The Jam


Composed by Paul Weller

Song Review by

The chasm that separated critics and The Jam's buying public was never greater than that which opened upon the release of this single. The journos were blind-sided by Paul Weller's rather obvious lifting of The Beatles's "Taxman" bassline in its entirety for "Start", and were unable to see or hear anything beyond that fact. Still, at least drawing Beatles comparisons did allow them to new some new territory. Previously, all they'd harped on about was Weller’s debt to Pete Townshend.

But their musical tunnel-vision insured they missed what the rest of Britain heard, the song's funky undertones, its splendid jangle around Weller's guitar chords, and the incredible crispness to the sound, producer Vic Coopersmith-Heaven at his best. Plundered in part the song may have been, but composer Weller gave it his own twist, his band their own unique take, and the single, released in August, 1980, started up the chart and didn't stop until it hit the top, to become the trio's second #1.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Setting Sons 1979 Hip-O 0:00
Sound Affects 1980 Polydor 2:31
The Gift 1982 Decca / Polydor 0:00
Snap! 1983 Polydor 2:17
No Image 1984 Media Records
No Image 1990
Various Artists
Oldgold / Im 2:17
All the Choice Cuts 1990 Universal Distribution / Polydor 2:19
Greatest Hits 1991 Polydor 2:14
Teenage Kicks: 46 Classic Punk & New Wave Tracks 1995
Various Artists
PolyGram 2:16
All Mod Cons/Sound Affects 1996 Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab 2:31
Direction Reaction Creation 1997 Polygram 2:31
The Master Series 1997 Polygram
The Very Best of the Jam 1997 Polydor / Decca / Interscope 2:16
Singles Box Set: 1980-1982 2001 Universal International 2:18
Rude Boy Revival 2002
Various Artists
Telstar TV Records 2:15
The Complete Jam [DVD] 2002 Interscope
The Sound of the Jam 2003 Polydor 2:31
The 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Jam 2005 Polydor 2:16
Gold 2005 Polydor 2:31
Power Pop Anthems 2005
Various Artists
Virgin / EMI 2:15
Story 2006 Universal International 2:32
No Image 2006 Universal / Island 2:29
No Image 2006
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 2:32
True 80s 2007
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 2:27
Here and Now: The Very Best of the 80s 2008
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 2:16
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 2:29
Classic Album Selection: Six Albums 1977-1982 2012 Polydor / Universal 2:31
The Studio Recordings Universal