Archive for The Jam

Great Rock Albums of 1982: The Clash- Combat Rock

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-The_Clash_-_Combat_Rock

Before I launch into the most successful album from The Clash, I must also add my two penneth about AC/DC at the grammys last week. I have enjoyed reading some of the accounts of their performance on the show from some of my fellow bloggers and to all I say, “Well done!” However, I have also read Britain’s leading tabloid newspaper, The Sun’s account of the grammys. They mentioned Kanye West, Madonna and even Lady GaGa with lost of glossy pictures. I had a skim read through it and there was no mention of AC/DC’s performance nor were there any pictures. This adds further proof the my supposition that The Sun newspaper is anti heavy metal.

Here's a piccy of AC/DC at the grammys

Here’s a piccy of AC/DC at the grammys

Now a quick recap on history of the time. By the early 1980s, punk had relocated from Britain to the west coast of the US. Many of the famous punk bands from the late 1970s had either disbanded or as in the case of The Jam, gone for a more mainstream sound. Read my visit of “The Gift” for further insight. Saying that, The Clash failed to pick up the memo on this because the 1982 album “Combat Rock” is not a total abandonment from the punk sound that made The Clash who they were. I’ll be the first to say that they probably weren’t as angry as they were when they put out “London Calling” there is a lot to say that they weren’t ready for the Top 40 either.

“Combat Rock” starts out as brash as any of The Clash’s earlier albums with a great opener, “Know Your Rights” and a great follow on with “Car Jamming.” Then there is my all time favourite Clash song, “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” which carries aggressive guitar chords that would impress most metalheads. Just thinking about it makes me want to seek out the nearest mosh pit. The next single “Rock the Casbah” comes next. What is great about this song is that while it still has that aggressive Clash style, the lyrics are politically satirical that some might not expect. Furthermore, a piano is added and that too doesn’t take away from the hard punk rock sound. After the next track, “Red Angel Dragnet,” “Combat Rock” seems to slide a bit with its hard rock aggression. What there is, however, is some more politics and satire, which makes me think that The Clash weren’t angry anymore, just a bit more skeptical and wanted to take the piss out of everything. “Inoculated City” goes back to the more angrier days but for me, “Combat Rock” lets itself down with an almost ballad like closer, “Death Is a Star.” Sure, that might work on a progressive rock album but to me it was rather unnecessary. Take that track away and you can see why this album was The Clash’s most successful album.

Track Listing:

1. Know Your Rights

2. Car Jamming

3. Should I Stay or Should I Go

4. Rock The Casbah

5. Red Angel Dragnet

6. Straight to Hell

7. Overpowered by Funk

8. Atom Tan

9. Sean Flynn

10. Ghetto Defendant

11. Inoculated City

12. Death is a Star

The Clash

The Clash

Joe Strummer- lead vocals, guitar, harmonica

Mick Jones-  guitar, vocals

Paul Simonon- bass, vocals

Topper Headon- drums, piano

What “Combat Rock” proved to me was that punk hadn’t completely left England in 1982. The Clash were able to put out a top album without totally forgetting where they came from.

Next post: Dead Kennedys- Plastic Surgery Disasters

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

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Great Rock Albums of 1982: The Jam- The Gift

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2014 by 80smetalman

The_Jam_-_The_Gift

I hope that everyone had a very nice Christmas and will have a Happy New Year and that Santa brought you all the music you wanted. He did bring me the new AC/DC album like I asked and I enjoyed it first listen. Being a parent or step parent in this case, I got to see my stepson open his Christmas card and discover two tickets to see Amon Amarth, Huntress and Savage Messiah in Bristol on January 18. I must thank Stone at Metalodyssey. His post alerted me to the upcoming concert and I would have missed it if I hadn’t seen it in one of his posts. Thank you Stone and I will be posting about that gig after I see it.

My stepson Teal holding his concert tickets

My stepson Teal holding his concert tickets

Now onto The Jam’s 1982 album “The Gift.” If I had been listening to The Jam back in the day and heard this album when it came out after listening to their previous albums, I would have immediately accused them of selling out. “The Gift” marks a departure from the hard, aggressive punk sound that they had been known for. I mean the opener for instance, “Happy Together” sounds more like a happy top 40 song then a traditional Jam punk anthem. However, the song does break with the precedent set by the other albums I have covered for 1982 and is not the hit single. Surprisingly enough, the big single from the album and probably their most successful song, “A Town Called Malice” is probably the closest song to The Jam of old on the entire album and probably why it’s a good song. At least they tried to keep to their traditional roots somewhat. The rest of the album, although not bad lacks that kick I liked about their previous albums. Paul Weller was trying to stretch out a little and you got to respect that but for me, it just doesn’t excite me the way the earlier Jam material did.

Track Listing:

1. Happy Together

2. Ghosts

3. Precious

4. Just Who is the Five O’Clock Hero

5. Trans Global Express

6. Running on the Spot

7. Circus

8. The Planner’s Dream Goes Wrong

9. Carnation

10. A Town Called Malice

11. The Gift

The Jam

The Jam

Paul Weller- guitar, lead vocals

Bruce Foxton- bass, backing vocals

Rick Buckler- drums

While “The Gift” would go to number one, it would also lead to the break up of the band. Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler wanted to stick to the more punk sound while Weller wanted to branch out more. It appears that this disagreement might have shone through on the album because while it goes to new places, it does so without the angry conviction that had gotten The Jam to where they were in the first place.

Next post: Toto- IV

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

A Very Pleasant Surprise Gig

Posted in 1978, 1979, 1980s, Concerts, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2014 by 80smetalman

Last Sunday, a work colleague celebrated his fiftieth birthday and to celebrate he treated a number of us to tickets to see The Jam tribute band, From the Jam. Since I didn’t really get into them until the mid to late 90s, I accepted the invitation. I wasn’t disappointed. Unlike every other tribute band in the world, this particular one had something different, one of the former members of the band they paid tribute to was in the band; the member in question was none other than bassist Bruce Foxton. Unfortunately, because Paul Weller was not among them, they have to call themselves a tribute band.

Bruce Foxton

Bruce Foxton

Before I go into what a great night it was, let me start at the beginning. Supporting From the Jam was a band from Gloucester called The Cue and here lies my first regret. While I took photos of the night, the cell phone passed onto me from my step son for some reason doesn’t let me upload them onto any computer. It’s like the computer doesn’t recognise it. Furthermore, they do have a page on Facebook but I can’t seem to find it. That is why I haven’t posted a picture of them but I can tell you that they were good. Their music was based on the same late 7os punk that the band they were supporting would be playing. Therefore, they were an excellent prelude to the main event.

From The Jam

From The Jam

From the Jam dominated the evening from the second they hit the stage to the very second they left it for good after finishing with their most well known hit, “A Town Called Malice.” They played practically all of the best known material, strategically spacing out two of The Jam’s other two best known songs, (at least to me), “Eton Rifles” and “Going Underground” so that the capacity crowd kept interest. Several songs from Foxton’s solo album were also treated to and loved by the audience. It was amusing seeing so many people my age, many of them former punks all bobbing away to them. I know my colleague certainly enjoyed his big five- oh. The only problem for me was remembering that The Jam weren’t heavy metal and had to keep a lid on the temptation to flash the horns into the air. However, the most fascinating aspect was the energy of Bruce Foxton himself, a man who has to be in his late fifties. He didn’t slow down for a single moment.

For my UK readers, if From the Jam, ever come to your area, go see them. Even if you weren’t a fan of The Jam back in the day, seeing these guys will make you rethink your stance. If you’re too young to remember them, you will be wanting to study ancient history.

Next post: Gillan- Double Trouble

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London.

Great Punk Albums of 1980: Dead Kennedys- Fresh Fruit for Rotten Vegetables

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2013 by 80smetalman

Dead_Kennedys_-_Fresh_Fruit_for_Rotting_Vegetables_cover

As I have stipulated in many posts thus far, back in 1980 and before, the term punk was brandished around fairly liberally in regards to bands who brought a unique sound to the music world. However, there are very few of theses acts which I would actually call punk, Talking Heads being one of the exceptions. My idea of punk was always in the form of the Sex Pistols, The Jam, The Ramones and the band whose album I’m visiting now, The Dead Kennedys. For me, Punk has always been the loud aggressive hardcore sound that the forementioned bands provided.

I have to confess, I didn’t listen to the Dead Kennedys much back in the day. I knew and loved their more notable songs, including two from this album “Fresh Fruit for Rotten Vegetables,” “Let’s Lynch the Landlord” (something I wanted to do to two of mine) and “Holiday in Cambodia” but I never listened to their albums in real earnest. My interest in listening to the Dead Kennedys again came about 8 years ago when I listened to some political speeches by former lead singer Jello Biafra. Side note: His speech on school shootings gave me lots of inspiration for my new book “He Was Weird.” And of course, when I get to 1986and 87, I will be writing posts on the criminal charges brought against him on the Dead Kennedys’ “Frankenchrist” album. Still, that’s down the line so let’s look more closely at their debut album.

Like I said, I already knew the songs “Holiday in Cambodia” and “Let’s Lynch the Landlord” and hearing them in recent times, I love them even more. However, two songs does not an album make. The rest of this album is just as hardcore and kickass. You can name any track on the album and I would give it my thumbs up but the standouts for me are: “Forward to Death,” “Kill The Poor,” “California Uber Allies” and “Chemical Warfare.” I also really love the cover of Elvis’s “Viva Las Vegas.” For me, this is what punk should be; loud, powerful and to the point. The combined total of the fourteen songs is just over thirty-three minutes.

Track Listing:

1. Kill the Poor

2. Forward to Death

3. When Ya Get Drafted

4. Let’s Lynch the Landlord

5. Drug Me

6. Your Emotions

7. Chemical Warfare

8. California Uber Allies

9. I Kill Children

10. Stealing People’s Mail

11. Funland At the Beach

12. Ill in the Head

13. Holiday in Cambodia

14. Viva Las Vegas

Dead Kennedys

Dead Kennedys

Jello Biafra- lead vocals

East Bay Ray- lead guitar

Klaus Flouride- bass, backing vocals

Ted- drums

6025- rhythm guitar on Ill in the Head

I slam danced my way for the entire thirty three minutes of this album. Thank God there wasn’t a stage for me to dive off of. But this is the effect “Fresh Fruit for Rotten Vegetables” has on me as is the case with most hardcore punk. By 1980, punk was moving away from the UK and re-establishing itself on the West Coast of the US. This album is prove that it had done so successfully.

Next post: Aerosmith- Greatest Hits

To buy Rock And Roll Children- go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Great Rock Albums of 1980: The Jam- Sound Affects

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2013 by 80smetalman

The_Jam_-_Sound_Effects

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

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1979: The Jam- Setting Sons

Posted in 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 23, 2012 by 80smetalman

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 http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London