The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for September 23rd, 2010

Back Tracks: The Jam

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The Jam were easily one of the best things to come from the U.K. punk-rock scene. This is an unusual consideration, given that nothing about the band really screamed punk-rock. The members of The Jam were polished in appearance and musical experience, and they were clearly influenced by American rock and R&B acts from Motown, Stax and Atlantic. They were as mod as one could get without joining the cast of Quadrophenia. But their sound had an edge that bands like The Clash and The Sex Pistols would share, making for a deft mix of edgy rock and bouncy pop that became something of a British musical treasure. Jam leader Paul Weller would become an icon of the U.K. rock scene, first in The Jam and then as part of The Style Council and on his own, but it would never get better than those early years. (One of the funniest lyrics in Tears for Fears’ “Sowing the Seeds of Love” – “Kick out the style/bring back the jam!” – is a cutting reference to just how influential Weller was and is.)

With the forthcoming deluxe reissue of The Jam’s Sound Affects in November, it seemed like a good time to journey through the band’s catalogue, Back Tracks-style, and give those absolute beginners a chance to discover The Jam.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 23, 2010 at 13:59

Let’s Hope You Didn’t Buy a-ha’s “25” Just Yet

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Because the compilation released almost everywhere but the U.S. is getting expanded a bit more, as a CD/DVD edition with the first-ever compilation of the band’s videos. If you’re a big a-ha fan – and let’s face it: if you are, there’s at least a 75% chance of you getting 25 in the first place – you’ll want to wait until this version is released October 4.

And please excuse the grumbling, but catalogue fans are this close, it seems, to abandoning the purchase of reissues and box sets from U.S.-based stores, because all the interesting stuff is coming out from labels on other shores. At least stuff is getting put onto CD and DVD, but the lack of catalogue respect in the States is a bitter pill to have to swallow sometimes.

Speaking of cool a-ha stuff that you can order from the U.K., the band has begun selling the newly expanded version of their official book, The Swing of Things 1985-2010, a hard-to-find chronicle of the band in their own words and photos, now expanded to cover their full history.

The track list for 25 is here; the DVD track list is after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 23, 2010 at 11:16