Album #471 – Sound Affects

Album #471

The Jam had several influences on Sound Affects. The album and artwork come from Sound Effects records that the BBC released in the 1970’s. Where else would you find the sounds of Off The Wall era Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Joy Division, Wire and Gang of Four? The melting pot of influences creates their best album yet. The sound is very bouncy and reminiscent of the sound of the British Invasion 60’s mixed with modern influences. Two of the group’s biggest singles, Start! and That’s Entertainment are contained on this album. The latter being the best song that Paul Weller has ever written; a portrait of working class life in England just as the Thatcher years were getting underway. But, the album tracks are equally as good. The Jam, unlike their contemporaries, could sing and play their instruments. Weller and bassist Bruce Foxton’s voices blend well together and create amazing harmonies. Weller really knew how to write pop songs but, at the same time could capture the essence and spirit of the punks. In reality, the Jam were more mods than anything else with their nice suits and mod influenced sound. Sadly, The Jam were never big in North America. They were HUGE in England, producing several hits and became one of that country’s biggest and most influential bands. It wasn’t until I started listening to British radio that I discovered what has become one of my favorite bands. And, Sound Affects combines everything I love about the Jam. Three years later, the group would go their separate ways but, as with any good music, the Jam has never gone out of style. Other highlights include: Pretty Green, Monday, But I’m Different Now, Set The House Ablaze, Dream Time, Man In The Corner Shop and Boy About Town. Overall, I give Sound Affects 5 out of 5.

Next: Heartattack and Vine by Tom Waits

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