12 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Anchored by a cover of the Kinks’ “David Watts,” All Mod Cons is the point where Paul Weller trades in the teenage anthems of the young Pete Townshend for the more nuanced portraitures of Ray Davies, and he doesn't miss any opportunity to observe how success has tinted the world around him. Like “David Watts,” “To Be Someone (Didn’t We Have a Nice Time)” and “Mr. Clean” are scathing satires of upper-crust success, while “All Mod Cons” lashes out at the phony friends that accompany fame and fortune. It’s hard to imagine anyone else pulling off “English Rose,” a disarmingly heartfelt ode to the United Kingdom that avoids smarmy flag waving. In “‘A’ Bomb in Wardour Street” and “Down in the Tube Station at Midnight” Weller paints pictures of sudden violence in the city. The tone of the songs goes beyond anger, and instead offers the sense of betrayal, confusion, and resignation that always accompanies such incidents. All Mod Cons marks a musical and thematic turning point for the Jam, but those last two songs in particular elevate Weller to the ranks of Davies and Townshend.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Anchored by a cover of the Kinks’ “David Watts,” All Mod Cons is the point where Paul Weller trades in the teenage anthems of the young Pete Townshend for the more nuanced portraitures of Ray Davies, and he doesn't miss any opportunity to observe how success has tinted the world around him. Like “David Watts,” “To Be Someone (Didn’t We Have a Nice Time)” and “Mr. Clean” are scathing satires of upper-crust success, while “All Mod Cons” lashes out at the phony friends that accompany fame and fortune. It’s hard to imagine anyone else pulling off “English Rose,” a disarmingly heartfelt ode to the United Kingdom that avoids smarmy flag waving. In “‘A’ Bomb in Wardour Street” and “Down in the Tube Station at Midnight” Weller paints pictures of sudden violence in the city. The tone of the songs goes beyond anger, and instead offers the sense of betrayal, confusion, and resignation that always accompanies such incidents. All Mod Cons marks a musical and thematic turning point for the Jam, but those last two songs in particular elevate Weller to the ranks of Davies and Townshend.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
33 Ratings
33 Ratings
Anniepie1 ,

Truly Classic.

This was their turning point. You have to own this to fully get it!

maumel ,

* * * * *

Artistically, it is not quite up
Up with setting sons, but represents a greater turn and it's probably the most important album in their career. It conserves their early punk energy, Billy Hunt or A Bomb in Wardour Street, and greatly expands it to new territory both musically and Lyrically only challenged by London Calling. Every song is solid, Mr Clean or English Rose, and Ray Davies influence is huge as shown on the Kinks cover of David Watts or on Fly, but In the Crowd and Down in the tube station are timeless songs about England idiosyncrasies, wether it's about personal life or violence. As the Punk storm slowed, very few bands would continue to innovate and mature. The Jam was undoubtedly one of them.

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