Tag Archives: The Jam

The Jam – Going Underground (1980)

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Good morning! Released in March 1980, ‘Going Underground’ was the first UK chart-topping single by The Jam. Such was the buzz about the band, it went straight to number one as part of a double A-side with ‘Dreams of Children’. Still, it came as a surprise to the band. They were caught on the hop in the US and had to cancel their tour immediately, flying back on concorde to do their promo work in Blighty. The song was released as a single, but not as part of the band’s six studio albums.

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Curtis Mayfield – Move On Up (1970)

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Curtis Mayfield

I knew The Jam’s cover of ‘Move on Up’ before I ever heard the Curtis Mayfield original. Heresy. (Now that I mention it, I think Paul Weller also introduced me to Tammi Terrell, but that’s another story.) The former frontman of the Impressions featured the song on his ground-breaking debut long player Curtis. This funk classic summons a dance through a combo of mad bongos and a brass riff extraordinaire. Mayfield would never get better – a high bar, nonetheless. Have a great weekend.

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The Kinks – Death Of A Clown (1967)

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Dave Davies

On The Jam’s All Mod Cons, English Rose‘ followed their rendition of ‘David Watts’. But on The Kinks‘ 1967 album Something Else, the original Mr. Watts was succeeded by ‘Death Of A Clown’. In 1994, I took a train home from London Waterloo. It was late and I’d had a skin full. I park myself and sitting right opposite me is Ray Davies. After convincing myself it was true, I told him how much I loved his work. He thanked me and I inferred that he (and his female companion) would just love to chat. I recall telling him how much I liked the “that song… you know, the one about the clown”. I was not at my most lucid. He said he didn’t know what I was talking about. I’ve since realised that this was one of the few songs written by his oft-feuding brother Dave. And to make things worse, I’d selected a song in which Ray’s first wife sings the supporting vocals. The sun set on my Waterloo conversation.

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The Jam – English Rose (1978)

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The Jam

The Stone Roses were originally named ‘English Rose’, after the song from The Jam’s classic debut long player All Mod Cons. It was 1977/78 and Paul Weller was longing for his girlfriend, while homesick on a US tour. The stripped back acoustic, the heartfelt vocals and the distant sound of a cold day makes for another moody song this week. But it’s a classic.

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