Wednesday, August 8, 2018

With Cataclysmic Overtones




On August 11, 1978, The Jam released their "David Watts" b/w "A Bomb in Wardour Street" single. It was our first taste of the upcoming All Mod Cons album. Although the Bruce Foxton sung A side witnessed the band blasting their way through a Kinks cover ( and we'd be looking for more Ray Davies influences in the years to come) , the B side was a sure sign that Paul Weller had overcome any writer's block. 

“It was a very violent time. Every gig there was a fight. I mentioned The Vortex in that song because that club had a particularly horrible, heavy atmosphere. In my mind, I thought punk was about bringing the kids together man. I thought it was about uniting everybody and that it was our time for revolution. Not necessarily politically, but just culturally and as a generation. But that lot got it so fucking wrong. It wasn’t about cheap speed and pints of cider and rucking. I thought punk was supposed to take us out of all that bollocks and lead us somewhere else. So that song came from my disappointment with it all, whereas I thought The Jam took good aspects of punk and used it positively for what we wanted to do.”




That's drummer Rick Buckler on cowbell. At least The Jam learned something touring America with Blue Oyster Cult. And do we hear another bit of Ray Davies? The Changing Man author Paolo Hewitt detects a lift from The Kinks "The Hard Way" for the man riff and from "Last of Steam Powered Trains" for the way the song ends.

The single reached No 25 in the UK, beating the band’s previous single, "News Of The World", by two places. The Jam had turned the corner. A golden age had dawned.



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