Thursday, July 25, 2013

For Two Minutes Only

The Jam, 1979. L-r: Rick Buckler, Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton
Was there a better run of singles in the 1970s than The Jam's, from "Down In The Tube Station At Midnight" (1978) through "Start!" (1980)? You may have to go back to the brilliant runs on Billboard of the mid 1960s to find a band at such peak form. A pity that Paul Weller felt that this sound—humongous, thrilling, tight, smart, rocking, both in the studio and onstage—was ultimately limiting.

 "Down In The Tube Station At Midnight" (1978)

 "Strange Town" (1979)

 "When You're Young" (1979)

"The Eton Rifles" (1979)

 "Going Undergeound" (1980)

"Start!" (1980)

Photo "The Jam, London 1979," by Janette Beckman, via Morrison Hotel.

1 comment:

Marcus said...

Great observation and so many of those singles never even made it to an album. B sides were pretty tasty as well.

Weller was just absolutely on fire after those original All Mod Cons songs were rejected.

Although I agree with you that the truly great singles run probably ended with Start, the 1981 singles can't be overlooked. I think both of them have aged very well and I have "Riverbank" in my top 10 Weller songs of all time!

I was devastated at the time when he split the band because it was "limiting" ... Aged 15, I just could not understand it, many decades later, I see it was the perfect call.
Amazing that Weller not only had the awareness to see it, but the courage to do it, aged 24.