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The Jam

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Formed in Woking, England in 1976, The Jam consisted of three Members - Paul Weller (Lead Guitar, Vocals,) Rick Buckler (Drums & Percussion) and Bruce Foxton (Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals). Foxton, joined in 1977, leaving local Rock band 'Zita'. As time went on and the style of the Jam’s music progressed into the 1980s, additional musicians were recruited for brass sections, percussion and backing vocals; in the case of the latter, a young female vocalist from Telford called Tracie Young (who subsequently had her own top 10 UK hit in 1983 as a solo artist with the pop song "The House That Jack Built") also appeared on the group's last three singles and was an original member of Weller’s next group; The Style Council.

By his own admission (in The Jam’s official 1983 Biography 'A Beat Concerto', written by Paolo Hewitt) Weller was influenced into forming The Jam after going to a concert of London Punk band The Clash. The name of the group came from Weller’s sister who suggested the title at breakfast one day. The first Album ‘In The City’ (1977) reflected the period of New Wave Punk that was happening in London at that time. Other songs on the album, which reflected Weller’s Punk influences, are the frantic 'Slow Down' and the equally fast paced 'Batman Theme'.

Possibly the key to the groups overwhelming success was not only Weller's outstanding ability as a songwriter and musician but also his ability to move with the times. Punk faded away in 1979 and whilst the group’s second album 'This Is The Modern World' contained elements of the Post-Punk songwriting that appeared on the previous Album, a new audience began to associate themselves with the group; the early 80s Mod Revival or 'Jam Boys' as they became known. Famously, the first draft of the 'All Mod Cons' album was scrapped in a trying period for the band with Weller temporarily lacking motivation. However the revised version of the album was well received and three more successful albums followed: 'Setting Sons', 'Sound Affects' and 'The Gift'. The group became synonymous with the 70s/80s mod scene (partly against their will), influencing other bands in the process. Weller himself came from a musical background which consisted of Northern Soul, Motown and 60s Pop bands such as The Who and The Kinks and this was reflected within the music on all of those albums. The release of 'The Gift' coincided with the band’s most successful period and contained two number one singles.

By the turn of the 1980s, The Jam was the biggest UK Singles band. All in all they scored five number one singles, the first one being 'Going Underground' which alongside 'Town Called Malice' is arguably their most famous release. When the band split it was one of a small number of their singles re-released early in 1983 that saw chart entries in the UK Top 40 with three re-releases all at once. These were 'Beat Surrender', 'Going Underground' and 'All Around The World'. Along with The Beatles, The Jam remain the only other band in the UK to have simultaneously played both sides of a 'AA' release live on the BBC music show 'Top Of The Pops', this occurring with the 1981 No. 1 single 'Town Called Malice/Precious'.

In 1982 and to the dismay of millions of their fans, Paul Weller made the shock announcement that the band was to split up. The next and final single released in December 1982 'Beat Surrender' went straight in at No. 1 and remains a lasting legacy from one of the most successful British bands ever.


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Wikipedia Information

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The Jam were an English mod revival/punk rock band during the 1970s and early 1980s, which formed in 1972 at Sheerwater Secondary School in Woking, in the county of Surrey. The band released 18 consecutive Top 40 singles in the United Kingdom, from their debut in 1977 to their break-up in December 1982, including four number one hits. As of 2007, "That's Entertainment" and "Just Who Is the 5 O'Clock Hero?" remain the best-selling import singles of all time in the UK. They released one live album and six studio albums, the last of which, The Gift, hit number one on the UK Albums Chart. When the group disbanded in 1982, their first 15 singles were re-released and all placed within the top 100.While the Jam shared the "angry young man" outlook and fast tempo of the mid-1970s British punk rock movement, in contrast with it the band wore smartly tailored suits reminiscent of English pop-bands in the early 1960s and incorporated mainstream 1960s rock and R&B influences into its sound, particularly from the Who's work of that period and also drew influence from the work of the Kinks and the music of American Motown. This placed the act at the forefront of the 1970s–1980s nascent Mod Revival movement. With many of the band's lyrics about working class life, Jam biographer Sean Egan commented that they "took social protest and cultural authenticity to the top of the charts."The band drew upon a variety of stylistic influences over the course of their career, including 1960s beat music, soul, rhythm and blues and psychedelic rock, as well as 1970s punk and new wave. The trio were known for their melodic pop songs, their distinctly English flavour and their mod image. The band launched the career of Paul Weller, who went on to form the Style Council and later his solo career. Weller wrote and sang most of the Jam's original compositions and played lead guitar, using a Rickenbacker 330. Bruce Foxton provided backing vocals and prominent basslines, which were the foundation of many of the band's songs, including the hits "Down in the Tube Station at Midnight", "The Eton Rifles", "Going Underground" and "Town Called Malice" mainly using a Rickenbacker 4001 or a Fender Precision Bass, as well as, on rare occasions, an Epiphone Rivoli.