I Love The Smell Of Punk In The Morning: “In The City” -The Jam. “In The City” was the title track from The Jam’s debut album released in 1977. It was their first single and it would start a run in the United Kingdom of 18 consecutive Top 40 singles. The Jam were short lived as a recording group- 1977-82. I had read about The Jam in rock mags here in the United States but the albums their albums -they had six studio album released in that short period of time were not released in the United States in a very timely matter. I think the first time I actually saw a Jam album in a record store was around 1980. In late 1980 front man Paul Weller announced he was leaving and formed Style Council – and then in the early 90’s went on to a solo career which is still going strong. For some reason The Jam and Weller’s solo career have never got much traction in the U.S. Style Council did have a Top 40 single in 1984 with “My Ever Changing Moods” but in Paul Weller’s solo career- the Modfather has never had a Hot 100 single. At least his albums have been released. I’ve never understood why he is one of those artists huge in the UK but ignored in the U.S.? It does seem like his songwriting tends to center on British culture which is probably a large part of the reason. It is odd that he’s a God in the UK but could no doubt walk around in any city unrecognized by most.
“In The City” written by Weller- is a celebration of youth culture and punk music. The ‘young idea” is punk. When The Jam’s debut album came out- Weller was only eighteen. If there is a group that most influenced The Jam it would have to be The Who. They even borrowed the title “In The City” from an obscure b-side from the early Who. Pitchfork has called “In The City” one of the greatest debut singles ever. It peaked at #40 on the UK Single Chart. Every single by The Jam would end up making the UK Top 40. A great and underrated band.