THE JAM – Greatest Hits (1991 Polydor)
I’ll admit that this is the only Jam that I own; about 10 years ago I decided that I loved this compilation enough to buy the Direction Reaction Creation box set. That box contained the entirety of their studio recordings. Maybe it was too much Jam at once, or maybe their albums were just not as good as their singles. Whatever; I found that this Greatest Hits was enough Jam for me. Yet I love all 19 songs. You’d think I’d be into their albums, if I already liked 19/19 Jam songs on this CD
There’s a great variety of tunes on Greatest Hits: everything’s here from the punk rock snarl of the opener “In The City” to the mournful “That’s Entertainment” to the upbeat fun of “Beat Surrender”. In between you will find some of the catchiest bass lines ever recorded, topped by the undeniable lyrics of Paul Weller. To write this many truly great singles…well you just don’t see it that often.
The Jam rocked, The Jam were cool, from punk rock to Motown soul and funk, these guys did it all and did it well. You would be well advised to pick this up. It’s cheap now, too. Less than $5, used.
Songs I really, really like that you may already know:
- “Down at the Tube Station at Midnight”
- “The Eton Rifles”
- “Town Called Malice”
- “David Watts”
- “The Bitterst Pill (I Ever Had To Swallow)”
I later bought a second Jam compilation album called Collection. It concentrated on album tracks and deep cuts and I didn’t like it. Normally I would advise readers to pick up original studio albums rather than compilations. This time I feel the opposite way. I have to rate Greatest Hits: