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The Jam – Sound Affects (1980)

June 23, 2014

[Album 324/1001]220px-The_Jam_-_Sound_Effects

When I reviewed All Mod Cons, I became a casual fan.

After immersing in Sound Affects, I’m a believer.

I’m reluctant to acknowledge individual tracks as the record works so well as a package.

The guitar and bass tones are exemplary throughout, that perfect middle ground between clean & crunchy.  Drummer Rick Buckler’s contributions are also nothing less than integral.

There are many glowing adjectives I could use to convey my appreciation of this record.  Instead, I’ll attempt to explain my gratitude through another homemade visual aid.

Inspired by Down in the Tube Station at Midnight, last time I made a map to draw connections among UK artists from the last 50 years.

Listening to Sound Affects, I realized the Tube’s well-known catch phrase aptly describes The Jam’s role in music history perfectly: Mind the Gap.

Many are quick to connect the dots between The Kinks and Blur, The Beatles and Oasis.  That’s an oversimplification though: without The Jam, there’s a musical gap between the British Invasion and Britpop.

With The Jam, the gap is bridged/minded nicely.

Arts & Crafts!

The Jam

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From → 1980s

21 Comments
  1. Paul Weller = The Modfather. That is all.

  2. Freakin’ love Down at the Tube Station at Midnight. Love it. I love how they pronouce their “th’s” as “f’s”. Love it.

  3. ianbalentine permalink

    Fantastic album, but I think I’d have to include Madness as part of that bridge…

    • Rise & Fall is on the list, I haven’t got to it yet. I wouldn’t be surprised if I have to modify the image!

  4. Killer album. Paul Weller is a genius.
    Good point on that BeatlesKinks/Jam/OasisBlur link!

    • My thanks sir – and I know Louis CK cautioned against the use of the term ‘genius’ but I’m thinking Weller’s one of those instances where it’s permitted!

  5. …Well, you know how I feel about Paul Weller…pure genius. He is Midas – everything he touches is golden splinters (ha!)

  6. Nice connection, wonderful graphic.

  7. Great album from a great band that I didn’t get into initially. I’m glad I eventually came around to them. The first time I heard “…Tube Station…” I was playing it on my walkman during a late-night trek through the New York subway system. I’m a native New Yorker and have been comfortable riding the trains here for decades, but that night was one of the few times I felt a little uneasy. I always think of that night whenever I hear the song. Also, how great is the bass line?

    • I’m pleased you acknowledge the Jam is more than Weller – the bass on this album was a big selling point for me, right from the choppy Pretty Green intro onwards.
      And as a drummer yourself, speaking of the Beatles, would you consider Buckler’s contributions somewhat like Ringo’s: trickier than it sounds and definitely under-appreciated?

      • Absolutely. Buckler was the perfect drummer for The Jam and his contributions have been undervalued by many (including me for a long time). You’ve got to have some serious chops if you’re playing in a trio and covering as much musical ground as they did.

      • In a trio there really is nowhere to hide.

        Over the years I’ve become a big fan of the ‘understated’ drummer as well, the ones that aren’t necessarily flashy but provide the right sound for the right group.

        But I suppose understated isn’t as instantly impressive, so understated generally equates to being underrated!

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