The Gift (The Jam album)

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The Gift
Studio album by The Jam
Released 12 March 1982
Recorded October 1981 – February 1982
Genre Mod revival, post-punk
Length 32:47
Label Polydor
Producer Peter Wilson
The Jam chronology
Sound Affects
(1980)
The Gift
(1982)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau (B)[2]

The Gift is the sixth and final studio album by British band The Jam. Released on 12 March 1982, it reached No. 1 on the British charts. Clocking in at 32:17 minutes, the album received a mixed reception from critics and fans.

The original release of the album was on 12" vinyl, and initial copies came with a paper bag stating "The Jam... A Gift". These copies are increasingly difficult to find, especially in good condition. Other issues included the regular vinyl issue, the Japanese vinyl issue (with a bonus lyric book), the CD issue, the re-mastered issue, and a recently issued Japanese version in a mini-LP style sleeve.

The album moved away from the simple three-chord music of In the City and This Is the Modern World, and the more melodic All Mod Cons, Setting Sons and Sound Affects, to demonstrate Weller's love of northern soul. Funk bass lines and wah-wah guitar effects were often used throughout the album, along with jazz influences such as brass sections and saxophone solos (most notably on the track "Precious") and "Trans-Global Express" which was based on the Northern Soul funk hit "So Is The Sun" by World Column, lifting the chorus and rhythm line in their entirety from that song. Only two songs on the album exceed three and a half minutes.

The biggest hit of the album was "Town Called Malice". The song's lyrics are an accurate reflection of English working-class life at the time, and deal with small-town issues such as recreational drinking, the struggle to make a living, unemployment and lack of facilities in small towns.

"Just Who Is the 5 O'Clock Hero?", which was released as a 7" vinyl single in the Netherlands only, represents the efforts put in by 9-to-5 working men and women of Britain, who keep society running (and as such, are unsung heroes). Unlike the earlier song "Mr. Clean" from All Mod Cons, Weller does not mock the character, but rather praises him/her. However, the character from "Mr. Clean" represents a completely different strata of society, the executive/upper management types who would typically hound and otherwise make the character from "Just Who Is The 5 O'Clock Hero?"'s life difficult.

Weller's experimentation of several different musical styles previously unexplored by The Jam on this album led to increasing disagreement with the other band members, Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler, who were disillusioned with the move away from a traditional pub rock or punk rock style. The band broke up after touring the album (even after its massive success, rising to No. 1 on the British charts) on the 'Trans-Global Express Tour'.

After the album's release, Paul Weller went on to form The Style Council. The song "Carnation" was later covered by Liam Gallagher of Oasis and Steve Cradock of Ocean Colour Scene.

A 2-disc deluxe edition was released in 2012 for the album's 30th anniversary.

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Paul Weller except where otherwise noted:

  1. "Happy Together" – 2:51
  2. "Ghosts" – 2:11
  3. "Precious" – 4:13
  4. "Just Who Is the 5 O'Clock Hero?" – 2:15
  5. "Trans-Global Express" – 3:59
  6. "Running on the Spot" – 3:06
  7. "Circus" (Bruce Foxton) – 2:11
  8. "The Planner's Dream Goes Wrong" – 2:19
  9. "Carnation" – 3:28
  10. "Town Called Malice" – 2:55
  11. "The Gift" – 3:08

2012 Deluxe Edition bonus tracks[edit]

Disc One additional tracks:

  1. "Precious" (12") – 5:54
  2. "The Great Depression" – 2:53
  3. "The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had to Swallow)" (12") – 3:33
  4. "Pity Poor Alfie" / "Fever" – 4:40

Disc Two: (tracks 7–15 previously unreleased)

  1. "Beat Surrender" – 3:27
  2. "Shopping" – 3:21
  3. "Move on Up" – 3:52
  4. "Stoned Out of My Mind" – 3:15
  5. "War" – 5:10
  6. "Pity Poor Alfie" (swing version) – 4:11
  7. "Skirt" (demo) – 2:45
  8. "Ghosts" (instrumental demo) – 2:35
  9. "Just Who is the 5 O'Clock Hero?" (demo) – 2:21
  10. "The Planner's Dream Goes Wrong" (demo) – 2:18
  11. "Carnation" (instrumental demo) – 1:33
  12. "Alfie" (demo 2) – 2:38
  13. "We've Only Started" (old version) – 2:35
  14. "Shopping" (aka Paul's Demo) – 3:22
  15. "Solid Bond in Your Heart" (demo) – 3:07
Preceded by
Love Songs by Barbra Streisand
UK Albums Chart number one album
20 March 1982 – 9 April 1982
Succeeded by
Love Songs by Barbra Streisand

References[edit]