The Jam - In the city (1977)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 7:00 AM

On 29 April 1977, Polydor released The Jam's debut single,"In the City", which charted in the Top 40 in England. In early May, the band released their debut album of the same name. The album, like those of The Clash and the Sex Pistols, featured fast, loud and pointed songs. What set it apart from the records of those two bands was its more prevalent 1960s rock influences. The Jam covered Larry Williams's "Slow Down" (also covered by The Beatles) and the theme song of the 1960s TV series Batman, which was somewhat of a standard for 1960s rock bands. Their originals revealed the influence of Motown Records, The Beatles and The Who.

The Jam had political lyrics, condemning police brutality ("In the City") and expansionist development ("Bricks And Mortar"). However, one of their most openly political songs, "Time For Truth", bemoaned the decline of the British Empire and expressed disparaging sentiments about "Uncle Jimmy" (the Labour Party Prime Minister James Callaghan) in no uncertain terms ("Whatever happened to the great Empire?"). These pro-Empire sentiments and ostentatious displays of the Union Flag began to earn the group the tag of "Conservative". Weller's announcement that The Jam intended to vote for the Conservative Party in the 1979 general election served to confirm this association. It later caused them embarrassment, and dogged them throughout their career. Weller claims that The Jam's public relations representative had told them to become Conservatives to contrast politically with other punk bands.[citation needed] Misunderstandings in the music press about The Jam's political or social stance are usually attributed to Weller's lyrical perspective. Even as he pointed out what he saw as wrong and demanded change, Weller's lyrics reflected a deep affection for an idealised vision of England, much in the style of The Kinks' Ray Davies. This contrasted with the Sex Pistols' calls for destruction, or The Clash's calls for revolutionary change.
Tracks
1. Art School
2. I've Changed My Address
3. Slow Down
4. I Got By In Time
5. Away From The Numbers
6. Batman Theme
7. In The City
8. Sounds From The Street
9. Non-Stop Dancing
10. Time For Truth
11. Takin' My Love
12. Bricks And Mortar
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