"Times were so tough/But not as tough as they are now..."
Richard Hine | 06/22/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In November 1979, The Jam released its 4th album. Paul Weller was 21 years old, facing a world where people "seemed to grow up in a flash of time," even as "we watched our ideals helplessly unwind." In this world, where youthful ideals fall away, adult responsibilities take hold and impersonal governments send real sons and daughters off to war, there is danger and disillusionment everywhere. Suburban homemaking becomes a "Private Hell." Bowing down to the "Burning Sky" means accepting the inevitability that "The taxman's shouting 'cause he wants his dough/And the wheels of finance won't begin to slow." But loyalty to your corporation gets you nowhere, as "Smithers-Jones" (in Bruce Foxton's finest song) discovers when he's summoned to the boss's office to discover "there's no longer a position for you." Worst of all, this is the kind of world where "Little Boy Soldiers" are no longer playing in the local park. They're getting sent home "in pine overcoats." Of course, this all happened 30 years ago, when governments and corporations didn't know any better.
"You've gone and got yourself in trouble/Now you want me to help you out...""
Agree that this is the best, but be careful!
Oliver Towne | Riverside, CA United States | 06/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can't add any more to the accolades given to this great album, but you must be careful about which release you purchase. I have the 1995 PolyGram 11-track CD version, and it really seems to bring out the bizarre, super bright sound of the original vinyl. Who knows know where this treble heavy mix originated, whether it was in the sound booth or the mastering, or if the PolyGram CD is exceptionally harsh, but I always thought "Sons" had a bright sound. (However, in those days it was being played on a cheap, secondhand console.) If you don't mind readjusting the EQ on your stereo, it won't matter, but more recent versions have to be better than the one I have.
Brilliant, bitter, hook-laden mod-punk-pop from the Second British Invasion, not surpassed in dark observations and rebellious energy by later, more aggressive bands. Too bad they didn't keep on going into the 1980s. (I'm sure Weller made more money in his other ventures, but I'm a hopeless idealist.)"