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Setting Sons (Remastered)

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Editors’ Notes

As disciples of Ray Davies and Pete Townshend, it was inevitable that the Jam would eventually attempt a concept album. At 10 songs, Setting Sons is lean and somewhat underdeveloped, but the album still imparts an impressive sense of depth and to the band’s credit, the music is completely unpretentious. Despite the miniature suite contained in “Little Boy Soldiers” and the orchestral motions of Bruce Foxton’s lovely “Smithers-Jones,” the Jam stick to the punchy, bare bones delivery of their early days. The lyrical content, however, is almost as complex as a novel. A sequence of songs —“Thick As Thieves,” “Little Boy Soldiers,” “Wasteland,” and “Burning Sky”— follows a trio of tight-knit boyhood friends (alluded to in the cover art) who go off to war and eventually drift apart. This mini-narrative is bookended by several portraits of workaday life in Great Britain. From the class skirmishes of “Eton Rifles” to the elderly regret of “Private Hell” and the middle class stupor of “Saturday’s Kids,” Paul Weller shows his expertise in drawing profundity from everyday scenes. Rife with intelligence, nostalgia and a whip-smart vigor, Setting Sons is definitive Jam.

Customer Reviews

Eton Rifles

Great jam album, though heat wave does suprise you after the magnificence of The Eton Rifles, all filler aside this album is a must buy for any casual jam fan or punk fan.

My all-time favorite Jam album

Let's be clear: there is no filler here. Just some of the most intense, brilliant songs about youthful idealism crashing into adult disappointment you'll ever hear. I shuddered hearing "Private Hell" the first time, and "Burning Sky," "Saturday's Kids," "Girl on the Phone," "Wasteland," "Smithers-Jones," and "Eton Rifles" all make you want to kick the air like Foxton, grit your teeth like Weller, and thank God for giving us The Jam.


This is one of those flawless albums that comes around once in a great while. No filler at all, perfect top to bottom. They would go on to make great music, but this is magic.


Formed: 1975 in Woking, Surrey, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s

The Jam were the most popular band to emerge from the initial wave of British punk rock in 1977; along with the Sex Pistols, the Clash, and the Buzzcocks, the Jam had the most impact on pop music. While they could barely get noticed in America, the trio became genuine superstars in Britain, with an impressive string of Top Ten singles in the late '70s and early '80s. The Jam could never have a hit in America because they were thoroughly and defiantly British. Under the direction of guitarist/vocalist/songwriter...
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