaSs To SoNgS like "Precious" and likely others. Maybe not. But lots of horns! Check out "The Planner's Dream Gone Wrong!" Horns all over that one! And it's got a Caribbean feel! And I fuckin hate it so much I cut that section of the CD out with a scissor and taped the two other pieces together with a little piece of The Ramones' Animal Boy album!

Apparently most critics dislike this album. For once, I'm proud to be part of this esteemed group. This album, like every other Jam album, is full of Brit-pop whimsy, minor keys, ripoffs of "Heat Wave" and stuff that sounds like what the early Who records would have sounded like if Declan MacManus' parents had done the Bouncy Plunger 15 years earlier. It reminds me of a little joke I haven't made up yet, but will as I write it

What do you call Paul Weller when you chop him up into little pieces and cook him with fried okra?

Meaty Okre!

Reader Comments (Jay Banerjee)
OK, everyone seems to think this is proto-Style Council dreck and should be carried upstreet downstreet upstreet downstreet 'til someone picks it up and puts it in the bin.

But let's pretend we travel to an alternate universe where "The Gift" doesn't contain "Precious", "The Planner's Dream Gone Wrong", or "Trans-Global Express". Then I'd say it's a damn great album, and I don't want to leave this alternate universe 'cause I have in my hands what just might be the greatest record of all time.

OK, I'm exaggerating a tad, but you get the idea. Really, "The Gift" is certainly The Jam's most underrated work; it's solely because the Brit-funk sound has aged about as gracefully as the Olsen twins that the low points sound really, really, really low.

BUT we get "Happy Together", one of the catchiest little numbers in a catalog riddled with catchy little numbers. Then there's "Ghosts", just a haunting, stripped-down ballad that may well be the best song The Jam never released as a single. And of course "Town Called Malice", the energetic Motown stomper, worldwide hit and the best song on the album. And the other songs (aside from the three aforementioned) aren't too shabby, either. Bruce Foxton's instrumental work-out "Circus" features the best lyrics he ever wrote (ha!...OK, OK, "Smithers-Jones" was great, that's for sure), "Just Who Is the 5 O'Clock Hero?" is catchy in the "Penny Lane" sort of way, with the requisite sharp social observations to boot. Really this album ain't so bad. If they had replaced the three main offenders with some non-LP songs from this era, say, I don't know, "Funeral Pyre", "Absolute Beginners", "Tales from the Riverbank", "The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had to Swallow)", "Beat Surrender", or even their great cover of "Move On Up", then we really would have had the best LP in history. As it is I guess it really is somewhere in the middle of The Jam's albums, as it features some of the all-time lowest moments in The Jam's catalog (alongside "This Is the Modern World"), but still it's damn underrated, and thanks to the better tracks, I'd never be caught without it.
I must say that although we seem to agree a lot in terms of musical taste, I just can't see eye to eye with you when it comes to the Jam. I've loved this band since my early teens (and I'm not even British), and with a couple of exceptions, I really like everything they've put out. I'm glad you can at least accept that some people feel this way, and I'll try to explain my point of view.

I read elsewhere on this page that someone suggested that the Jam are a good "starter" punk band for people who either aren't into punk or haven't gotten into it yet. I, at the tender age of 13 in 1982, fell into the latter category. I had a friend as a youngster who seemed to get into all of the cool stuff first - for example, The Clash, the Pretenders 1st album, Dead Kennedys, and the "Start!" 45 RPM single by the Jam. I didn't notice nor care that "Start!" sounds an awful lot like "Taxman" - it was just an extremely crisp, high energy song. It was a while before I became a punk/hardcore fan (blame the Pistols for that one, followed soon by the 1st Suicidal Tendencies record), but by that time I was already a huge fan of the Jam, and had amassed pretty much all their albums.

So why did I like them right away? Because I already liked the Kinks and the Who, and the Jam pretty much was a modern-day update of that sound. No, they weren't innovative, nor were they great musicians. But Paul Weller was a huge fan of that classic sound, as was I... so his stuff really kinda spoke to me. Gave me more of what I wanted to hear after my copy of "Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy" was finished.

Concerning your ratings of these albums, I could probably agree with the "Modern World" album rating. Definitely their weakest album by far. And although it contains "Start!", the "Sound Affects" album has too many boring songs on it - Side Two for example (though the great ones on Side One are REALLY great). But "The Gift"? I love that one! Maybe the big echoey Motown/Spector kind of production puts you off (especially on the less substantial songs, like "Trans Global Express", which is ALL sound), but this still has plenty of tune-heavy, intelligent songs on it... as many as "All Mod Cons" I might argue (AMC is my fave by the way). "Happy Together", "Ghosts", "Precious", "5 O'Clock Hero", and "Town Called Malice" are all among my favorite Jam songs.

So Jam it up yer keister, Prindleton! YOU'RE WRONG!! Urinalysis is FREEDOM!!

Being the devil's advocate (a part time gig, but it pays the bills), I guess in all seriousness I can see why you don't really dig the Jam. A) You don't like Weller's voice; B) You were exposed to them too late in your musical tastes' development; C) You don't like Bread; and D) They borrow (or as detractors say, steal) riffs and styles from other artists.

Hmmm.. re-reading (D) above has made me reconsider... maybe they DID suck. Aw to hell with it, I love em anyway.

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Beat Surrender EP - Polydor 1982.
Rating = 6

It's no secret that I love The Jam. I love Paul Weller's full angelic 8-octave vocal range, the completely unique new form of music they play that is unlike any other ever heard (it's almost as if they had NO influences!) and best of all, I love their whole "mod" image which, in an unprecedented move in rock and roll history, unified the British band with mid-60s American r'n'b! So imagine how excited I was when I ran across this record in a pile of human shit and filth lying on the side of the road! I excitedly took it home, fumigated the lice off of it and rested it on the turnplayer to enjoy the latest sounds from "The Only Band That Matters."

Carrying forth with their tradition of playing "Three Chords And The Truth," The Jam right from the getgo make it clear that they "really mean it, maaaaan" with the poppy piano/horn jump-and-jive excellence of the title track. Not resting on their laurels, and making it worth the price of admission, they follow it up with "Shopping," a Beatle-esque take on smoky jazzy coolness with a Beck-like flute solo of Radiohead/White Stripes proportion!

As the record is flipped over, one is confronted with the naked truth of dilettance. Namely, covers of three mid-60s American r'n'b tunes! First up is Curtis Mayfield's "Move On Up," next is the Chi-Lites scorcher "Stoned Out Of My Mind" and finally that dead guy's "War (What Is It Good For)." And talk about putting a positive white spin on the devil's race music! Ooo la la, The Jam make it clear that Adolf Hitler had the right idea!

No no, I meant "vegetarianism."

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Greatest Hits - 1991.
Rating 5

Hay! I'm a seven-year-old and Mark Prindle told me to review this cd because he doesnt felll good and i listened to it and its a big piece of poop. THea Jams sux. They suck my peter. Nothing sounds good. The singer sings ugly and the music is boring and lame and stupid. Id rather cut off my balls and rub them all over my face than listen to this CD by the Jams. I thin kthey are the worst band ever but some of the songs are okay if you like crap. Greatest Hits? MOre like Greatest BEEP!s if you ask me! My dad is a baker and I have a dog named Tim. I listened to this after The Beatels and it was like they were trying to be the beatles but like if the beatles were three turds and a weiner. I also like Limp Biskit my sister likes the backstreet boys but shes president of the itty bitty titty committee.

I just read some of Mark Prindle's CD reviews. Is he seven too?

Reader Comments (Jay Banerjee)
Dear Mr. Prindle,

In response to your puerile, vituperative lambasting of The Jam, I have but one thing to say to you: nah nah nah nah naaaaaah, you like fucking Everclear.

Yours sincerely,

Jay Banerjee (Brian Hyndman)
To put my comments in context, let me start by noting that I am in full agreement with your opinion of da Jam. If anything, I think you were overly generous in your assessment -- left to my own devices, I would knock a few red dots off each and every one of the albums tailor-made for angry, drunken undergraduates by a self-professed 'working class hero' who didn't work....and didn't have any class for that matter.

But I must object in the strongest terms to your equation of Paul Weller with one Elvis Costello -- aka Duncan McManus, MacManus? McClannis?...whatever the fuck appears on his birth certificate. You know who I'm talking about.

Granted, both of the artistes in question possess a voice rougher than Number Ten sandpaper. And with an attitude you can cut with a knife, I pity the waiter for the abuse doled out by either of them on the morning after the night before. But that is where the similarity ends.

For a truly meaningful comparison, let us first dispense with the albums: The Jam and Elvis Costellos's respective catalogues both contain more 'filler' than an Oscar Meyer hot dog. But as a proud possessor of Elvis Costello's greatest hits CD, an unsurpassed collection of pop songs as polished and refined as finely cut diamonds, I defy anyone willing to challenge my contention that the best songs of Elvis C. kick Paul Weller's sorry, guitar-chord-plagiarizing ass from here to Chelsea. Elvis vs. the Jam? Ask yourself the question: Would Diana Krall sleep with Paul Weller??? Well, would she????

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Dig The New Breed - Polydor 1982
Rating 4

I really liked the movie The Brood but this album is terrible. I could write better songs with two hands tied behind my back, two more parked behind the garage, three planted in the microwave, fourteen under the petunia, and one up my rear squeezing a poop hello. Here's some indication of Paul Weller's jaw-dropping lack of talent: Whenever I review a CD, I use the scientific method of awarding each song a "0" (if I hate it), a "-" (if it's okay), or a "1" if I like it. The first six songs on this 14-song CD received a sum of "000000." That's more Zeros than you'll find in Katie Holmes' address book! This is because The Jam wrote two types of songs: (1) happy bullshit and (2) absolutely no melody. Then they ripped out Elvis Costello's voicebox, ran it through a blender, and inserted it into their singer's throat. Finally they added the bass line to "Taxman" and SHAZAM! It's a shitty Jam album!

This one's live though, featuring four songs culled from All Mod Cons, three pulled from Sound Affects, one each jethro tulled from In The City, The Gift, This Is The Modern World and Setting Songs, and then a single, a B-side and an Eddie Floyd cover. Most of these songs are terrible. "Private Hell," "That's Entertainment," "Standards" and "In The Crowd" are great though. I assume some other band wrote them.

The album is compiled from several different concerts recorded throughout their short and fruitless career, demonstrating that apparently at some point while they were around, they toured with horn players! The sound quality varies but is always pretty strong, with loud crisp drums, audible bass, shitty vocals and terrible songs. You may get the feeling that I hate The Jam. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth (except the statement "I like The Jam even a little bit at all"). But see, the thing is -- it's not like I'm prejudiced against bands with no talent or ideas. If The Jam were any good, I'd love them! The problem is that their songs make me feel like I'm being slowly strangled to death, without even masturbating like that INXS guy. They are the aural equivalent of a piece of sandpaper floating around in a cloud of unbreathable black smog.

Here are just a few of the many bands that are better than The Jam: Aerosmith AFI Afghan Whigs, The Alabama Alice Cooper Allman Brothers Band Anthrax Archies, The Association, The Backstreet Boys The Band Beach Boys, The Beastie Boys Billy Joel Biohazard Blink 182 Blondie Blood, Sweat and Tears Blue Cheer The Blue Horizon Jazz Band Bon Jovi Booker T. & the M.G.'s Boston Bowling For Soup Box Tops Buckinghams, The Buffalo Springfield Byrds, The Canned Heat Chic Chicago Chantays, The CIV Coasters, The Contours, The Corvus Creedence Clearwater Revisited Creedence Clearwater Revival Crosby, Stills & Nash (and Young) Crystals, The Darkest Hour Death By Stereo Deftones Destiny's Child Doors, The Dream Theater Dokken Drifters, The Eagles, The Earth, Wind & Fire Eels E Street Band, The Evanescence Everly Brothers, The Exodus Fifth Dimension, The Fleetwood Mac Four Seasons, The Four Tops, The Frogg Café Funkadelic Grateful Dead Green Jelly Guns N Roses Gwar Hall & Oates Hanson Hold steady, the Hoobastank Iced Earth Jackson Five, The Jag Panzer Jefferson Airplane Jimi Hendrix Experience, The The Juliana Theory Kaleidoscope Kingsmen, The Kiss Keel Ko?n Lemonheads, The Letters To Cleo Limp Bizkit Linkin Park Little Feat Love Love Affair Lovin' Spoonful, The Lynyrd Skynyrd Mamas and the Papas, The Manowar Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids Mars Volta, The Mastodon MC5 Megadeth Metallica Monkees, The Morbid Angel Mothers of Invention Nirvana No Doubt Norma Jean (band) Offspring, The Overkill Pantera Papa Roach Parliaments, The Pavement Platters, The Presidents of the United States of America Public Enemy Queensrÿche Quiet Riott Rage Against the Machine Ramones, The Rare Earth The (Young) Rascals Ratt Red Hot Chili Peppers R.E.M Rivieras, The Robert Cray Band, The Run-DMC SAMDAVE Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs Sebadoh Seeds, The The Silver Apples Simon & Garfunkel Slaughter Slayer Slint Slipknot Sly & the Family Stone Sugarland Smashing Pumpkins, The Sonics, The Sonic Youth Sonny & Cher Sparklehorse Steppenwolf Stooges, The Strawberry Alarm Clock Stryper Suicidal Tendencies Suine Anget Supremes, The Surfaris, The System of a Down Talking Heads Temptations, The Television Testament Tiger Army Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Tool Tortoise Toto Trammps, The Trashmen, The Tubes, The Type O Negative United States of America, The USER Van Halen Velvet Underground, The Ventures, The Vinnie Vincent Invasion Walker Brothers, The W.A.S.P. Wilco Winds of Change Winger ZZ Top Action, The Amen Corner Animals, The Ash Athlete Bananarama Beatles, The Bee Gees, The (born in the Isle of Man ) Belle and Sebastian Billy Idol Birds, The Black Sabbath Blind Faith Blue Flame Bluesbreakers Blur Boo Radleys, The Budgie Cardiacs Cast Catatonia Charlatans, The Chemical Brothers, The Christie Chumbawamba Clash, The Clinic Coldplay Coral Creation, The Cream Culture Club Cure, The Darkness, The Dave Clark Five, The Deep Purple Def Leppard Del Amitri Depeche Mode Derek and the Dominos Dire Straits Divine Comedy Duran Duran Edison Lighthouse Elbow Electric Light Orchestra Embrace Emerson, Lake and Palmer The Enid Eric Burdon and the New Yardbirds Eurythmics Fairport Connection Fleetwood Mac Foundations, The Four Pennies, The Franz Ferdinand Freddie and the Dreamers Genesis Gerry and the Pacemakers Hawkwind Heaven 17 Herman's Hermits Hollies, The Honeycombs, The IQ Iron Maiden Jadis James Jamiroquai Jeff Beck Group Jesus & Mary Chain Jethro Tull Joy Division Ju Ju Babies Judas Priest Keane King Crimson Kubb Kula Shaker La's, The Kinks, The Led Zeppelin Levitation Lostprophets Madness Manfred Mann Manic Street Preachers Marillion Massive Attack Mike and the Mechanics Moody Blues, The Muse Music My Bloody Valentine New Order Oasis Ocean Colour Scene Pallas Paradise Lost Pendragon Pet Shop Boys Pink Floyd Placebo Pogues, The Police, The Portishead Primal Scream Procol Harum Prodigy, The Psychedelic Furs Pulp Queen Radiohead Rainbow Rolling Stones, The Roxy Music Searchers, The Sex Pistols Shadows, The Shed Seven Sleeper Starsailor Teenage Fanclub Small Faces, The Smiths, The Smoke, The Snow Patrol Spencer Davis Group, The Spice Girls Spiritual Cowboys, The Status Quo Stereophonics Stone Roses, The Subcircus Suede Super Furry Animals Supergrass Sweet Tears for Fears Teenage Fanclub Thin Lizzy Thirteen Senses Tremeloes, The Tourists, The Troggs, The Travis Twelfth Night Uriah Heep T. Rex Verve, The Walk on Fire Whitesnake Who, The XTC Yardbirds, The Yes Zombies, The ABBA Ace of Base Ark, The Army of Lovers A-Teens Blå Tåget bob hund Cardigans, The Diamond Dogs Downbeat Crowd Eldkvarn Entombed Europe Fläskkvartetten Freak Kitchen GES Gyllene Tider Hammerfall Hedningarna Hellacopters, The Hep Stars Hives, The Hoola Bandoola Band Hootenanny Singers Hoven Droven Imperiet In Flames Kebnekajse Kent Lok Latin Kings, The Nationalteatern Nordman Ola & the Janglers Prime Stockholm Roxette Shanes Spotnicks, The Streaplers Svenne & Lotta Tages Wannadies, The Wilmer X 21 Japonesas 7 Notas 7 Colores Alaska y Dinarama (see Fangoria ) Alaska y los Pegamoides (see Fangoria ) Amistades Peligrosas Anestesia Arakajun Australian Blonde Aviador Dro Baccara BAP!! Barón Rojo Barricada Belle Pop Brahms (band) Café Quijano Celtas Cortos Crin de Crin Crines Danba Danza Invisible Def Con Dos Delirium Tremens (band) *Delirium Tremens Deluxe Derribos Arias Dinamita pa los pollos Dixebra DNI Duncan Dhu Ehun kilo Ekon El Canto del Loco El Club de los Poetas Violentos Eskorbuto Estopa Etsaiak Extremoduro Fangoria Flitter Fórmula Abierta Fórmula V Fundación Tony Manero Gamberros Unidos Glutamato Ye-ye ????? 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How does Paul Weller sleep at night knowing that he ruined Eddie Floyd's "Big Bird"? Have you ever heard that song? That's one of the greatest songs ever written, but you sure wouldn't know it from The Jam's piss-poor soulless idiot David Bowie failure version..

And what is it with the commercialization of Christmas these days? "Ho Ho Ho"? Now it's become "Pay Pay Pay!" Instead of "Peace On Earth, Good Will Toward Men," it's now "Expensive Presents On Earth, More Money Toward Men." Kris Kringle, what are you doing in Macy's instead of guiding your eight tiny reindeer across the nighttime sky? Santa Claus, what are you doing in Bloomingdale's when you should be silently creeping on the roof while sugarplums dance in my sleeping head? Chri$tma$, I rebuke you.

A Guy Who Wants to Have Sex with Santa Claus

Reader Comments
This is the single snottiest review you hath ever penned.

Therefore it is utter genius.

Fuck the Jam, Pete Townshend wrote all their songs in 1965.
Thanks for mentioning The Tom Robinson Band on your site! I thought I was the only one who was into them!
I see you mentioned the Super Furry Animals. You really should get around to reviewing THAT band, oh man... talk about the 21st Century Beatles... not doing what the Beatles done but creating music like the Beatles did in their later period, naturally melding together disparate genres by wholly doing what suits the songs, with loads of electronica and Beach Boys harmonies thrown in. I reckon you'd love 'em. (Jay Banerjee)
OK, this review is fucking hilarious. But hilariously heartbreaking, dammit Prindle. By the way in your cut-and-paste haste I think you messed up around "Wire (US) (Australia)". Clearly that should read "Wire X (US) X (Australia)", right? And "SAMDAVE" should probably read "Sam & Dave", unless they're that hip new robot group I've been hearing about. And Vicious White Kids (Sid Vicious and some other guys) had I think one song, "Belsen Was a Gas", and it's pretty much of the quality you'd expect from a guy who couldn't sing, play, write, or live past age 21. Sure The Jam ripped off The Beatles, The Who, and many others, but how many artists did those guys rip off, and how many bands on your list ripped off The Jam? The Sex Pistols, who ripped off the bassline of "In the City" for "Holidays in the Sun". And...OK, I can't find Green Day in your list, but still my point remains. Some critics play the "unoriginality" card as cop-out rationalization for not liking a band, but it's just an excuse contrived after the fact. Bottom line, you either like a band or you don't. I like (love) The Jam, you clearly don't. Should this ever come to battle, England and I will kick your Yank arse. (Ha ha! It's funny, 'cause in England, they don't say "ass", they say "arse", and "Yank" isn't something you do behind locked doors at age 13, it's what they call Americans!)

I will say that The Jam's live albums are somewhat redundant and erratic. I think all the live stuff you could ever want is on The Complete Jam DVD, which also has some hilariously crotchety interviews and a collection of promo videos. I realize that item probably isn't high on your wish list, but could I coax you if I told you that the video for "The Bitterest Pill" will afford you a whole new arsenal of Jam insults for you to disseminate throughout your site, as you've already begun to do on The Undertones and XTC pages? "I was moved and inspired by Weller's touching performance to shove this SHITASTICALLY SUCKBADDY pee-vee-pee up the ass of the local vicar, which ruptured his sphincter! That makes me vicar now, thank you Paul Weller for performing fellatio with your shitfuckally abysmal foray into thespian hardcore. You can't spell fellatio without 'fella', or 'Tio', which is the name of my Puerto Rican uncle who molested me at age six. I was twenty-four at the time."
I think Quiet Riot is taking things a little too far.
Who are "The" Black Sabbath? Are you referring to the band who used to be fronted by "The" Ozzy Osbourne?

And what are you doing having even heard of The Enid over there in your American backwater. Do you realize you've included them twice? Does this make them twice as good as The Jam?

An ex girlfriend of mine liked Robert John Godfrey. She used to say one of his songs was about her. I can't really remember it now, but I think it probably went on for over an hour and didn't have any words. It was deathly boring anyway - which on reflection was almost certainly what she meant. I used to like her, back around the time when I also liked the Enid. It's a shame you haven't got around to reviewing them. I would really enjoy the prospect of Robert John 'Pretentious' Godfrey being destroyed by your biting wit and savage satire. He of course deserves it, unlike Paul Weller who is in fact God, or at least a close relative of His.

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