Never found in the '80s (outside the U.K.): The Jam
Stuck in the 80s fans located in the U.K. are going to be crying, “Dim! You’re crazy! The Jam were found in the 80s!”
Yes, they were… in the U.K. In their home country, The Jam had no less than nine top 10 hits on the singles charts in the 80s, including four number ones. But in the States? Nothing! Bupkis! The Jam didn’t even have one song crack the Top 100! And, since this series is America-centric, The Jam were Never Found in the 80s.
A three piece band coming out of the U.K. punk scene, The Jam were heavily influenced musically by The Who and stylistically by London’s Mod movement revival. In fact, Paul Weller (guitarist, lead singer, and principle songwriter) came to be known as the Modfather.
Never quite punk, The Jam’s aggressive, clanging guitar rock was their signature sound, but they could also turn out a great acoustic tune such as my featured song for today. That’s Entertainment is one of Weller’s best compositions. Its lyrics describe the everyday life of the British working class. This song, featured on The Jam’s 1980 album Sound Affects, was not released as a single in the U.K. until 1983.
However, as a B-side of an import single, it still managed to reach 21 on the U.K. charts in 1981!
Paul Weller disbanded The Jam in 1982, an act that didn’t sit well with the other members. Weller went onto form The Style Council and then onto a successful solo career. After 20 years of not speaking to each other, Weller and bassist Bruce Foxton patched up their differences. Foxton even appears on two tracks of Weller’s 2010 album Wake Up The Nation.