The Jam - About The Young Idea - The Best Of (3xLP Vinyl)

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This 44-track anthology, to tie in with the exhibition at Somerset House, includes hits, album tracks and rarities, remastered at Abbey Rd. Greatest hits album by the English punk rock/mod revival band. Debuting at #36 in the UK Albums Chart, the album features some of the band's biggest hits including 'Going Underground', 'That's Entertainment' and 'Town Called Malice', Start! and many others. The band drew upon a variety of stylistic influences over the course of their career, including 1960s beat music, soul, rhythm and blues and psychedelic rock, as well as 1970s punk and new wave. The trio were known for their melodic pop songs, their distinctly English flavour and their mod image. The band launched the career of Paul Weller, who went on to form the Style Council and later had a solo career. Weller wrote and sang most of the Jam's original compositions and played lead guitar, using a Rickenbacker 330. Bruce Foxton provided backing vocals and prominent basslines, which were the foundation of many of the band's songs.


As compilations go, this is one of the best from The Jam. Obviously there are omissions which will vary from person to person, depending on taste. What is great about this is the truly impressive remastered sound.

As I, and many others have stated across various media, there were problems with the “deluxe editions” - “Sound Affects” in particular - in that they were very tinny and the bass seemed very low down in the mix. “The Gift” was marginally better and “Setting Sons” better still, but none of them match up to the punchy, bassy beauty of this remaster. The set covers all the singles, some of the 'b' sides and the perceived "best tracks" from the band's six studio albums. Obviously, what tracks are included is open to conjecture - I would have liked a few more from "This Is The Modern World" and "It's Too Bad" or "Fly" instead of "Billy Hunt", and the original "Burning Sky" instead of a "demo version. These are small matters, however. For me, and for many, The Jam’s sound was underpinned by Bruce Foxton’s big, rumbling, rubber band bass on track after track (I am thinking particularly of “Down In The Tube Station At Midnight” right now), so, to hear it so blissfully up in the mix is a delight. The sound here is clear, warm and precise. Bruce Foxton is back in the mix, big time, and doesn’t he deserve to be. What you get on this compilation, it must be noted, are all those truly great non-album singles and some 'b' sides in excellent remastered sound - the punk attack of "All Around The World"; the catchy "Strange Town"; the lovely "The Butterfly Collector"; the upfront blast of "When You're Young"; the full band version of "Smithers-Jones" (which is the best one); the now iconic "Going Underground"; the psychedelic "Dreams Of Children"; the intense "Funeral Pyre"; the horn-driven "Absolute Beginners"; the soulful "The Bitterest Pill" and the upbeat "Beat Surrender".
What is a shame is that if these 44 tracks can be remastered so well, why not the other 40 odd in The Jam’s output? These are so good, it would be great to hear the rest of them given the same treatment. A Clash-style "complete studio recordings" using this standard of remastering would be most welcome.

By: The Punk Panther

A1 In The City (Radio Ad)
A2 In The City
A3 Art School
A4 Away From The Numbers
A5 Takin’ My Love (Demo – Previously Unreleased)
A6 All Around The World
A7 The Modern World
A8 In The Street Today
A9 News Of The World
B1 David Watts
B2 Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
B3 Billy Hunt
B4 To Be Someone (Didn’t We Have A Nice Time)
B5 English Rose
B6 In The Crowd
B7 ‘A’ Bomb In Wardour St.
C1 Strange Town
C2 The Butterfly Collector
C3 When You’re Young
C4 Smithers-Jones
C5 The Eton Rifles
C6 Thick As Thieves
C7 Private Hell
D1 Saturday’s Kids
D2 Burning Sky (Demo)
D3 Going Underground
D4 Dreams Of Children
D5 Start!
D6 Liza Radley
D7 Pretty Green
E1 Monday
E2 That’s Entertainment
E3 Man In The Cornershop
E4 Boy About Town
E5 Funeral Pyre
E6 Absolute Beginners
E7 Tales From The Riverbank
F1 Town Called Malice
F2 Precious
F3 Ghosts
F4 Just Who Is The Five O’Clock Hero?
F5 The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had To Swallow)
F6 Beat Surrender
F7 Move On Up

Heavy weight vinyl. Gatefold sleeve. Printed card inner sleeves.
Made in the E.U.

Sticker on the front reads:
44-track, Three LP
Remastered anthology On Heavy-Weight Vinyl
Includes 13 top-20 hits
(four number ones), key album tracks, b-sides & rarities!
Also includes unreleased demos TAKIN' MY LOVE & the rare radio ad for IN THE CITY

Period photos and memorabilia

Features new essay by esteemed Guardian and music writer John Harris.

Endorsed and approved by Paul Weller