The Jam:
About The Young Idea:
Out Now:


Tying in with a major 2015 exhibition at London's Somerset House and Paul Weller's recent Glastonbury appearance, About The Young Idea traces the exultant and iconic trio's most essential songs from 1977's In The City to the 1982 flexi-disc rarity Pop Art Poem.

Chronologically arranged and jam-packed (sorry) full of the new-wavers' most potent anthems, the double-disc set doesn't just concentrate on the hits - there are some high-end album tracks and b-sides such as Thick As Thieves, Pretty Green, English Rose and the always essential Monday, plus you get a previously unissued demo in the shape of the gutsy Takin' My Love.

Perhaps arguably the band's peak was Sound Affects, an album that seemed to be all things to all types with the reflective sardonic take on My Favourite Things, the acoustic pinnacle that is That's Entertainment, acting as the LP's centrepiece. And then there's the woozy psychedelia of Man In The Corner Shop and the elated gum-chewing swagger of Boy About Town, both brimming with brassy confidence from a threesome at the peak of their powers. As a teenager, I identified with The Jam's craftsmanship and heartfelt observations.

In the run up to their split, The Jam unleashed some pretty incredible singles, not least the tribal Funeral Pyre, the peppy jazz-funk workout Absolute Beginners and the landmark Town Called Malice which revealed Weller's love of soul amidst typically biting lyrics.

47 tracks, pretty much every one a stormer, making About The Young Idea the perfect summarisation of a band that knew when to call time and conclude on a high.