Saturday, October 6, 2018

The Smell of Brown Leather

The Jam : Down in the Tube Station at Midnight

On October 6, 1978, The Jam released their fourth single of the year, "Down in the Tube Station at Midnight", a quantum leap in songwriting for Paul Weller. Instead of another high velocity youth anthem, here's a song that details a terrifying mugging by thugs who smell like " pubs,  Wormwood (prison) scrubs and too many right wing meetings". The narrator is literally knocked down in the tube station and knocked out, his life swimming around him. His money is taken but so are the keys to his home where his wife waits with an open bottle of wine.

Because the narrator has some" take away curry", The BBC believed "Tube Station" was a protest against Britain's anti-immigrant "Paki-bashing" phenomenon, and banned the song . Nevertheless, it reached UK#13. 

And that Bruce Foxton bass line is sublime!

The B side included a Who cover, "So Sad About Us", in tribute to the recently passed Keith Moon.

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