The Jam – Sound Affects


In a bit of Jam phase at the moment (as well as SmallVille), just listening to every album back to back and finding  some acoustic shows as well. After listening to all of them numerous times I’ve decided that ‘Sound Affects’ is my favorite album  The Jam brought out. However it was a very close with the likes of ‘All Mod Cons’, ‘In the city’ and ‘The Gift’ (not one of the most recognized albums but I’ve got a soft spot for it).

‘Sound Affects’ was released in late 1980 on the record label ‘Polydor’, and was produced Chris Parry who also help produce ‘All Mod cons’ and ‘In the city’. This is also Paul Weller’s favorite album of The Jam, I think this because it was different from anything The Jam had done up until then. Also Paul Weller said that it was a mixture of Michael Jackson’s ‘Off the Wall’ and ‘Revolver’ (I’m sure we can all see that from the riff in ‘Start’)

The Album features songs like ‘Start’, ‘That’s Entertainment’ and one of my personal favorites ‘Pretty Green’ (just love the bass on it)

The Album

The album starts off with that bass from ‘Pretty Green’, which I think is one of the catchiest of bass riffs I’ve heard along with ‘The Stone Roses – She Bangs the Drums’. I think what I like most about the song is the aggression, also It’s something really good to shout at the top of your voice.

Weller’s a brilliant songwriter all round, lyrics, rhythm, melody and he does all that and making it catchy, it doesn’t sound so heavy. If you look at all his solo albums, they all show signs of this look at ‘sunflower’ which featured on the album ‘Wild Wood’.

The first single off this album was ‘Start!’, and it very nearly wasn’t as Polydor wanted to release ‘Pretty Green’ first but the band got the record label to bring out ‘Start!’, and how very right they were to do this as this is easily my favorite on the album and easily one of my favorite Jam songs of all time. Yes, it rips of ‘The Beatles – Taxman’ slightly but, okay more than slightly but I don’t think that takes anything away from the song. You could rip off something from a really good song, and it might be terrible. Either way they still had the job of using it and changing it to suit their style, which they did with ease. Also the solo on ‘Start!’ is pretty good as well.

The final song that gained credibility over time was ‘That’s Entertainment’, a simple acoustic song, with simple chords however with a less simple strumming pattern. Apparently Paul wrote this when he came home pissed one night (pissed means drunk) and he wrote it in 15 minutes. Don’t know if this actually happened or not, but I’d like to think it happened this way, i’m a sucker for a story. I love how it was recorded because it’s not entirely clear feels like Paul is shouting and your struggling to hear him slightly. Lyrically I think this  is one of the best pieces he’s ever done.


Overall 8.5

Whether you think it’s the best album The Jam ever done or not, I think you have to agree that it is an incredible album. Let me know what you think of the album, and whether you think it deserves the top spot that I’ve given it.

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A music lover of most (not all) genres, constantly trying to find new and inventive music.

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