To celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Jam’s debut album and its follow-up, USM-Polydor release a five-disc special edition set
1977 saw The Jam burst onto the music scene with their debut album, In The City. That same year they released the follow-up, This Is The Modern World. Now, 40 years on from that unique creative explosion, fans young and slightly older can enjoy these two exceptional albums again.
USM-Polydor are offering the original albums, alongside three discs of demos, live recordings and a DVD of The Jam’s live TV appearances. And if that’s not enough, the music comes with a 144-page book, featuring photos, cuttings and reviews.
The release of these two albums put The Jam at the forefront of punk, and to this day they remain one of the most popular bands from that era. But Weller, Foxton and Buckler did more than just write great punk songs, they were able to bridge the gap between punk and the mod phenomena of the 1960s. This in turn started the mod revival of the late 1970s and early 1980s.
This box set will be a fine addition to any fan’s music collection, but it will fail to attract non-fans or those who don’t collect this sort of product. Any punk or mod enthusiast will probably own these albums already, and if they haven’t they most certainly should. But these multi-disc anniversary specials often fail to inspire the average music fan. And with a retail price of over £40 it’s not hard to see why.
Lovers of The Jam might be interested in this box set, while collectors of this sort of release will raise an eyebrow. But with YouTube and streaming services offering a wealth of music and videos from the band, and the extortionate price, the rest of us will probably get by without it.
Verdict: Two great albums, but one for the hardcore fans