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Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Bruce Springsteen & E Street Band - Metlife Stadium, E. Rutherford, NJ 2016

(photograph by A.M. Saddler - Night 1)

It's been awhile since we dropped in on Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's River Tour 2016. So here's a spotlight on some hometown shows over the past week or so.
Last night in New Jersey Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band capped off three nights at the Metlife Stadium. Below are the setlists and with as many links as I could find for each of the shows.

I can't vouch for the quality of all the links posted but will keep my eyes open for any better quaility ones that appear.

So Click on the Links to enjoy the music!


(photograph by A.M. Saddler - Night 1)

Night 1
23rd August 2016
Metlife Stadium, E. Rutherford, NJ
Setlist:

New York City Serenade (with strings)
Wrecking Ball
Badlands
Something in the Night
The Ties That Bind
Sherry Darling
Spirit in the Night
Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
Independence Day
Hungry Heart
Out in the Street
Growin' Up
You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
Death to My Hometown
Mansion on the Hill
Jack of All Trades (with strings)
My Hometown
The River
American Skin (41 Shots)
The Promised Land
Working on the Highway
Darlington County
Because the Night
She's the One
Brilliant Disguise
The Rising
Land of Hope and Dreams
* * *
Jungleland
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark
Rosalita
Tenth Avene Freeze-out
Shout
Bobby Jean
Jersey Girl
3 hours and 53minutes
 
(Photo by Cristina Arrigoni - Night 2)

3 Hours and 58 Minutes

Night 3
30th August 2016
Metlife Stadium, E. Rutherford, NJ
Setlist:

New York City Serenade (with strings)
Blinded by the Light/Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?
It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City
Spirit in the Night (with Rickie Lee Jones)
Summertime Blues
4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
Kitty's Back
Incident on 57th Street/Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
Pretty Flamingo
Atlantic City
I'm Goin' Down
Darlington County
Working on the Highway
Downbound Train
I'm on Fire
Hungry Heart
Out in the Street
Living Proof
Candy's Room
She's the One
Because the Night
The Rising
Badlands
* * *
Secret Garden
Jungleland
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
Twist and Shout
Glory Days
Shout
Jersey Girl.
4 Hours and 1 minute!

45RPM: #101 Something That I Said - Ruts (1979)

Something That I Said / Give Youth A Chance
Virgin
Produced by Mick Glossop, The Ruts & Bob Sargeant
Released 31st August 1979
UK Chart #29

A-Side: Something That I Said



B-Side: Give Youth A Chance


*******************

Following up a massive Top Ten single in Babylon's Burning was never going to be an easy matter and as a foretaste of the up and coming Debut Album The Crack, Ruts released the most excellent Something That I Said


Something That I Said had previously been recorded for the band's second John Peel Session recorded on the 14 May 1979. You can have a listen to the full session here. This third single (and second for Virgin) doesn't often get the kudos I think it deserves and that's why it's a cool thing to include it as part of the 45RPM Series.

The B-Side, Give Youth A Chance was originally titled Black Man's Pinch and was part of the Debut Session for John Peel in January 1979. A lot of people always go on about how great The Clash were when it came to the use of Reggae in their songs and rightly so but personally I think the Ruts were so much better at it than Strummer and Co. The band had a genuine affection for Reggae and no doubt hanging out with the likes of Misty in Roots improved their playing of it and made it sound quite natural, whereas with The Clash sometimes it comes across a bit forced! I'll probably get a few fans of The Clash give me grief for that, but I think I am in a position to say it as I am also a fan of them!

Anyway, don't get too caught up in the whole issue of who played Reggae the best and miss out on what was a cracking single.

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 244 - Neil Young

After The Gold Rush - Neil Young
Reprise
Produced by Neil Young, David Briggs with Kendall Pacios
Released 31st August 1970
US Chart #8
Canadian Chart #5
UK Chart #7


Personnel
    Neil Young — guitar, piano, harmonica, vibes, lead vocals
    Danny Whitten — guitar, vocals
    Nils Lofgren — guitar, piano, vocals
    Jack Nitzsche — piano
    Billy Talbot — bass
    Greg Reeves — bass
    Ralph Molina — drums, vocals
    Stephen Stills — vocals
    Bill Peterson — flugelhorn



Singles on After The Gold Rush
Released 19th September 1970
Canadian Chart #16
US Chart #33

(German Picture Cover)

Released 1971
Canadian Chart #54
US Chart #93

*Sugar Mountain was the B-Side for the US and Japan release but in Europe the B-Side was After The Gold Rush!

********************************
Down through the years since the release of After The Gold Rush many words have been written in praise of it. I only wish to add to that great mountain by saying that surely this is one of The Greatest Albums Ever Made! I say that not because I am a huge Neil Young Fan, because I'm not at all, but I say this because the sheer quality of the music on it forces me to say it.

Sit back and listen and maybe you'll come to the same conclusion!

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 243 - The Mamas & The Papas (Again!)

 The Mamas &The Papas -  The Mamas & The Papas
Dunhill
Produced by Lou Adler
Released 30th August 1966
US Album Chart #4
UK Album Chart #24



 Original Tracklist
All songs by John Phillips, unless otherwise noted.
Side One
   01. "No Salt on Her Tail" - 2:35
   02. "Trip, Stumble and Fall" (John Phillips, Michelle Gilliam) - 2:35
   03.  "Dancing Bear" - 4:08
   04. "Words of Love" - 2:13
   05. "My Heart Stood Still" (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) - 1:43
   06. "Dancing in the Street" (Marvin Gaye, William "Mickey" Stevenson, Ivy Jo Hunter) - 3:00

Side Two
  01. "I Saw Her Again" (Phillips, Denny Doherty) - 2:50
  02.  "Strange Young Girls" - 2:45
  03.  "I Can't Wait" - 2:40
  04.  "Even If I Could" - 2:40
  05.  "That Kind of Girl" - 2:20
  06.  "Once Was a Time I Thought" - 0:58

************************
Personnel
Denny Doherty - vocals
Cass Elliot - vocals
John Phillips - vocals, guitar
Michelle Phillips - vocals
Jill Gibson - vocals
Hal Blaine - percussion
Larry Knechtel - organ, piano
Joe Osborn - bass guitar
"Doctor" Eric Hord - guitar
Tommy Tedesco - guitar
P. F. Sloan - guitar
Peter Pilafian - electric violin
Ray Manzarek - organ, piano on "No Salt on Her Tail"
Jimmie Haskell - string arrangement on "I Saw Her Again"
Gene Page - horn arrangement on "My Heart Stood Still"
 
 *********************************
Singles from The Mamas & The Papas


US Chart #5
UK Chart #11

US Release Double A-Side
US Chart #5

UK Release
UK Chart #47

**************************

Just about 20 days ago we had a little look at the third studio album from The Mamas and The Papas. Today though we are going to have a quick glimpse at the second album that was released on this very day in 1966. There's a wee spot of drama surrounding it that's quite interesting. More about that in a moment though.

The band had already enjoyed some early success with their debut album hitting the #1 spot on the charts. California Dreamin' had given them a #4 Single and Monday Monday their first #1 Single but all was not well within the camp. Life is not always a series of events that bring success and joy, you can pretty much guarantee that somewhere along the road there will be "trouble ahead" (as the old song says).

That trouble first came when Michelle Phillips had "a liason" with fellow band member Denny Doherty sometime in 1965. John Phillips had forgiven Doherty and they had reconciled and wrote about the event in the lead single for the new album, I Saw Her Again. There has been some debate as to how much Doherty had actually contributed to the song. During the recording of the second album though news came out that Michelle Phillips had been involved in an affair with Gene Clark of The Byrds. This provoked John Phillips to call for her to be fired from the band. So on 28th June 1966 Michelle was fired by her bandmates.

With such a void to fill in the group Jill Gibson was hired as replacement. After being introduced to the band by its producer, Lou Adler, she was soon taking part in concerts (at Forest Hills, New York, Denver, Colorado, and Phoenix, Arizona) television appearances (Hollywood Palace on ABC), and recording sessions. While Gibson was a quick study and well regarded, the three original members concluded that she lacked her predecessor's "stage charisma and grittier edge", and Michelle Phillips was reinstated on August 23, 1966. Jill Gibson, so nearly a full-time Mama, left and was paid a lump sum from the group's funds.
It remains unclear whose vocals appear on The Mamas & The Papas as released on August 30, 1966. Gibson says she sang all but two songs. Studio documents appear to show that Michelle Phillips had already recorded six songs for the album in April 1966, including the singles I Saw Her Again and Words of Love. Lou Adler has said, "We recorded Jill on six songs ... got six vocal performances out of her, which we later replaced, some of 'em." Michelle Phillips has said that she does not know who is singing on the album: "There's no way to know who sang on what, because we both sang on all the parts, and it was up to Bones [Howe] and Lou [Adler] and John [Phillips] what was in the final mix. And they had a lot to choose from! When you listen to the second album ... listen to it ... because I swear I don't have any idea who's singing on it."

I wasn't aware of this particular note regarding the album before so it's quite interesting how quickly they must have been working from the moment Michelle Phillips was thrown out of the band and Gibson brought in to record her parts for the album: 



The photo already chosen for the album's cover featured Michelle Phillips prominently, so Dunhill had Gibson take a photo posed in exactly the same position as Michelle, and then superimposed the new photo over that of Phillips. However, the decision was then made to shoot an entirely new picture with the new line-up, and to also change the album's title to Crashon Screamon All Fall Down. Several thousand advance pressings of the album with this cover and title were sent out to radio stations and record distributors, but with the return of Michelle to the group just prior to the LP's general release, the original cover and eponymous title were quickly reinstated. Copies of the rare Crashon pressings are now highly sought after collectors items.


Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Monday, 29 August 2016

Rewind: Lust For Life - Iggy Pop (1977)

Lust For Life - Iggy Pop
RCA
Produced by David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Colin Thurston
Released 29th August 1977
US Chart #120
UK Chart #28



Personnel
    Iggy Pop – vocals
    David Bowie – keyboards, piano, organ, backing vocals
    Carlos Alomar – rhythm guitar (lead on "Lust For Life" & "Turn Blue"), backing vocals
    Ricky Gardiner – lead guitar, backing vocals, (drums on "Fall in Love with Me")
    Warren Peace - keyboards and backing vocals on "Turn Blue"
    Tony Sales – bass, backing vocals, (guitar on "Fall in Love with Me")
    Hunt Sales – drums, backing vocals, (bass on "Fall in Love with Me")


********************************


Back in March as part of the Rewind Series I spotlighted The Idiot by Iggy Pop and Lust For Life is the follow up, also produced in league with David Bowie.

The album was made over the space of eight days following the completion of Iggy's tour for The Idiot. Like The Idiot it was also recorded at the Hansa Studios in Berlin. David Bowie had a hand in composing the music for seven out of the nine songs whilst all but Turn Blue (Pop and Walter Lacey) are lyrcially the work of Iggy Pop.

Up until the release of his lastest album Post Pop Depression, Lust For Life was his best selling album and whilst at first it sold well in the USA the death of Elvis Presley caused RCA to quickly reissue Presley's catalogue and any promotional focus for Pop's album was lost. It eventually performed well in America, but only peaked at number 120 on the Billboard charts at the time of release. The actions of RCA would of course not only impact the sales of Iggy's Album but a number of other artists as well. Here in the UK the Punk band The Boys had just issued their debut album but the big problem was people just couldn't find it anywhere and as RCA seemed soley committed to pressing Presley albums by the truckload the danger was the album would just disappear!

I still have visions of Iggy Pop on The White Room for Channel 4 performing Lust For Life wearing very little apart from see-through trousers! (You Can Watch the Video HERE). The title track also got a new lease of life when it was included in the Soundtrack for Trainspotting and Iggy made a new video for it that had cuts from the film included in it! He still opens his show with it as well, check out this one from the Royal Albert Hall in London earlier this year!

Lust For Life Cover Versions
 
The Passenger is another song that's a real popular one and has been covered by many artists down through the years, here's just few of them (I cannot vouch for the quality of all of these!):
 

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 242 - Kiefer Sutherland

In my 53 years of life, Music is one of those things that still has the abiltity to take me by surprise. Here's the latest one to capture me!

Kiefer Sutherland is a man who is used to telling stories with a wide array of characters in films or on TV shows but this time around his choice of script is a song, 11 of them to be precise that he has co-written with Jude Cole (and one with Cole and J. Wade) and put out on his debut album Down In A Hole.

His father, actor Donald Sutherland, bought him a guitar when he was 13 and he's been playing and writing music as a hobby ever since. He became so fascinated by the music business that in 2002, he launched a record label called Ironworks that released records from other musicians - including HoneyHoney, Lifehouse and Rocco DeLuca - but he'd only go in the studio himself after everyone else had left.

"It was something that was very private and in fact, I had no intention of ever making an album," Sutherland said.

He started recording songs intending to pitch them to other singers. When his musical partner and producer Jude Cole heard them, he tried to convince the actor to just cut a record himself.

"I am clearly aware of the stigma of an actor doing music and I said, 'Not on your life,'" Sutherland said. "... And he took me to a bar and got me drunk and it started to sound like a better idea."

Sutherland describes the music on his album as "Americana singer songwriter with a country kick." He's got so many songs in the can that he's already working on a second album.


He was out touring earlier this year. "We didn’t play any major markets," he says of the trek. "We wanted to go to places where most people don’t stop by, and those people were incredibly generous to us. We didn’t play New York, L.A., Chicago, Nashville or Austin. We’ll earn our way to those spots."

And he's actually quite impressive live from what I've seen of footage on You Tube.


Live The Majestic in Madison, Wisconsin 
15th April 2016.

Buck Owens' Crystal Palace
27th February 2016


Down In A Hole - Kiefer Sutherland
Ironworks Music/Atlantic
Produced by Jude Cole
Released 12th August 2016


Not Enough Whiskey


Can't Stay Away


Kiefer Sutherland made his debut at the Grand Ole Opry back on the 31st May this year where he performed three songs, two of his own, Shirley Jean and Not Enough Whiskey, and also a cover of Merle Haggard's Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down.

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Rich Kids (1978)


As I'm a day late with remembering that it was Glen Matlock's birthday yesterday I thought I'd post a little something special that I stumbled upon this morning - Rich Kids on Rock Goes To College. Incredible seeing this footage again after so many years.


Rock Goes To College
Reading University
October 1978
Only Arsenic ( partial )
Introduction by Pete Drummond
Hung On You
Rich Kids
Burning Sounds
Holy Holy
12 Miles High
Forever & Ever
Marching Men
Lovers & Fools
Strange One
Empty Words
Ghosts Of Princes in Towers

Rich Kids Discography
Ghosts of Princes In Towers - Rich Kids
EMI
Produced by Mick Ronson
Released 18th August 1978
UK Chart #51
Side A
A1 Strange One    
A2 Hung On You    
A3 Ghosts Of Princes In Towers    
A4 Cheap Emotions    
A5 Marching Men
Side B    
B1 Put You In The Picture    
B2 Young Girls    
B3 Bullit Proof Lover    
B4 Rich Kids    
B5 Lover And Fools    
B6 Burning Sounds

Personnel
    Midge Ure - lead (1-3, 5-10) and backing vocals, rhythm guitar
    Steve New - lead guitar, backing vocals
    Glen Matlock - bass, backing and lead (4, 11, 12) vocals
    Rusty Egan - drums


Guests
    Mick Ronson - keyboards on "Ghosts of Princes in Towers"
    Ian McLagan - piano on "Cheap Emotions"


Contains the Singles
January 1978
UK Chart #24

March 1978
August 1978

*******************

Rich Kids were formed in London in 1977 with Glen Matlock, former Sex Pistol on Bass Guitar. Recruited to the band were also Steve New on Guitar and Rusty Egan on Drums and former Slik and PVC2 Guitarist and Vocalist Midge Ure.

The month before Midge Ure joined Rich Kids in 1977 he had been in PVC2 and had released a triple A-Sided Single that featured Put You In The Picture. It's a great single, if not a little rough sounding, it was after all recorded in one take! One of the excellent Scottish Punk Singles I reckon. Some remaining of PVC2 went on to form The Zones.

The Power Pop sound of Rich Kids didn't outlast 1979 as the band split due to musical differences, Egan and Ure wanting to experiment with Synths and add it to the music of the band whilst Matlock and New were wanting a more guitar and drums driven sound.

So with just three singles and an album under their belt they vanished and are forever known as one hit wonders! It's a shame really because they were actually quite good. The album came in for a lot of stick for its Production quality, more was clearly expected of the great Mick Ronson at the controls!

Midge Ure would go on to find success with Ultravox after the departure of John Foxx and Rusty Egan would enjoy some success alongside Steve Strange in Visage. Steve New went on to work with Iggy Pop, Chrissie Hynde, Sid Vicious to name but a few. He passed away in January 2010 following a battle with cancer. Glen Matlock has played with many artists (The Faces, The Damned, Iggy Pop, to name but a few)  as well as being involved in his own band Glen Matlock and The Philistines and also The International Swingers alongside James Stevenson and Clem Burke.


 Bonus Rich Kids Tunes
John Peel Session 1977.
Recorded 31st October 1977
First Broadcast 7th November 1977
1. Young Girls
2. Rich Kids
3. Burning Sounds
4. Bullet Proof Lover

John Peel Session 1978.
Recorded 20th March 1978
First Broadcast 3rd April 1978
1. Ghosts Of Princes In Towers
2. Lovers And Fools
3. Empty Words
4. Here Comes The Nice
 

The Soundtrack4Life Concert Series: Devo


Here's a little show from May 2012 featuring the mighty Devo.



Bonus

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 241 - Devo

Dedicated to Brian McGill 
One of the biggest Devo fans I know 

Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! - Devo
Warner Bros.
Produced by Brian Eno
Released 28th August 1978
US Chart #78
UK Chart #12


2009 Reissue
Includes Live Performance of
Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
6th May 2009
London HMV Forum

Original Tracklist
A1 Uncontrollable Urge
A2 (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
A3 Praying Hands    
A4 Space Junk    
A5 Mongoloid    
A6 Jocko Homo    
B1 Too Much Paranoias
B2 Gut Feeling/(Slap Your Mammy)
B3 Come Back Jonee
B4 Sloppy (I Saw My Baby Gettin')
B5 Shrivel-Up

Personnel
Devo

    Mark Mothersbaugh – lead and background vocals; keyboards; guitar
    Gerald Casale – lead and background vocals; bass guitar; keyboards
    Bob Mothersbaugh – lead guitar; backing vocals
    Bob Casale – rhythm guitar; keyboards; backing vocals
    Alan Myers – drums
Additional Musicians
Brian Eno – additional synthesizers on "Space Junk" and "Shrivel Up", distorted vocals on "Space Junk"


(Virgin Records 1978 Front Cover)

(Virgin Records 1978 Back Cover) 
The album was also issued as a Picture Disc and on Blue Vinyl

Singles featured on
Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!


Click on the links below to enjoy the music of Devo!
Originally Released on Booji Boy Records 1977.
Released in the UK by Stiff Records 1978 with Jocko Homo as the lead track.
UK Chart #62
Re-recorded for the album

Originally Released on Booji Boy Records in 1977.
Also released by Stiff Records in the UK in 1978.
UK Chart #41
 Re-recorded for the album

Virgin Records 1978
UK Chart #60

****************************
When it comes to strange, nobody quite does strange like Devo!

The Debut Album from Devo, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! was released on this day in 1978.

A bizzare band that had been around since 1973 but had begun to make a name for themselves when they released a couple of quite magnificent singles in 1977 (they didn't get a UK release until 1978) that included an amazing reworking of  '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction'. Add to that the fact that David Bowie and Iggy Pop were championing their cause and supposedly with this influence Devo secured a deal with Warner Bros. and then having Brian Eno produce the album they looked set for big things!

Where the singles and the album had gained some chart success in the UK, back home in Akron, Ohio they were not having as much joy. Maybe they were just too quirky for America at the time (but the album has sold enough in the States for it to be award a Gold status).

The band received mixed reviews of the album in the States. Critic Robert Christgau of The Village Voice gave the album a positive rating of a B+, but noted, "In small doses it's as good as novelty music ever gets, and there isn't a really bad cut on this album. But it leads nowhere." Tom Carson, writing in Rolling Stone, claimed that "There's not an ounce of feeling anywhere, and the only commitment is to the distancing aesthetic of the put-on", and opined that "Devo lacks most of Eno's warmth and much of Bowie's flair for mechanized melodrama. For all its idiosyncrasies, the music here is utterly impersonal." Both seem quite harsh I think.

The band did manage to open the door to other bands from Akron, Ohio when Stiff Records released The Akron Compilation in 1978 (it came with a scratch and sniff cover!).


Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 240 - The B-52's

Wild Planet - The B-52's
Island Records (UK) / Warner Bros. (U.S.)
Produced by Rhett Davies and The B-52's
Released 27th August 1980
UK Chart #18
US Chart #18


Personnel
    Kate Pierson – keyboard bass, organ, vocals, keyboards
    Fred Schneider – vocals, cowbell, glockenspiel, additional keyboards
    Keith Strickland – drums, drum machine, Venus sounds
    Cindy Wilson – bongos, vocals, tambourine
    Ricky Wilson – guitars

Singles from Wild Planet

July 1980
UK Release
UK Chart #61

August 1980
Netherlands, Spain, Poland and Germany Release
No Chart Details

September 1980
US Release
US Chart #74

November 1980
UK Release
Did Not Chart 

**************************
Wild Planet is the second Studio Album from the Athens, Georgia natives The B-52's. It was released on this day in 1980. Hard to believe it was 36 years ago!

Now, the history of music is littered with bands who were unable to top the sheer quality of their Debut Album with the second one being somewhat of a disappointment. That is not the case with Wild Planet. As hard as it seems, The B-52's went above and beyond their most excellent Debut Record and delivered a second album that is way superior in everyway possible from the quality of the production to the loveability (is that a word?) of the songs.

A few of the songs had been around for a couple of years and had been staples of their live performance but when it came down to recording the Debut they wanted to hold back some tracks from being recorded as they were already thinking ahead to a killer second album.

Many fans of The B-52's (and I include myself in this) consider Wild Planet to be their best album ever. It's easy to see why with such a collection of songs that showed us still the quirky nature of the band (Party Out of Bounds, and Quiche Lorraine), their kinda rocky edge (Runnin' Around, Private Idaho, Strobe Light and Devil In My Car)  and also their wonderful pop sensibilities (Dirty Back Road and Give Me Back My Man).

Ultimately what the album showed was that The B-52's were not just a laugh and a joke band but they had between them some serious musical chops. Every track on the album was co-writes between various members of the band the only exception being Dirty Back Road that was a co-write between Ricky Wilson and Robert Waldrop (I don't know much about him but he co-wrote a number of songs by The B-52's - Hero Worship, Deep Sleep, Mesopotamia, Roam, and Revolution Earth).

And so that completes a week of albums from the 1980s. Not sure what will be up next week but hopefully they'll be as good as some of the albums we have posted about this week.



Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Friday, 26 August 2016

45RPM: #100 David Watts/"A" Bomb In Wardour Street - The Jam (1978)



David Watts / "A" Bomb In Wardour Street
Polydor
Produced by Vic Smith and Chris Parry
Released 26th August 1978
UK Chart #25

A-Side: David Watts
Written by Ray Davies

A-Side: "A" Bomb In Wardour Street
Written by Paul Weller

I can remember there being a lot of concern regarding the state of The Jam just prior to release of their fifth single. The band had been recording a third album but many of the songs were penned by Bruce Foxton and Paul Weller had writers block! The word was that the producers and Polydor had rejected the songs by Foxton as being poor quality and told them, though especially Paul Weller to get writing more songs. Weller by his own admission seemed to have to a lack of interest during the writing and recording process at the time.

News of the World, the fourth single had been written by Foxton (the only A-Side he ever had released) and whilst it did break into the charts at #27 it was seen by some as a real demise in quality for the band. For myself I thought the single was actually pretty good.

David Watts / "A" Bomb in Wardour Street - a double A-Side - was released on 26th August as forerunner to the new album that was expected in November 1978. The big question was "what on earth is it going to be like?" was on the lips of many. There had been a number of misgivings regarding their second album, This Is The Modern World (though again it's an album I love very much as do many fans despite the fact that Paul Weller hated it!).

The fact that the band had chosen a cover version as a single (The Kinks had released the original as a B-Side in 1967) seemed a little puzzling at first (but Weller had said that he had been listening to a lot of The Kinks whilst he had been trying to write new material) and the fact that the majority of the vocal on it was by Foxton was also seen as a concern (it seems though it was more suited to Bruce's vocal range due to the key it was played in).
As good as their reading of the Ray Davies song is though it was flipping the disc over and discovering the other A-Side that you began to see that The Jam were back on track with possibly one of Paul Weller's finest songs to date!

 "A" Bomb In Wardour Street
Paul Weller
Where the streets are pave with blood,
with cataclysmic overtones
Fear and hate linger in the air
A strictly no-go deadly zone
I don't know what I'm doing here
'cause it's not my scene at all

There's an
"A" bomb in Wardour Street
They've called in the Army, they've called in the police

I'm stranded on the Vortex floor
My head's been kicked in and blood's started to pour
Through the haze I can see my girl
Fifteen geezers got her pinned to the door

There's an
"A" bomb in Wardour Street, it's blown up the City
Now it's spreading through the country

Law and order takes a turn for the worst,
In the shape of a size 10 boot
Rape and murder throughout the land,
and they tell me that you're still a free man
Well if this is freedom I don't understand
'cause it seems like madness to me.

"A" bomb in Wardour Street.
Hate Bomb, Hate Bomb, Hate Bomb, Hate Bomb!

A Philistine nation, of degradation,
And hate and war. There must be more.
It's Doctor Martin's A P O C A L Y P S E Apocalypse!


It makes an interesting read doesn't it? But you know something, this is the kind of violence you were subjected to almost any night if you were up town and if you were a Punk. Weller declared that "it's not my scene at all" and he was right about that, The Jam didn't really fit into the whole Punk Scene but they did ride on the crest of its wave and were often caught up in the violent thuggery of the times that was unleashed against the Punks.

"A" Bomb in Wardour Street was at least a sign that Weller was finding his mojo again and held out some hope that the new album entitled All Mod Cons would be better than its predecessor.

When the album appeared it was like a revelation! In his review for NME, Charles Shaar Murray said that the album was "not only several light years ahead of anything they've done before but also the album that's going to catapult The Jam right into the front rank of international rock and roll; one of the handful of truly essential rock albums of the last few years."


But more about the album another time.

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