Great Rock Albums of 1979: The Jam- Setting Sons

I have to thank my ex-wife for this one because she is responsible for getting me into The Jam. I had heard of them in the past but never got around listening to them. Then one day we were at a car boot sale, which I guess is like a swap meet for my American readers, when we were going through a load of records that one seller had on display. We came across The Jam’s Greatest Hits album and she practically did cartwheels. We bought it straight away and I think it only cost us 10 pence (roughly 15 cents). I have to say, when we got home and listened to this album, I have to say I was converted. To me, they were straight ahead no nonsense rock, often called punk, but I’m not so quick to do labels. I know that I liked the hard aggressive sound that they made.

The other interesting note, that is if you are interested, is that if you were to make a Venn Diagram of my ex-wife’s and my musical tastes, it would overlap with such bands as Heart, Alice Cooper and Marillion and a few others. Although she did really like my Kenny Wayne Sheppard album. From that common ground, our musical tastes go in different directions. She was more into New Romantic 80’s stuff where I went more for the harder stuff. Anyway, enough of that.

The great thing about The Jam’s “Setting Sons” album is that it continues with that same powerful rock that attracted me to them in the first place. Songs like “Thick as Thieves,” “Private Hell” and “Smithers-Jones” all give that great aaargh feeling which typifies their sound back then. It also helps that this album contains the hit “The Eton Rifles,” which I confess is my all time favourite song by The Jam.

Track Listing:

1. Girls on the Phone

2. Tick as Thieves

3. Private Hell

4. Little Boy Soldiers

5. Wasteland

6. Burning Sky

7. Smithers- Jones

8. Saturday’s Kids

9. The Eton Rifles

10. Heatwave

The Jam

The Jam

Paul Weller- guitar, lead vocals

Bruce Foxton- bass, backing vocals

Rick Buckler- drums, percussion

So full marks to my ex-wife for introducing me to The Jam. “Setting Sons” is a classic Jam album in which every song has that power for which they were known for. It shows that hard and to the point is sometimes the best way.

Next post: Aerosmith- Night in the Rights

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to

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