he Jam were certainly one of the very best bands to come out of the entire U.K. punk/New Wave explosion--perhaps better than the Clash and the Sex Pistols combined. It's often been argued that they were much too British to make it in America, and, for once, such an argument might actually be correct.
Starting out as a full-on punk unit (with '60s British mod affectations), the power trio--fronted by Paul Weller, and also featuring Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler--continued to evolve throughout their all-too brief career. And by the third LP, Weller's romantic pessimism about England (and the world) merged with a newfound melodic sense, creating songs nearly as good as the ones his idols, Ray Davies and Pete Townshend, were serving a decade before.
The band never did crack the U.S. market, however (they were superstars in the U.K. and Japan), and after a latter flirtation with a more white R&B-ish/soul revue (complete with horns during their final tour), Weller disbanded the Jam to form Style Council, and then to pursue an acclaimed (at least in England) solo career. The uninitiated may want to start their Jam quest with Compact Snap! (though the CD has been shortened from the vinyl version) and Extras, both excellent compilations.
This Biography was written by Bill Holdship