Sorting out these alternative best of’s can be so tricky because very often, once the singles we all know and love have been removed, there’s not a lot left. Thankfully I already knew The Jam would be different. Infact, I could have copped another hours worth of songs quite easily such was Wellers prolific nature and high standard.

   Sticking out like a sore thumb amongst the skunky herbert’s of first generation punks, originally The Jam were little more than retro mod’s doing their high energy Who thing. I must have seen them 6 or 7 times, in places as varied as the Nag’s Head, High Wycombe, the 100 Club and the unwelcoming hanger of Bracknell Sports Centre. They were never less than manic, Weller trembling with the intensity of his missionary zeal, inspiring absolute faith and devotion from the kids at the front in their target T-Shirts and parkas.

   For a good few years, those of All Mod Cons, Setting Son’s and a multitude of singles, The Jam were completely peerless. Of course, in the end they, or rather Weller, simply ran out of steam with nothing left to say and no place left to go. Way, way too trad to ever be post punk despite overlapping with its stylistic phases and obsessions, he solved the conundrum by ending it all, a brave, brave move and one he’s clearly never regretted.

 

01 ART SCHOOL / In The City May 1977

02 AWAY FROM THE NUMBERS / In The City May 1977

03 SOUNDS FROM THE STREET / In The City May 1977

04 TIME FOR TRUTH / In The City May 1977

05 LIFE FROM A WINDOW / This Is The Modern World November 1977

06 TONIGHT AT NOON / This Is The Modern World November 1977

07 SO SAD ABOUT US / Single B Side August 1978

08 TO BE SOMEONE / All Mod Cons November 1978

09 IN THE CROWD / All Mod Cons November 1978

10 FLY / All Mod Cons November 1978

11 THE PLACE I LOVE / All Mod Cons November 1978

12 THE BUTTERFLY COLLECTOR / Single B Side March 1979

13 THICK AS THIEVES / Setting Sons November 1979

14 PRIVATE HELL / Setting Sons November 1979

15 LITTLE BOY SOLDIERS / Setting Sons November 1979

16 BURNING SKY / Setting Sons November 1979

17 DREAMS OF CHILDREN / Single B Side February 1980

18 LIZA RADLEY / Single B Side August 1980

19 PRETTY GREEN / Sound Affects November 1980

20 MONDAY / Sound Affects November 1980

21 MAN IN THE CORNER SHOP / Sound Affects November 1980

22 TALES FROM THE RIVERBANK / Single B Side October 1981

23 GHOSTS / The Gift March 1982

24 CARNATION / The Gift March 1982

25 THE GREAT DEPRESSION / Single B Side June 1982