A powerful performance from The Jam, recorded in Paris in 1981, and originally shown as part of the French TV series Chorus (presented by Antoine de Caunes, no less). Here The Jam thunder through:
01. “David Watts”
02. “Private Hell”
03. “Butterfly Collector”
04. “But I’m Different Now”
05. “When You’re Young”
06. “Eton Rifles”
It’s a fine selection of songs, which highlights The Jam’s musical progression from the influence of sixties Mods, through Punk to New Wave and onto Paul Weller’s distinct political commentary with “Eton Rifles”. Excellent stuff. Mind you, it’s still hard to believe Tory PM and professional nincompoop, David Cameron was naive enough to claim he had a great liking for “Eton Rifles”, during a radio interview in 2008. However, the Eton-educated Cameron’s admiration for the song did not impact on his politics, something Paul Weller picked up on:
“Which part of it didn’t he get? It wasn’t intended as a jolly drinking song for the cadet corps.”
The song reached number 3 in the U.K. in November 1979, and was the beginning of The Jam’s dominance over the charts until 1982, when guitar bands were replaced by Blitz Kids, and synthesizers.
During their 5 years of recordings, The Jam brought an edge to pop music by fusing musical ambition to strong Left-wing conviction, which wouldn’t happen on such a similar scale until Pulp in the 1990s, and the likes of which are very much required today.