Paul Weller has made his bones as a man looking forward and back. The Jam was a “youth explosion” built on riffs and themes of a Britain ten years in the past. Style Council was neo-soul, with not a lot of emphasis on the neo. So it shouldn’t be a surprise when the Mod Father dabbles a bit in some vintage sounds. But this? Erm…
Layered synths and throbbing bass float this song along with punches of distorted guitar. Should Gary Numan make a cameo, I’m not sure anyone would notice. I get that the kids are all gaga for the 80s, but I’m not sure if this is the modern world I was hoping for.
When I was a kid—and I mean, when I was eight or nine years old—I told anyone who would listen that if I ever had kids I would name them after The Beatles. And I meant all of The Beatles, even Ringo. But I was a kid and what did I know? I grew up and realized it was ridiculous to name my kids after my favorite band.
Paul Weller on the other hand is welcoming his twin sons Bowie and John Paul into the world this week. The 53 year old former frontman of The Jam announced their birth via his website.
Don’t get me wrong, I love music and understand how deeply our favorite artists can touch us. But isn’t it a bit childish to be so blatant about it? I mean, it’s not like I have a son named after a famous musician. Oh, wait…
The big news with Paul Weller‘s tenth solo album is that it finds him working with bassist Bruce Foxton on two new songs, and as any real Jam fan will admit, this is probably as close to a Jam reunion as we’ll ever see.
The story behind 2/3’s of the Jam collaboration is, unfortunately, based in tragedy: Weller recently lost his father and Foxton his wife. The good news is that loss has not only prompted Weller to rekindle with former bandmates, but to reconnect with the sounds of his past to create an audio scrapbook that has him creatively moving forwards.
“My faith has been sure inspired / I’m schooled in the textile time,” Weller declares right out of the gate, hinting at the fire under his ass as of late and the impressiveness of his wardrobe collection.
If you like The Artic Monkeys, The Libertines, The Bravery, or even Spoon, then you can thank The Jam. Revered by anglophiles everywhere, Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton, and Rick Buckler spearheaded the second wave of Mod in Britain in 1977. Coupling the rage of punk with the style and panache of their 1960s idols, The Jam were as much sound as vision. If you listen to the production style of some of their songs, and as you can see from the photos, there was an uneven level of success and failure with both.
Never-before-seen photos taken by the band’s official photographer, Neil “Twink” Tinning, from 1981-1982 have been selected from the recently published photographic book, The Jam Unseen (published by Cyan Books), and will be available as limited edition prints, individually numbered and signed. The photos depict the individual members of the original line-up of The Jam
The two members of the band not named Paul Weller hit the road as “From The Jam: Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler” with a 20-date autumn 2007 tour. First show is Ipswich Regents Theatre on November 21st. The 22-date tour takes in London, Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow, Southampton and ends December 21st at the Brighton Centre.