Great Rock Albums of 1980: The Jam- Sound Affects


The Jam were another British band that were big in their own country but hardly heard of in the USA. At least I didn’t hear of them until the mid 80s and that was when Paul Weller was making it solo and The Jam were referred to in retrospect to him. Worse still, I didn’t listen to them until much later and if you read my post on their 1979 album “Setting Sons,” you will know the history behind it. I still like to once again thank my ex-wife for introducing them to me.

In the late 70s, they had that angry British punk sound that typified the era and the country back then. In 1980, the punk scene in the UK was beginning to die out and make a new beginning on the West Coast of the USA. I think that is reflected in this album. There is that very notable sound that The Jam possessed back then, only with “Sound Affects,” the ferocity began to slow down a bit. The only song, I would call angry is “Set the House Ablaze” and that happens to be my favourite song on the album, but I won’t deride the others either. “Man In the Corner Shop” is a good one as well as “Monday.” The others are also reminiscent of The Jam with that short, sharp rock sound that took them to the top. But instead of going at 200 miles an hour, it goes about 150 and there is nothing wrong with that.

Track Listing:

1. Pretty Green

2. Monday

3. But I’m Different Now

4. Set the House Ablaze

5. Start

6. That’s Entertainment

7. Dream Time

8. Man In the Corner Shop

9. Music For the Last Couple

10. Boy About Town

11. Scrape Away

The Jam

The Jam

Paul Weller- guitar, vocals

Bruce Foxton- bass, backing vocals

Rick Buckler- drums, percussion

Punk may have been in reference to a famous Jam song going underground in 1980, but it didn’t stop one of the big names of British Punk from putting out a cool album. It might not have been as fast or as angry, but it doesn’t stop it from being good.

Next post: The Cars- Panorama

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8 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1980: The Jam- Sound Affects”

  1. Excellent post on an album I’ve listened to a handful of times and really enjoyed. I hope to do a series on The Jam/Style Council/Paul Weller sometime next year so I can really become familiar with them. Very much looking forward to your next post on The Cars’ “Panorama,” a greatly overlooked release in their discography. I’ll be curious to see if it’s a positive review, since most reviews I’ve read are very mixed.


  2. I like the Jam, I have a greatest hits set from them. Then I made an error.

    I figured because I liked the greatest hits set, I needed to buy their complete studio recordings boxed set. Bad idea. All that unfamiliar music inundating me all at once…I eventually sold the box set, it was simply too much all at once. I do still love that hits set though. I think only 1 or 2 tracks from Sound Affects is on it though.


    • I’m sort of doing the same thing. It was their Greatest Hits album that my ex-wife turned me on to. Now I’m going through rock history listening to one Jam album at a time. I think it’s better doing it this way.


  3. I love That’s Entertainment too, great tune. Good choice.


  4. The album that turned me on to the Jam, too bad they never made much of a dent in the US market.


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