Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Best of the 70's: All Mod Cons by The Jam

All Mod ConsSitting at number 90 on the Best Albums of the 1970's list at Best Ever Albums is this oddball.  I call it an oddball for a number of reasons.

First:  The Jam were hugely popular in the UK but never could break through in the United States.  From 1979 to 1982 they had eight top five songs in the UK.  They never charted a song in the US. 

Second:  None of those top five songs came off of this album.  This album was a big transitional album for The Jam moving from a straight punk band to one that was much more pop oriented.  The sound they came up with here is essentially a blend of The Kinks and The Who.

Third:  This is another one of those hugely influential albums.  Because of their huge popularity, they had a big influence on the British rock scene that followed.  Bands like The Smiths, Everything But the Girl, Oasis, etc. all took influences from this record. 

Fourth:  It is not an album that has aged well.  There are a couple of factors at play here.  One is that many of the lyrics are very timely and local to UK politics and social issues.  Two is that because so many people took their sound, and built on it, it sounds musically dated. 

If you want to hear some very important music that came out of the late 70s then put this one on and give it a listen. 

Following the Rhapsody rating method I give it 2 out of 5 stars for Not Bad.


  1. Tito Puente's going to be dead, and you're going to say, "Oh, I've been listening to Tito Puente for years, and I think he's fabulous."

  2. I had never heard this song before, but I thought it was pretty good.

  3. I should've pointed out that the Tito Puente thing is a line from Stripes, which I always think of whenever I hear about the Jam, whom I have barely listened to but have frequently nodded knowingly whenever somebody mentions something about them in a conversation.