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Gold - The Jam

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Genre: Indie Rock & Punk - New Wave & Post-punk / Artist: The Jam / Box set / Audio CD released 2005-09-01 at Commercial Marketing

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      06.07.2010 22:11
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      Gold, best of The Jam.

      The Jam.
      Gold (2005)


      ~~Introduction~~

      Okay, we have a 'best of' album, but not just 12 songs, 15, or even 20, but a staggering 49 songs at a paltry iTunes price of £11.99. You can even get this for under a tenner on some websites. Though the various websites disagree on a release date for this set of CD's (if bought as a box set), I have plumped for 2005 as this is the release date that iTunes give.

      Let's start with that price. How iTunes can justify 99p per track, or a staggering £48.51 when these tunes are bought individually I will never know. Granted, there are some tracks that I would not call 'best of' but at 24p per track, when bought together, why wouldn't you??

      Of course I am not going to review every track, Plipplop would have a coronary and most sensible readers would switch off before I got half way through, though to be honest I would only want to review about half anyway, plenty of fillers here. Why oh why has this not been reviewed before on Dooyoo?


      ~~More background~~

      For those that don't know, The Jam were: Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler and were active from 1977 (In the City) until their last two aptly titled singles in 1982; 'The bitterest pill' and 'Beat Surrender'. In that short 5 years (though they played before then and Foxton and Buckler have played since, they had no less than 19 chart singles and released 8 or 9 albums (including live ones). They ranged from punk & Mod influenced early songs such as 'In the City', and 'Strange Town', right through to much more lyrical and philosophical numbers such as 'Butterfly collector' and 'Saturdays kids'.


      ~~The collection~~

      This collection sees the whole of their development through anger to musings to sheer readiness to quit. Personally I loved their 'journey'.

      Their early numbers were raw and three chord punk without a doubt. 'Strange Town' started to show the World that we had a bit of master lyricist in Mr Weller and along with the single shortly before that 'Down in the Tube Station at Midnight' we saw that spark of originality in music that make the band still well listened to today. Who can forget the drum beat on 'Tube Station' that was so in time with the sound of the tube train, fantastic. As for the lyrics:

      "The last thing that I saw, as I lay there on the floor was, 'Jesus saves' painted by some atheist nutter"...sublime.

      'That's Entertainment' for me was probably The Jam's masterpiece, the lyrics like an Alan Bennet play, working class through and through with an affinity that so many could align to.

      'Start' was a strange song at the time that marked a real departure in style and was quirky enough to split many fans at the time, great to hear it here along with a pretty snappy version of 'I got you, (I feel good'), clever and brave.

      Didn't I say I would not review them all? Well I'm not really, just some highlights, the lowlights come next. The point is, for me, that these songs all sound pretty fresh still.

      I love the version of 'Smithers-Jones' in this collection. It is very contextual, it was yuppie time, traditional working men were going, money was above loyalty and this song was so spot on with this, looking back it was not only sadly prophetic, but like a snapshot of history. The instrumental backing on this version is superb.

      Okay, the lowlights: 'Pretty Green', limp and almost a parody, 'Tales from the Riverbank', just sad and too 'cockney, cheeky chappie for me. 'Carnation' and 'Ghosts', why?, just awful.

      Nope, sorry I cannot leave this review on that note. I will leave you with the majestic 'Going underground'.....and the feet all pound for tomorrow........should you buy this collection? Absolutely....

      I overheard two lads recently 15 or 16 in the place where I work (Youth Development and Support Service) saying words to the effect that Green Day were alright, but you have to love The Jam, coz' 'They did it first'...they were going on to talk about getting some Jam on vinyl.....oh happy days!


      Track List DISC 1

      * In The City
      * Away From The Numbers
      * The Modern World
      * David Watts
      * Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
      * Its Too Bad
      * To Be Someone
      * Mr. Clean
      * English Rose
      * The Butterfly Collector
      * The Eton Rifles
      * Private Hell
      * Thick As Thieves
      * Smithers-Jones [orchestral version]
      * Saturdays Kids
      * Going Underground
      * Start!
      * Liza Radley
      * Pretty Green
      * Boy About Town
      * Thats Entertainment
      * Tales From The Riverbank
      * Town Called Malice
      * Ghosts
      * Carnation
      * Beat Surrender


      Track List DISC 2

      * The Dreams Of Children
      * News Of The World
      * Strange Town
      * When Youre Young
      * Funeral Pyre
      * Absolute Beginners
      * Move On Up
      * Shopping
      * Pop Art Poem
      * A Solid Bond In Your Heart
      * No One In The World
      * And Your Bird Can Sing
      * Burning Sky
      * Disguises
      * Get Yourself Together
      * The Great Depression
      * Stoned Out Of My Mind
      * Pity Poor Alfie/Fever
      * But Im Different Now
      * I Got You
      * Hey Mister
      * Weve Only Started
      * So Sad About Us

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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 In The City
      2 Away From The Numbers
      3 The Modern World
      4 David Watts
      5 Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
      6 It's Too Bad
      7 To Be Someone (Didn't We Have A Nice Time)
      8 Mr. Clean
      9 English Rose
      10 The Butterfly Collector
      11 The Eton Rifles
      12 Private Hell
      13 Thick As Thieves
      14 Smithers-Jones
      15 Saturday's Kids
      16 Going Underground
      17 Start!
      18 Liza Radley
      19 Pretty Green
      20 Boy About Town
      21 That's Entertainment
      22 Tales From The Riverbank
      23 Town Called Malice
      24 Ghosts
      25 Carnation
      26 Beat Surrender

      Disc #2 Tracklisting
      1 The Dreams Of Children
      2 News Of The World
      3 Strange Town
      4 When You're Young
      5 Funeral Pyre
      6 Absolute Beginners
      7 Move On Up
      8 Shopping
      9 Pop Art Poem
      10 A Solid Bond In Your Heart
      11 No One In The World
      12 And Your Bird Can Sing
      13 Burning Sky
      14 Disguises
      15 Get Yourself Together
      16 The Great Depression
      17 Stoned Out Of My Mind
      18 Pity Poor Alfie/Fever
      19 But I'm Different Now
      20 I Got You (I Feel Good)
      21 Hey Mister
      22 We've Only Started
      23 So Sad About Us