This Is the Modern World is the second studio album by British band The Jam, released in November 1977, less than seven months after their debut. The front cover photography was by Gered Mankowitz.
This Is the Modern World is the second studio album by British band The Jam, released in November 1977. The album was released less than six months after their debut album In the City, and reached No. 22 on the UK Albums Chart.
Although generally met with negative reviews by music critics upon release, This Is the Modern World has been described as being an album “with far more light and shade” than In the City.
The only single from This Is the Modern World was the censored version of “The Modern World”, which peaked at No. 36 on the UK Singles Chart.
The Jam were an English mod revival/punk rock band during the 1970s and early 1980s, which formed in 1972 at Sheerwater Secondary School in Woking, in the county of Surrey. The band released 18 consecutive Top 40 singles in the United Kingdom, from their debut in 1977 to their break-up in December 1982, including four number one hits. As of 2007, "That's Entertainment" and "Just Who Is the 5 O'Clock Hero?" remain the best-selling import singles of all time in the UK. They released one live album and six studio albums, the last of which, The Gift, hit number one on the UK Albums Chart. When the group disbanded in 1982, their first 15 singles were re-released and all placed within the top 100.
While the Jam shared the "angry young man" outlook and fast tempo of the mid-1970s British punk rock movement, in contrast with it the band wore smartly tailored suits reminiscent of English pop-bands in the early 1960s and incorporated mainstream 1960s rock and R&B influences into its sound, particularly from the Who's work of that period and also drew influence from the work of the Kinks and the music of American Motown. This placed the act at the forefront of the 1970s1980s nascent Mod Revival movement. With many of the band's lyrics about working class life, Jam biographer Sean Egan commented that they "took social protest and cultural authenticity to the top of the charts."
The band drew upon a variety of stylistic influences over the course of their career, including 1960s beat music, soul, rhythm and blues and psychedelic rock, as well as 1970s punk and new wave. The trio were known for their melodic pop songs, their distinctly English flavour and their mod image. The band launched the career of Paul Weller, who went on to form the Style Council and later his solo career. Weller wrote and sang most of the Jam's original compositions and played lead guitar, using a Rickenbacker 330. Bruce Foxton provided backing vocals and prominent basslines, which were the foundation of many of the band's songs, including the hits "Down in the Tube Station at Midnight", "The Eton Rifles", "Going Underground" and "Town Called Malice" mainly using a Rickenbacker 4001 or a Fender Precision Bass, as well as, on rare occasions, an Epiphone Rivoli.
The Jam formed in Woking, Surrey, England, in 1972. The line-up was fluid at this stage, consisting of Paul Weller on bass and lead vocals together with various friends at Sheerwater Secondary School. They played their first gigs at Michael's, a local club. The line-up began to solidify in the mid-1970s with Weller, guitarist/vocalist Steve Brookes and drummer Rick Buckler. In their early years, their sets consisted of covers of early American rock and roll songs by the likes of Chuck Berry and Little Richard. They continued in this vein until Weller discovered the Who's debut album My Generation and became fascinated with Mod music and lifestyle. As he said later, "I saw that through becoming a Mod it would give me a base and an angle to write from, and this we eventually did. We went out and bought suits and started playing Motown, Stax and Atlantic covers. I bought a Rickenbacker guitar, a Lambretta GP 150 and tried to style my hair like Steve Marriott's circa '66." Eventually Brookes left the band, but although they advertised for a new guitarist (Gary Webb later known as Gary Numan claims to have failed an audition) he was not replaced. Up to this point Weller had been playing bass and Foxton had been the band's second guitar player; he persuaded Foxton to take over bass duties and developed a combined lead/rhythm guitar style influenced by the Who's Pete Townshend as well as Dr. Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson. The line-up of Weller, Foxton, and Buckler would persist until the end of The Jam's career.
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