Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Jam - Greatest Hits (1991)

The Jam was never very big here in the US, but their mix of punk/new wave/mod revival music with touches of '60s soul hit big in their native UK. To me, early songs by The Jam sound like The Clash with better bass lines, provided by Bruce Foxton. I much prefer their later work which was more soul music than punk. Paul Weller wrote, sang, and played lead guitar on most of these tracks. He's the real deal. Because of his music and influence, he is often referred to as "The Modfather." Since the songs here are in chronological order, so you can really hear his evolution as a songwriter. He would go on to have modest success with The Style Council and as a solo artist. The Jam had an obvious influence on many bands, including Oasis, Blur, and, more recently, Arctic Monkeys.

Tracks: 19 tracks, spanning the years 1977-1982. They're all enjoyable, but start to blur together after a while. Favorite songs are Going Underground, Absolute Beginners, Town Called Malice and Beat Surrender. I wish they would have included Little Boy Soldiers from 1979's album Setting Sons because that's a personal favorite.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: Back when they were recording, I thought this band was too noisy. Let's be honest, in 1977, I was listening to disco. I didn't really start to enjoy The Jam until the mid-'90s. In high school, however, I had a Jam pinback I would wear on my letter jacket because I thought the band name was cool even if I didn't listen to their music. It was part of my "I like hipper music than you" facade that I cultivated in the early '80s.

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