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The Jam, 1977 And All That

Our newest contributor, the somewhat enigmatic Ancient Champion, listens to the Jam and figures, Nothing says "Christmas is Coming" for some middle-aged men more than a remastered collection of punk rock standards...

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by Ancient Champion, for outsideleft.com
originally published: October, 2017
Oi. I don't give two fucks about your reviews
by Ancient Champion, for outsideleft.com
originally published: October, 2017
Oi. I don't give two fucks about your reviews

THE JAM
1977 Multi Disc Box Set + 144 Page Book
(UMG)

Christmas is coming for some middle aged men. Just about to sit down and listen to the bits of 1977, the Jam at 40 Box Set I have been given to listen to but am instantly distracted by an email from ARGOS imploring me to add something retro to my home. Something more retro than me, I Wondered? I wonder a lot. What else is there to do? Live a little?

Then I remembered that great line early on, from Paul Weller, "I don't give two fucks about your reviews." Although doubtless he will care deeply about this one when he reads it. A friend of my dad once saw the Jam one time at Stafford Bingley Hall, a cowshed in the Black Country, and whatever they'd washed the mess off the floor with, if anything, to clean it up for the show, it made a mess of his loafers.

Paul Weller's made some great records, many great records, and tomorrow he'll probably do it again, he can do that whenever he wants. It's no easy thing doing that once, doing that in the first place and then doing that year after year.

I'd imagine the imaginative title for this collection didn't come from someone who was in the Jam, I mean, I don't know if the Jam really owned 1977, not so much how I recall it. 1977 was the year of punk rock music. The Jam were right there too. Punk energy with  a bandleader with more musical ambition than many. Who never seemed to be bother to be constrained by any one elses expectations. 1977 for the Jam meant two albums, three hit singles, saw them on Top of the Pops, and now here we are at 40.

By all accounts this box set is beautifully put together, with a 144 page book, and will in short time become quite collectable I'd imagine, if you have space for retro objects in your house. The set includes a remastered debut In The CIty album, and wow what a great single that particular song was. The Polydor demos for the first album, many of which have been previously unreleased. On the DVD you cna see a performance of All Around the World. There's a lot of great stuff on here, and that's great and fans will want it. But with Paul Weller, you never imagine him spend too much time looking back, he's looking forward and as one of the best songwriters in the world, who knows what he'll do next?

I once picked a friend up from the UK at LAX on the way to their wedding in Vegas. I'd been living there for a decade or so sure enough how they they laughed as the Jam's In The City album blasted out of the stereo and out into the trafiic on the 405 through the space where the convertible roof would be in the UK. Good times.

The Jam on the Marc show in 1977, I love that first Oi.

Full tracklisting here:

Disc 1 - In The City (original album remastered) 
1. Art School 
2. I've Changed My Address 
3. Slow Down 
4. I Got By In Time 
5. Away From The Numbers 
6. Batman Theme 
7. In The City 
8. Sounds From The Street 
9. Non-Stop Dancing 
10. Time For Truth 
11. Takin' My Love 
12. Bricks & Mortar 
+ single & B-side extras 
13. All Around The World 
14. Carnaby Street

Disc 2 - The Polydor Demos: February 1977 
1. Art School (demo) # 
2. In The City (demo) 
3. I Got By In Time (demo) # 
4. I've Changed My Address (demo) # 
5. Time For Truth (demo) 
6. Sounds From The Street (demo) 
7. Non Stop Dancing (demo) # 
8. Bricks And Mortar (demo) # 
9. Takin' My Love (demo) 
10. So Sad About Us (demo) 
11. Slowdown (demo) # 
# previously unreleased

Disc 3 - This Is The Modern World (original album remastered) 
1. The Modern World 
2. London Traffic 
3. Standards 
4. Life From A Window 
5. The Combine 
6. Don't Tell Them You're Sane 
7. In The Street Today 
8. London Girl 
9. I Need You (For Someone) 
10. Here Comes The Weekend 
11. Tonight At Noon 
12. In The Midnight Hour

Disc 4 - Live 1977 + John Peel Sessions 
1. In The City 
2. Art School 
3. I've Changed My Address 
4. The Modern World 
Recorded 26.4.1977 - Transmitted 2.5.1977 
5. All Around The World 
6. London Girl 
7. Bricks & Mortar 
8. Carnaby Street 
Recorded 19.7.1977 - Transmitted 25.7.1977 
Live at the 'Nashville' – September 10th 1977 (previously unreleased) 
9. Carnaby Street 
10. The Modern World 
11. Time For Truth 
12. So Sad About Us 
13. London Girl 
14. In the Street Today 
15. All Around The World 
16. London Traffic 
17. Sweet Soul Music 
18. Bricks & Mortar 
19. In The City 
20. Art School 
21. In The Midnight Hour 
22. Sounds From The Street 
23. Slowdown

Disc 5 - DVD 
1. In The City (Polydor promo, May 1977) 
2. Art School (Polydor promo, May 1977) 
3. In The City (Top Of The Pops, May 77) 
4. All Around The World (Top Of The Pop, August 77) 
5. All Around The World (Marc, 77)
6. The Modern World (Top Of The Pops, November 77)
7. Bricks and Mortar (So It Goes, November 77)
8. Carnaby Street (So It Goes, November 77)
9. In The City (So It Goes, November 77)
10. Slowdown (So It Goes, November 77)
11. All Around The World (So It Goes, November 77)


Available on October 20th at Amazon and record shops too.
See also Paul Weller in Behind the Counterculture #36 from 2006

Ancient Champion

Ancient Champion only ever communicates with us online so, so much we don't know. Proud Citizen of Nowhere is the response when we ask where you from? We do know the Ancient Champion is releasing a new single each month of 2018. Instrumental music characterised as easy listening for difficult people. And a collection of extremely short stories, Six Stories About Motoring Nowhere as part of the SideCartel's Sextet series. More info at AncientChampion.com

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