The Jam At The BBC 1977 to 1982

The Jam At The BBC is a collection of live in the studio and live in concert recordings made by the BBC between 1977 and 1981.

It comes in two forms:

  • The standard two CDs version with concerts from 1978 and 1981
  • A limited edition three CDs version with an extra concert from the 1979 Setting Sons tour.

The Jam At The BBC

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Songs On The Jam At The BBC

The first two CDs content are in both versions.

CD 1

In The City – 2:17
Art School – 1:57
I’ve Changed My Address – 3:27
The Modern World – 2:39
All Around The World – 2:17
London Girl – 2:36
Bricks And Mortar – 1:35
Carnaby Street – 2:24
Billy Hunt – 3:40
In The Street Today – 1:39
The Combine – 2:39
Sounds From The Street – 2:57
Don’t Tell Them You’re Sane – 3:22
The Modern World – 2:39
“A” Bomb In Wardour Street – 2:57
News Of The World – 3:38
Here Comes The Weekend – 3:34
All Around The World – 3:05

CD 2

Thick As Thieves – 3:50
The Eton Rifles – 3:42
Saturday’s Kids – 2:50
When You’re Young – 3:15
Tales From The Riverbank – 3:21
Funeral Pyre – 4:05
Sweet Soul Music – 2:02
The Gift – 3:31
Down In The Tube Station At Midnight – 4:03
Ghosts – 2:25
Absolute Beginners – 3:01
Tales From The Riverbank – 3:20
Precious – 3:43
Town Called Malice – 3:17
In The Crowd – 3:13
Circus – 2:32
Pretty Green – 3:30
Start! – 2:34
Boy About Town – 2:43

The third CD is only included in the limited edition version of The Jam At The BBC. The concert is however also available in the deluxe version of Setting Sons, allegedly with improved sound.

Girl On The Phone
To Be Someone
It’s Too Bad
Burning Sky
Away From The Numbers
Smithers-Jones
Modern World
Mr Clean
The Butterfly Collector
Private Hell
Thick As Thieves
When You’re Young
Strange Town
Eton Rifles
Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
Saturday’s Kids
All Mod Cons
David Watts

The source information is as follows:

CD 1, tracks 1 to 4 John Peel Session recorded 26 April 1977
CD 1, tracks 5 to 8 John Peel Session recorded 19 July 1977
CD 1, tracks 9 to 18 recorded in concert at the Paris Theatre in London 1 Jun 1978

CD 2, tracks 1 to 4 John Peel Session recorded 29 October 1979
CD 2, tracks 5 to 8 recorded for Studio B15 on 25 October 1981
CD 2, tracks 9 to 20 performed in concert at the Hippodrome in Golders Green, London 19 December 1981

Limited edition CD 3 tracks 1 to 18 recorded in concert at the Rainbow Theatre in London on 4 December 1979

The Jam haven’t entered into legend in the same way as their peers like The Clash or the Sex Pistols but when you listen to this album, two things are clear:

  1. They were a fantastic band who don’t receive the recognition they should. Yes they were the most successful punk and new wave band in the late 1970s and the early 1980s but their albums should be revered more in the current times.
  2. They progressed a long way from their punky mod sounds of In The City to the soul and R&B that they finished with which clearly paves the way for Style Council.

Inevitably with a collection like this, there are some repeats and some classic songs missing – I’d like to see Going Underground and That’s Entertainment on here. It’s also, not quite, a complete career summary of The Jam because they carried on recording until February 1982 with their final studio album The Gift released in March 1982.

I had no doubts that I was going to buy the 3 CD version because my favourite albums of theirs are All Mod Cons (1978) and Setting Sons (1979).

Moving from in studio live recordings to in concert live recordings isn’t as much of a jolt as you might expect except when there is a little bit of talking from the DJ or Paul Weller or a jingle. However I have it too ways in my digital recordings – in full and the concerts separated out and the session recordings grouped together. That combination works well.

This is very highly recommended and whilst I haven’t done my full evaluation yet, I’m looking at a score of around 28.

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Buying The Jam At The BBC

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