Town Called Malice

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"Town Called Malice"
Single by The Jam
from the album The Gift
B-side Precious
Released 29 January 1982
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded 1981
Genre Mod revival
Length 2:52
Label Polydor (UK)[1]
Writer(s) Paul Weller[1]
Producer(s) Peter Wilson and The Jam[2]
The Jam singles chronology
"Absolute Beginners"
(1981)
"Town Called Malice"
(1982)
"Just Who Is the 5 O'Clock Hero?"
(1982)

"Town Called Malice" is a song recorded by British band The Jam from the album The Gift. It reached number one in the UK Singles Chart in February 1982.[3][4]

Song profile[edit]

The title is a play on the 1950 Nevil Shute novel A Town Like Alice although Paul Weller says he had not read the book at the time.[5] It was a double A-side single release featuring "Precious" as the flip side. A 12" version was also available with a live version of "Town Called Malice" backed by an extended version of "Precious".

Released as the first single from the album on 29 January 1982, it entered the chart at number one on the British music charts, staying at the top for three weeks,[6] and preventing "Golden Brown" by The Stranglers from reaching number one. EMI, the Stranglers record company, objected to the sales of both formats of "Town Called Malice" being aggregated, arguing that Jam fans were buying both versions and thus preventing their band from reaching the top of the chart.[1]

It was the band's third number-one single in the UK. It was the band's sole chart entry onto any American chart (although this single and "Start!" both appeared in the low-rungs of the Billboard Dance/Club Play charts) when it hit No. 31 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in 1982.[7]

Paul Weller has said that it was written about his hometown Woking as a result of his teenage experiences there.[8][9][10]

The famous bassline is in fact a virtual copy of 'I'm Ready For Love' by Martha and The Vandellas.

The photograph on the front cover of the sleeve was taken by drummer Rick Buckler.

A music video of the song was filmed and was in moderate rotation on MTV in 1982 and 1983. The song was featured prominently in the 1985 comedy film National Lampoon's European Vacation, 2005 film The Matador and also appeared in the film Billy Elliot.[11] The song was also featured several times in the play How to Be a Man in West Belfast, which premiered at Wesleyan University in April 2009. It is also on the soundtrack to FIFA Football 2004, as well as being featured in the video game Rock Band. The song featured at the beginning of episode 3.5 of the show Ashes to Ashes. It can also be heard in the first and last episodes of the first season of the BBC series Criminal Justice.[citation needed]

In September 2007, McFly recorded a cover version of the song as part of Radio 1 Established 1967, and a cover by Kids in Glass Houses was included on the CD release of their 2008 single "Saturday".[citation needed]

It was also covered by Amy Macdonald for Simon Mayo on BBC Radio 2 and features on the album A Curious Thing.

Olly Murs sung the song on his Right Place Right Time Tour in 2013.

It is played before every Millwall F.C. home game.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. pp. 221–2. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  2. ^ "JAM | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "The Jam Singles – Town Called Malice". Thejam.org.uk. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 405–6. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  5. ^ Dave Simpson. "How we made: Paul Weller and Bruce Foxton on Town Called Malice | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "JAM | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "The Jam | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  8. ^ [1][dead link]
  9. ^ "Sunday Times 2007". Wellerworld.co.uk. 12 June 1999. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  10. ^ "July 2008". Music Zone. Retrieved 29 March 2014. 
  11. ^ [2][dead link]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"The Model" by Kraftwerk
UK number-one single
13 February 1982 – 27 February 1982
Succeeded by
"The Lion Sleeps Tonight" by Tight Fit