ARTIST The Jam
TITLE: In the City
YEAR RELEASED: 1977
CHART ACTION: #20 UK
SINGLES: In the City (#40 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Away from the Numbers, I’ve Changed My Address (if you have a Jam collection!)
LINEUP: Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton, Rick Buckler
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A trio hell bent on reviving the Who’s mod scene is a punk motif blasts out a dozen hot tunes full of energy, piss and vinegar.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: From the opening chords of Art School to the closing strains of Bricks and Mortar, this record is on fire. While it’s related to punk rock, it’s really a tribute to the first couple of Who albums. Weller definitely has the same melodic gifts as Pete Townshend.
They were young punks, as it were, but lyrically Weller should a depth in songs like Away from the Numbers that very few have in the 20’s, much less as teenagers. Sure, the politics of Time for Truth seem like a teenager’s take – but it’s still a well-crafted protest.
NOTES & MINUTAE: Soon after this charted, the Jam came out with the single All Around the World, which hit #13 in the UK. That single was their high water mark for two years.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Not that I’ve seen, but lots of Jam stand-alone singles and B-sides are compiled in many places.
GRADE: A : It’s an album I always go back to if I want to recapture the fire of my youth.