The Jam Perform ‘But I’m Different Now’

the_jam_-_sound_effectsListen to this track of Woking England mod-punk heroes The Jam with their 1980 deep cut ‘But I’m Different Now’ as taken from one of my favourite albums, Sound Affects.

The Sound Affects album is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to short, tough songs that are well-constructed and don’t outstay their welcome.  And where something like ‘That’s Entertainment’ is something of  a British kitchen sink drama, “But I’m Different Now” holds no ambitions about being anything else other than a pop song that really pops.  It has everything that makes for classic guitar-driven pop; a punchy rhythmic riff, a straightforward vocal delivery, tight playing, and even a nice little middle-eight section which gives the whole thing a great sense of pace.  And everything is under two minutes, people.

A lot of punk-pop these days takes a lot of hard knocks from purists. Yet, in some ways, the Jam were following the same template even in the late 70s and early 80s.   They were building on what came before and wearing their colours proudly. Clearly the ’65-’66 Who, The Sex Pistols, and 60s soul music are major contributors to their sound.  But even with a song like this under two minutes long, the Jam are proven to be unique.  They’ve got something.

It helps that Paul Weller was hitting a stride by 1980, and beginning to think about how to draw his musical interests together a bit more.  In some ways, the last few Jam records are a document of this process.  Of course, he would soon (in his opinion) outgrow this three-piece punk-rock-pop sound and dissolve the Jam after 1982’s The Gift.
in order to explore other musical avenues with the Style Council. It’s clear that his talent would outlive the punk/new wave trend, and that he would be among the most successful of his musical graduating class.

For more music and information Paul Weller Official Website. His new album 22 Dreams is gaining all kinds of critical praise.  It might be worth investigating, people.

And as mentioned previously here on the ‘Bin, Jam bassist Bruce Foxton and drummer  Rick Bucker have formed a new band with guitarist/vocalist Russell Hastings which incorporates new material mixed in with classic Jam songs.


Safety Pins and Leather Jackets – A Punk Rock Mix-Tape

Here’s a mix of fun loving punk rock, mostly from the UK in the late 70s (my favourite punk period). Fact: one of these songs was the first song my daughter ever moved to, to wit: “Anarchy in the UK” by the Sex Pistols. I am one proud dad!



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1. Stiff Little Fingers – Alternative Ulster
2. The Jam – Art School
3. Joy Division – Warsaw
4. The Clash – Career Opportunities
5. Buzzcocks – Orgasm Addict
6. Rezillos – Top of the Pops
7. Ramones – Rockaway Beach
8. The Undertones – My Perfect Cousin
9. The Slits – Shoplifting
10. The Sex Pistols – Anarchy in the U.K.

The Only Ones Perform “Another Girl, Another Planet”

Listen to this track by under appreciated British power-pop/new wave outfit The Only Ones, their signature tune which should have been a worldwide hit, but wasn’t – “Another Girl, Another Planet”. The song is taken from the band’s 1978 debut album, the Only Ones.

The Only Ones
The Only Ones’ “Another Girl, Another Planet” was the hit single that wasn’t. Yet it kept on giving through many cover versions over the years by acts like the Replacements to Blink 182, to Babyshambles, just to name a few.

This is one of those songs which had “hit” written all over it, but failed to perform when it was released. It received attention only years afterwards, when audiences realized too late how great a tune it is. It has the ferocity of punk, the adolescent charm of power-pop, and the accessibility of any radio single of the time (it has the same chord progression as Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'”!). Yet, chartwise, it did nothing.

This could be that the song was not really about a girl, so much as being about lead singer Peter Perret‘s drug habit. Even in 1978, perhaps this wouldn’t play on commercial radio, although the Monks’ “Drugs in My Pocket” which came out the following year seemed to do OK, even if that was a tongue in cheek drug song.

The Only Ones floundered in obscurity for many years, splitting up after recording their third album in 1980. But, they managed to keep on the radar of music fans through cover versions of this song. This tune has been heavily covered by a range of artists, from power-popper Greg Kihn, to shambolic indie heroes the Replacements, and onto more modern interpretations from pop-punk revivalists Blink 182. Another cover version was submitted by Pete Doherty’s Babyshambles, appropriately enough given the probable drug references.

In more recent years, the group reconvened, partially on the back of the exposure they enjoyed when UK telecoms company Vodaphone used “Another Girl, Another Planet” for their TV campaign ads. As a result, they hit the festival circuit, as well as popular TV shows in Britain like Later.. With Jools Holland.

For more information about the band, check out the Only Ones official site.


Ash Perform Their Song ‘Shining Light’

Ash Free All AngelsJust for St. Patrick’s day, here’s a clip of Irish Indie-rock outfit Ash doing their tune ‘Shining Light’ from their 2001 album Free All Angels.

This tune was a favourite of mine at the time, kind of like a modern gospel-cum-love song, with lots of religious imagery over a ferocious guitar-bass-drums back-up. Indie music is often associated with the miserablist emo genre, with a lot of depressing lyrics about what a drag life can be. But, this tune is pure joy – a shining light, if you will.

Ash are a preponent of a particular model of rock and roll – the band put together for kicks turned professional.

Another great tune from the same album is the single ‘Burn Baby Burn’ which is along the same lines as as ‘Shining Light’ in that the ferocity of the music is offset by how fun it is, how joyful.