Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Jam - "Set the House Ablaze"

I got really into the Jam after buying their Greatest Hits CD in high school. It's absolutely loaded; just about every song on it is good. When I got a turntable in college, I bought a whole bunch of their records. At the time, the first two could be a bit pricey, but the later albums could be had for about three or four bucks a pop. I liked them all, even the later albums when they went through their Motown-wannabe phase.

I think what separated the Jam from most of the other UK class of '77 bands was their chops: these guys were players. Due respect to the anyone-can-do-it spirit of punk, but it makes a big difference.

Dig the New Breed was a live compilation released shortly after the band broke up. I can't remember buying it; presumably it was in 1994 in New York. As live albums go it's pretty pedestrian, but a few tracks really stand out. The version of "Set the House Ablaze" was recorded in London in December 1981. It kicks the shit out of the version on Sound Affects for one obvious reason: it's clearly a live showcase, written to close shows in a blaze of glory.

Buy it... on vinyl.

From my deck to you: The Jam - "Set the House Ablaze" [live]

[File removed 23 April 2007]

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