Bruce Foxton

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Bruce Foxton
Bruce Foxton.jpg
Foxton performing live with From the Jam at the Glasgow Carling Academy, 2007
Background information
Birth name Bruce Douglas Foxton
Born (1955-09-01) 1 September 1955 (age 62)
Woking, Surrey, England
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • composer
  • musician
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • bass guitar
  • guitar
Years active 1972–present
Labels
Associated acts
Website brucefoxton.com

Bruce Douglas Foxton (born 1 September 1955) is an English singer, songwriter and musician.

Foxton's music career spans more than 40 years. He came to prominence in the late 1970s as bassist and backing vocalist of punk rock and mod revival band the Jam. He occasionally performed the lead vocals, such as on the songs "News of the World", "David Watts" and "Smithers-Jones". After the band's break-up, he pursued a brief solo career releasing one studio album, Touch Sensitive, in 1984, and played in several bands, including Sharp with former Jam member Rick Buckler, before joining Stiff Little Fingers in 1990.

After leaving SLF in 2007, Foxton officially joined Rick Buckler and members of his tribute band The Gift to tour under the name From the Jam.

Early life and education[edit]

Bruce Douglas Foxton was born on 1 September 1955, in Woking, Surrey, England, to parents Henry and Helen.[1][2] He grew up on Albert Drive, Sheerwater and was the youngest of three boys.[1] He attended Sheerwater Junior and Secondary where he showed great skill in football and technical drawing. In 1972, he left school to work with his brother Derek at a printing firm. While there, he formed a band with his colleagues at work but he abandoned the project out of frustration due to lack of progress and instead chose to join The Jam, although at the beginning he had doubts about the band's frequent covers of old hits.[1]

Career[edit]

The Jam performing live in Newcastle upon Tyne during their Trans-global Unity tour, 1982.[3]

Together with drummer Rick Buckler he formed the rhythm section for The Jam, which was fronted by singer, guitarist and songwriter Paul Weller. Foxton initially joined the band as lead guitarist (Weller played bass), but the pair switched roles following the departure of guitarist Steve Brookes. During his time with the band Foxton performed lead vocals on several tracks, most notably the singles "David Watts" (a cover of a Kinks track) and "News of the World", which was his own composition. Foxton also penned a number of other tracks, the most notable being "Smithers-Jones", done as a straightforward rock take for the B-side of "When You're Young" and later reworked with strings for the Setting Sons album. After Foxton joined Stiff Little Fingers in 1990 the band would regularly perform the song live.

Whilst in The Jam, Foxton discovered the new wave band the Vapors and offered them two appearances on the May 1979 tour of The Jam. The band was managed by John Weller, Paul's father.[4] The Vapors enjoyed greater success in the US than The Jam, with the Top 40 single "Turning Japanese", but broke up shortly thereafter.

After The Jam broke-up in 1982, Foxton pursued a brief solo career and released the studio album, Touch Sensitive, in 1984. He had minor UK hits in 1983 and 1984 with the singles "Freak", "This Is the Way" and "It Makes Me Wonder",[5] and played in several bands, including Sharp with former Jam member Rick Buckler, before joining Stiff Little Fingers.

He stayed with Stiff Little Fingers for 15 years, during which time they recorded five albums, namely, Flags and Emblems, Get a Life, Tinderbox, Hope Street and Guitar and Drum. During his time with the band, he wrote and co-wrote several tracks and, along with lead singer Jake Burns, managed the band for a while after Russel Emmanuel relinquished the role.

In 1994, Foxton and Buckler collaborated on Our Story, a biography of their years in The Jam. It was around this time he became a source of fascination for comedians Stewart Lee and Richard Herring on their BBC Radio 1 music shows.

In 2006, Foxton toured with Bruce Watson, Mark Brzezicki and Simon Townshend as the Casbah Club. When this band supported the Who in the UK, Foxton encountered Paul Weller backstage for the first time in nearly 25 years.

In February 2007, Foxton and Buckler announced they would be touring together again as From the Jam, with members of Buckler's Jam tribute band the Gift.[6] In March 2008, they toured Australia[7] and New Zealand – a first for Foxton and Buckler. A complete concert (recorded at the London Astoria in December 2007) was released on DVD in 2008 through the London-based indie label Invisible Hands Music.[8]

On 5 May 2009, Foxton attended the funeral of Paul Weller's father John, who had been instrumental in The Jam's success.[9] Foxton played bass and contributed backing vocals on the songs "Fast Car/Slow Traffic" and "She Speaks" included on Weller's solo album, Wake Up the Nation, released in April 2010. On 25 May 2010, at the Royal Albert Hall, Foxton joined Weller onstage for the first time in 28 years, to perform three songs, "Fast Car/Slow Traffic", "The Eton Rifles" and "The Butterfly Collector".

On 1 October 2012, Foxton released Back in the Room, his first album in 30 years. It was funded by fans through PledgeMusic and released on Absolute via Universal.[10] Co-written with From the Jam singer Russell Hastings and featuring drummer Mark Brzezicki, guest musicians included Paul Weller. Weller performed on three tracks, the single "Number Six", "Window Shopping" and "Coming on Strong".

In November 2016, Smash the Clock, a second collaboration with Russell Hastings, was released on Absolute to generally favourable reviews.[11] Once again it featured a number of well known guest musicians, including Paul Weller. "Get Ready to Rock" online magazine/blog in their review wrote "Foxton and Hastings may not thank me for saying it, but this is probably the best album Paul Weller never made"[12]

Personal life[edit]

In early 2009, Foxton's wife of 25 years Pat, who had worked in public relations for United Artists and CBS, died of breast cancer.[13]

Discography[edit]

With The Jam[edit]

Solo[edit]

Studio albums

Year Title Label UK Albums Chart[5]
1984 Touch Sensitive Arista 68
2012 Back in the Room Absolute
2016 Smash the Clock 31

Singles

Year Title B-side Album UK Singles Chart[5]
1983 "Freak" "Writing's on the Wall" Touch Sensitive 23
1983 "This Is the Way" "Sign of the Times" Touch Sensitive 56
1984 "It Makes Me Wonder" "Trying to Forget You (Instrumental Mix)" Touch Sensitive 74
1984 "S.O.S. My Imagination" "25 or 6 to 4" Touch Sensitive
1986 "Play This Game to Win" "Welcome to the Hero" Non-album single
2012 "Don't Waste My Time" [Promo-only]
(With special guest Steve Cropper)
Back in the Room
2012 "Number Six" [Promo-only]
(Featuring Paul Weller)
Back in the Room

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c John Reed (5 November 2009). Paul Weller: My Ever Changing Moods. Omnibus Press. pp. 60–63. ISBN 978-0-85712-049-6. 
  2. ^ Sharon Davis (6 January 2012). 80s Chart-Toppers: Every Chart-Topper Tells a Story. Mainstream Publishing. p. 147. ISBN 978-1-78057-411-0. 
  3. ^ "The Jam Information Pages – by Kevin Lock". Thejam.org.uk. 11 April 2007. Archived from the original on 16 August 2013. 
  4. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (4 October 1980). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 32. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  5. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 211. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  6. ^ "Two-Thirds Of The Jam Reuniting For Tour". Billboard. 
  7. ^ "The Jam to Play Australia – Without Frontman". ABC "Dig Radio". 11 December 2007. Retrieved 12 March 2008. 
  8. ^ "From The Jam 2007 tour". Noble PR. 2007. Archived from the original on 24 July 2007. Retrieved 30 July 2007. 
  9. ^ "Photographic press agency and picture library". Rex Features. 5 May 2009. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  10. ^ "Back in the Room – Bruce Foxton : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  11. ^ "Bruce Foxton - Smash The Clock". Discogs. Retrieved 2017-08-26. 
  12. ^ [1][dead link]
  13. ^ "Jam star wife's funeral draws mourners including PM's wife Sarah Brown and Spandau Ballet's Tony Hadley". Mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 

External links[edit]