leejohnson's current selection is:
The Eton Rifles
by The Jam

#1979 **WARNING: EXPLICIT CONTENT** (Photos of David Cameron)

A nice little examination of my selection today exists in the online pages of "Uncut" magazine - Paul Moody writes the following as his piece for May 25th 2016:


By late 1979, 'The Jam' had taken on a singular position within British music. With 'punk' a distant memory and the preening vacuousness of 'synth-pop' on the rise, explosive teenage operas like "Strange Town" and "When You're Young" spoke directly to the country's young and disenfranchised. Out in the arterial sprawl of the South East and in the grey, semi-urban expanses across the country, a generation all too familiar with a system where "The world is your oyster but your future's a clam" were willing to follow Paul Weller wherever he took them.

For "The Eton Rifles", Weller set his sights on his most overtly political and contentious target yet. Following the Conservative victory at May's general election, a raft of new policies led to a swift rise in unemployment and a growing suspicion that was the nation was being divided along class lines. "The Eton Rifles" was inspired by TV footage of 'Right To Work' marchers being taunted by boys from Eton school - and it perfectly captured the queasy sensation that the country was slipping into what Weller would later describe as "the modern nightmare".

Built on a roar of feedback and slashing guitars, it articulated the frustrations of those who believed privilege was being used to keep them down, while mocking those who suggest the solution can be found in a "revolutionary symphony" - a sly dig at 'The Clash', perhaps? That musical punch, more like 'heavy rock' than 'power pop', perfectly reflected a nation in a state of both musical and political flux.

"The Eton Rifles" shot to No. 3 in the [UK] charts in October 1979, and the ascendancy of 'The Jam' - confirmed by follow-up "Going Underground" reaching No. 1 early the next year - was complete. In the war against apathy, Thatcherism and vacuous say-nothing pop, the battle lines had been drawn in three and half spine-tingling minutes.

From this point on, whether he liked it or not, Paul Weller was a spokesman for a generation...


The UK chart placing is contained above, from a very UK-centric band who did not do a lot in the USA. They couldn't do a lot wrong for me back then though - bassist and Ziggy-haircut owner Bruce Foxton has worked again with Paul Weller since their sad demise, but drummer Rick Buckler has never buried his particular hatchet with Paul and never will, I don't think. 'Style Council' are not a patch on this period of work by Weller in 'The Jam'.
1979 - Polydor - United Kingdom
Posted: 18th March 2018
Rewind to the Seventies! Anything from 1969 to 1980 appears here.......
Born in 1954, leaving education by 1972, 'glam' was my thing, "Ziggy" Bowie my hero. I was even the only guy in my town with the haircut (though not the carrot red colouring!). Therefore every seventh selection is a Bowie track.
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