One of the most popular bands to emerge from the UK punk rock scene of 1977; The Jam had a phenomenal impact on pop music and wider youth culture. In their short career, along with the likes of the Sex Pistols and The Clash, they influenced a generation with their music, style, politics and inspiration.
Taking creative direction from a wide sphere of influences – The Who, Dr. Feelgood, The Kinks and Motown amongst others - they achieved 18 consecutive Top 40 singles in the UK (including 4 No. 1's). Due to their fanatical following, their singles often shot straight to the top 10, or No. 1 in some cases and their gigs sold out within minutes. Still beloved by original fans and new supporters through Paul Weller's solo career – he still plays many of The Jam's songs in his live sets to this very day.
All six of The Jam's studio albums are now available on newly remastered heavyweight vinyl including: In The City (1977), This Is The Modern World (1977), All Mod Cons (1978), Setting Sons (1979), Sound Affects (1980) and The Gift (1982).
The Gift was The Jam's final studio album, in which Weller strove to bring as close to perfection as was humanly possible. Plenty of its songs number among The Jam's best. It is also a fascinating glimpse of its time: of musical currents that were swirling around London and beyond. The Gift's energy was not just focused on the state of society: it had a lot to say about where music was going, what had happened to the righteous fires lit by punk, and how to remain relevant and vital when music was taking some very wrong turns indeed.
The challenge it answered was simple enough: if blaring guitars and rock poses had run out of road, what could embody the kind of passion that The Jam were all about? The answer lay in the soul music that had bled into their collective identity from the start, and a push to make it less of an influence, than a key part of who they were. Surprisingly this was the band's only No. 1 album in the UK and marked the departure from the classic Jam sound to a more soul-influenced style, ushering in Weller's ideas for the Style Council.
The Gift includes the classic UK No. 1 single "Town Called Malice" plus other highlights "Running On The Spot" and "Carnation." Looking back, some of The Jam's associates have speculated about what lay behind Weller's frantic drive to put everything he could into The Gift: increasingly of the belief that the group should break-up, Weller was simply trying ensure that their last album should be their best.