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Direction, Reaction, Creation - Ear Book - The Jam

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Genre: Indie Rock & Punk - New Wave & Post-punk / Artist: The Jam / Box set / Audio CD released 2006-10-23 at Commercial Marketing

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      20.02.2009 16:22
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      The most comprehensive collection of 'The Jam' you could ever imagine.

      The Jam were a well-known and accliamed rock band from the 1970s and 80s. They were led by frontman Paul Weller who now has a successful solo career. The band set itself aside from most from most of the other new wave bands of the time in that they were smartly-dressed, slickly-tailored and well presented as oppose to the anarchic and uncaring attitude projected by most of their musical peers who were caught up in the punk movement. The Jam themselves were 'Mods' rather than punks and this helped to give their music or wider appeal.

      The Jam were pioneers of the 'Mod revival' of the 1970s. Mod, stands for modernist and was a youth subculture that developed in 50s and 60s London where its protagonist were know for their immaculate and stylish dress senses and communal rejection of British societal normality of the time. The movement began to decline for a short time although the Jam were one of the influences which led to its revival in the later years.

      Musically, the Jam released scores of tracks and between 1977 and 1982 they had four UK number ones and eighteen consecutive Top 40 charting hits. Their first single was 'In The City' released in April 1977 and reached number 40 in the UK charts. They later released 16 further singles before their final single 'Beat Surrender' reached number 1 in the charts in November 1982. After this single and a farewell tour the band parted company on reasonably good terms with 18 singles which all charted. The Jam will be remembered as a stalwart of the charts at that time and are still well-loved and popular to this day, with Paul weller having gone on to a very successful solo career and also spent some years working with a second band, 'The Style Council.'

      The Jam released six studio albums in total and Direction, Reaction, Creation is a compilation of all of their studio recordings and a CD of rare and alternate tracks which was released in 1997 and peaked at number 8 in the UK charts. The collection is a 5CD boxset and contains 117 tracks in total.

      I usually review albums track by track, but as this collection features so many songs, I will just be reviewing each individual CD.

      == Direction, Reaction, Creation ==

      ==CD #1 ==

      The first song is The Jam's first single 'In The City' and is a very memorable track and like most of the other tracks on this CD are some of the earliest studio recordings by the band. Other most noteable tracks are a sing-a-long rendition of the classic 60s 'Batman Theme', the single and its B-side partner All Around The World and carnaby Street and also 'The Modern World.' These tracks are all solid examples of The Jam's quality and signify the band's beginnings.

      1. In the City
      2. Takin' My Love
      3. Art School
      4. I've Changed My Address
      5. Slow Down
      6. I Got By in Time
      7. Away from the Numbers
      8. Batman Theme
      9. Sounds from the Street
      10. Non-Stop Dancing
      11. Time for Truth
      12. Bricks and Mortar
      13. All Around the World
      14. Carnaby Street
      15. The Modern World
      16. London Traffic
      17. Standards
      18. Life from a Window
      19. The Combine
      20. Don't Tell Them You're Sane
      21. In the Street Today
      22. London Girl
      23. I Need You (For Someone)
      24. Here Comes the Weekend
      25. Tonight at Noon
      26. In the Midnight Hour


      == CD #2 ==

      The second CD charts the years of 1978 and 1979 and it opens with 'News of The World' a song which some people may know as the theme tune from TV comedy panel show 'Mock The Week.' This CD also features some classic tracks, most notably the big hit 'Eton Rifles' and the charming 'English Rose.' It also includes 'Down In The Tube Station At Midnight' and the singles 'Strange Town,' 'A-Bomb in Wardour Street' and 'When You're Young.' This second CD is laiden with goodies including four UK Top 20 singles and is very much full of strength in depth.

      1. News of the World
      2. Aunties and Uncles (Impulsive Youths)
      3. Innocent Man
      4. David Watts
      5. 'A' Bomb in Wardour Street
      6. Down in the Tube Station at Midnight
      7. So Sad About Us
      8. The Night
      9. All Mod Cons
      10. To Be Someone (Didn't We Have A Nice Time)
      11. Mr. Clean
      12. English Rose
      13. In the Crowd
      14. Billy Hunt
      15. It's Too Bad
      16. Fly
      17. The Place I Love
      18. Strange Town
      19. The Butterfly Collector
      20. When You're Young
      21. Smithers-Jones
      22. The Eton Rifles
      23. See-Saw


      == CD #3 ==

      This next CD features two of the bands number one hits, namely 'Start!' and one of my personal favourites 'Going Underground.' The latter is widely known and has been loaned to plenty of films including 'Mcvicar' and 'the Football Factory' and does not even appear on any of the band's studio albums, as it was only released as a single. The other highlights are the upbeat 'Heatwave,' 'That's Entertainment' with it's resonating bassline and 'Pretty Green' the anthem about capitalist culture. again, this CD is packed with good songs and has some of the band's strongest tracks on it.

      1. Girl on the Phone
      2. Thick as Thieves
      3. Private Hell
      4. Little Boy Soldiers
      5. Wasteland
      6. Burning Sky
      7. Smithers-Jones (Setting Sons Version)
      8. Saturday's Kids
      9. Heat Wave
      10. Going Underground
      11. The Dreams Of Children
      12. Start!
      13. Liza Radley
      14. Pretty Green
      15. Monday
      16. But I'm Different Now
      17. Set the House Ablaze
      18. That's Entertainment
      19. Dream Time
      20. Man in the Corner Shop
      21. Music for the Last Couple
      22. Boy About Town
      23. Scrape Away


      == CD #4 ==

      The penultimate CD opens with the UK number 4 single 'Funeral Pyre' number 2 hit 'The Bitterest Pill' as well as the poignant and thoughtful 'Carnation.' Also on the final installment of studio material is 'Absolute Beginners' and another number 1 hit in the shape of 'Town Called Malice.' The CD also features the band's final single 'Beat Surrender' and the music stops after the band's bizarre cover of 'War' - "Hua, what is it good for? - Absolutely Nothing!!" Another great CD chocked with quality tunes and the final piece of the group's musical timeline.

      1. Funeral Pyre
      2. Disguises
      3. Absolute Beginners
      4. Tales from the Riverbank
      5. Town Called Malice
      6. Precious (12" Version)
      7. Happy Together
      8. Ghosts
      9. Just Who Is the 5 O'Clock Hero?
      10. Trans-Global Express
      11. Running on the Spot
      12. Circus
      13. The Planner's Dream Goes Wrong
      14. Carnation
      15. The Gift
      16. The Great Depression
      17. The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had to Swallow)
      18. Pity Poor Alfie/Fever
      19. Beat Surrender
      20. Shopping
      21. Move On Up
      22. Stoned Out of My Mind
      23. War


      == CD #5 ==

      This CD features plenty of raw alternate recordings of the band's tracks and opens with 'In The City (Alternative Version).' There are also a few good Paul Weller solo recordings and also a swing version of 'Pity Poor Alfie.' A lot of the alternate versions are quite similar in nature but I suppose they are the same lyrics and tune. Maybe a more keen-eyed fanatic than myself would spot the intricate differences a little easier. There is also a lovely cover of Ben E. King's 'Stand By Me' which is one of the highlights. This CD is a fantastic addition to the band's studio material and whilst not all it's tracks are amazing, it is a brilliantly quirky footnote to the band's catalogue.

      1. In the City (Alternate Version)
      2. Time for Truth (Alternate Version)
      3. Sounds from the Street (Alternate Version)
      4. So Sad About Us (Alternate Version)
      5. Worlds Apart (Alternate Version)
      6. Billy Hunt (Alternate Version)
      7. It's Too Bad (Alternate Version)
      8. To Be Someone (Alternate Version)
      9. David Watts (Alternate Version)
      10. Best of Both Worlds (Alternate Version)
      11. That's Entertainment (Alternate Version)
      12. Rain (Paul Weller)
      13. Dream Time (Paul Weller)
      14. Dead End Street (Paul Weller)
      15. Stand By Me(Paul Weller)
      16. Every Little Bit Hurts (Paul Weller)
      17. Tales from the Riverbank (Alternate Version)
      18. Walking in Heaven's Sunshine
      19. Precious (Paul Weller)
      20. Pity Poor Alfie (Swing Version)
      21. The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had to Swallow) (First Version)
      22. A Solid Bond In Your Heart (Paul Weller)



      === Overall ===

      This album is a must for any fan of the Jam and I can't think of anything that the album is lacking. Any track I have ever wanted is on here and much more. The cover songs are a nice treat as is most of the fifth CD as I wasn't born during their heyday. This is like 'Jam by Numbers' and is a chronological catalogue of their works from start to finish with a few nice touches and additions to boot. The album is wonderfully presented in a boxset with a little book addition for an extra couple of pounds and can be bought for around £40.

      Each CD is spread nicely with prominent hit tracks and lesser known album tracks and this leads to each one being a rewarding listen with its own high points. Before I had this album, my knwledge of the band was limited but after listening and subsequently writing this review I'd say I know my stuff now. A comprehensive collection of everything you could need from the band and a great legacy to leave behind after the band's departure from our screens and airwaves.

      Definitely worth the money or the kilobytes if you like any of their songs. The 'Stand By Me' cover sticks out as the highlight aside from the 18 chart hits and I fear that I'll be singing Jam tunes all day now. This album would do any artist proud and deserves to be bought.



      also posted on www.ciao.co.uk

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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 In The City
      2 Takin' My Love
      3 Art School
      4 I've Changed My Address
      5 Slow Down
      6 I Got By In Time
      7 Away From The Numbers
      8 Batman Theme
      9 Sounds From The Street
      10 Non-Stop Dancing
      11 Time For Truth
      12 Bricks And Mortar
      13 All Around The World
      14 Carnaby Street
      15 The Modern World Explicit Version
      16 London Traffic
      17 Standards
      18 Life From A Window
      19 The Combine
      20 Don't Tell Them You're Sane
      21 In The Street Today
      22 London Girl
      23 I Need You (For Someone) Album Version
      24 Here Comes The Weekend
      25 Tonight At Noon
      26 In The Midnight Hour

      Disc #2 Tracklisting
      1 Funeral Pyre Original Mix
      2 Disguises
      3 Absolute Beginners
      4 Tales From The Riverbank
      5 Town Called Malice
      6 Precious 12" Version / Extended Version
      7 Happy Together
      8 Ghosts
      9 Just Who Is The 5 O'Clock Hero?
      10 Trans-Global Express
      11 Running On The Spot
      12 Circus Instrumental Version
      13 The Planner's Dream Goes Wrong
      14 Carnation
      15 The Gift
      16 The Great Depression
      17 The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had To Swallow)
      18 Pity Poor Alfie/Fever
      19 Beat Surrender
      20 Shopping
      21 Move On Up
      22 Stoned Out Of My Mind
      23 War Second Version

      Disc #3 Tracklisting
      1 Girl On The Phone
      2 Thick As Thieves
      3 Private Hell
      4 Little Boy Soldiers
      5 Wasteland
      6 Burning Sky
      7 Smithers-Jones Album Version
      8 Saturday's Kids
      9 Heatwave
      10 Going Underground
      11 The Dreams Of Children
      12 Start! Album Version
      13 Liza Radley
      14 Pretty Green
      15 Monday
      16 But I'm Different Now
      17 Set The House Ablaze
      18 That's Entertainment
      19 Dream Time
      20 Man In The Corner Shop
      21 Music For The Last Couple
      22 Boy About Town
      23 Scrape Away

      Disc #4 Tracklisting
      1 In The City Remixed Demo Version
      2 Time For Truth Remixed Demo Version
      3 Sounds From The Street Remixed Demo Version
      4 So Sad About Us Remixed Demo Version
      5 Worlds Apart Remixed Demo Version
      6 Billy Hunt Remixed Alternate Version
      7 It's Too Bad Remixed Demo Version
      8 To Be Someone (Didn't We Have A Nice Time) Remixed Demo Version
      9 David Watts Remixed Demo Version
      10 Best Of Both Worlds Remixed Demo Version
      11 That's Entertainment Direction Reaction Creation Demo Version
      12 Rain Remixed Demo Version
      13 Dream Time Demo Version
      14 Dead End Street Remixed Version
      15 Stand By Me Demo
      16 Every Little Bit Hurts Remixed Version
      17 Tales From The Riverbank Remixed Alternate Version
      18 Walking In Heaven's Sunshine Demo Version
      19 Precious Remixed Demo Version
      20 Pity Poor Alfie Remixed Swing Version
      21 The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had To Swallow) First Version
      22 A Solid Bond In Your Heart Original Demo Version

      Disc #5 Tracklisting
      1 News Of The World
      2 Aunties And Uncles (Impulsive Youths)
      3 Innocent Man
      4 David Watts Album Version
      5 'A' Bomb In Wardour Street Album Version
      6 Down In The Tube Station At Midnight Full Version
      7 So Sad About Us
      8 The Night
      9 All Mod Cons
      10 To Be Someone (Didn't We Have A Nice Time)
      11 Mr. Clean
      12 English Rose
      13 In The Crowd Full Version
      14 Billy Hunt
      15 It's Too Bad
      16 Fly
      17 The Place I Love
      18 Strange Town
      19 The Butterfly Collector
      20 When You're Young
      21 Smithers-Jones Single Version
      22 The Eton Rifles Album Version
      23 See-Saw