Album #402 – All Mod Cons
The Jam have always been one of my favorite bands ever since I discovered their music while listening to British radio online, 10 years ago. Prior to that, I had no knowledge of Paul Weller and co. They had four number ones in the UK and every single they released charted in the top 40. You could say they were one of the most well known and successful British punk bands. But, they were barely known and still are not known in North America. All Mod Cons, short for all modern conveniences, is their third album. The Jam are influenced heavilly by the Mod style of the mid 60’s, embodied by The Who & The Kinks. In fact, they even cover a Kinks song, David Watts, on this album. As a band, The Jam are tight and powerful. Bruce Foxton’s bass lines are legendary and add an extra element to Weller’s songs. Weller as a guitarist is underrated. His guitar playing matches the energy of the group. Like some of The Jam’s later hits, a few of the tracks on All Mod Cons depart from the Mod Punk style they were famous for with Weller turning to his acoustic guitar and Syd Barrett for inspiration. But, boy does this band rock hard. Weller’s delivery is somewhat angry and that adds to the power of his lyrics. Lyrically, Weller writes about working class England, which is probably why they never took off across the pond. There are many references to British culture scattered throughout the songs. But, the album does not disappoint and proves that The Jam were in a league of their own. And that is a good thing. Highlights include: All Mod Cons, To Be Someone (Didn’t We Have a Nice Time), Mr. Clean, The In Crowd, Billy Hunt, The Place I Love and Down In A Tube Station At Midnight. Overall, I give All Mod Cons, 4 out of 5.
Next: Honky Tonk Masquerade by Joe Ely