Going Underground

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"Going Underground"
Single by The Jam
B-side "Dreams of Children"
Released 14 March 1980
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded December 1979
Length 2:50
Label Polydor
Songwriter(s) Paul Weller
Producer(s) Vic Coppersmith-Heaven
The Jam singles chronology
"The Eton Rifles"
"Going Underground" / "Dreams of Children"
"The Eton Rifles"
"Going Underground"/ "Dreams of Children"

"Going Underground" is the first British number-one chart single by The Jam, released in March 1980. It went straight in at number one in the UK Singles Chart,[1] spending three weeks at the top.[2] It was the first of three instant chart-toppers for the group.

Song profile[edit]

"Going Underground" was not released on any of the band's six studio albums, although it has appeared on many compilations and re-releases since then. The single's B-side was "Dreams of Children", which had originally been intended to be the A-side; following a mix-up at the pressing plant, the single became a double-A-side, and DJs tended to choose the more melodic "Going Underground" to play on the radio.[3]

The song was ranked at #2 among the "Tracks of the Year" for 1980 by NME.[4]In March 2005, Q magazine placed "Going Underground" at number 73 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks, and in October 2006 placed it at number 98 in their list of the 100 Greatest Songs Ever.


Ade Edmondson's folk punk band The Bad Shepherds covered it in 2013.

Welsh alternative metal band Lostprophets covered the song in 2007 as a B-side to their single 4:AM Forever.

The Comedy band Amateur Transplants released a two-minute parody titled "London Underground" in 2005, in the light of the December strike. It became a popular download in the United Kingdom.

The song was covered by Buffalo Tom for the 1999 Jam tribute album Fire and Skill: The Songs of the Jam. This version was also released as part of a double A-side single with Liam Gallagher and Steve Cradock's version of "Carnation" and reached number 6 in the UK singles chart.[5]

Manfred Mann's Earth Band covered the song on their 1986 album, "Criminal Tango".

Dreams of Children[edit]

"Going Underground" was coupled with "Dreams of Children" as a double A side. It opens and is intermittently accentuated with a backmasked sample of the band's 1979 song "Thick as Thieves".

The Jam released two other double- A-side singles, which were "David Watts"/"'A' Bomb in Wardour Street" and "Town Called Malice"/"Precious".


  1. ^ Jo Rice (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Guinness Superlatives Ltd. pp. 202–3. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  2. ^ "1980 Top 40 Official Singles Chart UK Archive 22 March 1980". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  3. ^ David Lines (31 Mar 2012). The Modfather: My Life with Paul Weller. Random House. p. 103. ISBN 9781448149100. 
  4. ^ "Albums and Tracks of the Year". NME. 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2016. 
  5. ^ Nick Edwards (October 2003). "Buffalo Tom". In Peter Buckley. The Rough Guide to ROck (3rd ed.). Rough Guides. pp. 147–148. ISBN 9781843531050. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 

External links[edit]