Jam Science

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Jam Science
Jam Science Y.jpg
Y edition
Studio album by Shriekback
Released 1984
Genre Pop rock
Length 33:19 (Y)
39:58 (Arista)
Label Y, Arista
Producer Barry Andrews (for Y)
Shriekback and Paul Groucho Smykle (for Arista)
Shriekback chronology
Jam Science
Oil & Gold
Alternative cover
Arista edition
Arista edition

Jam Science is the second studio album by English pop group Shriekback. It was released in two versions in 1984, and was reissued on CD in a two-disc special release from the band themselves, with the second disc being a live show at Hatfield.

The first edition, issued on Y Records in early 1984, was the final release by the label. As the company's final activity, label owner Dick O'Dell assembled an unfinished version of the album from rough mixes without the group's permission; however as the album was contractually recorded for the label, it is not an unauthorised release.[1] Y was a UK record company, but this album was manufactured and distributed in the Netherlands by Sound Products Holland BV, and was out of print by the time the second edition was released. The second edition, issued on Arista Records in late 1984, is the version sanctioned by the group, and reached number 85 in the UK album chart; "Hand on My Heart" and "Mercy Dash" were also issued as singles, both on Arista, with the former reaching number 52 in the UK singles chart.[2]

Differences between Y and Arista editions[edit]

Each edition contains tracks not found on the other, as well as alternate recordings and alternate mixes.

"International" and "Putting On the Pressure" can only be found on the Y edition, and have never been reissued. "Achtung", "Mercy Dash", "Suck" and "Hubris" can only be found on the Arista edition. "Building Up a New Home" and "Party Line" (on Y) are retitled "Newhome" and "Partyline" (on Arista).

The Arista version of "Under the Lights" includes additional overdubs, truncates the "rapping" section and last chorus, and ends with a coda of unaccompanied distorted vocal, while the Y version's coda is similar to the mix of the rest of the song. Both are made from the same basic recording.

The Arista version of "Newhome" has a shorter instrumental break near the end, and vocals are completely re-recorded.

The Arista version of "Hand on My Heart" is completely re-recorded at a faster tempo, with a preview of the chorus's backing vocals in the introduction, which was absent on the Y version.

The Arista version of "Partyline" omits an extra repeat of the chorus near the end. Vocals have been re-recorded, and there are additional overdubs.

"My Careful Hands" fades out earlier on the Arista version, and is a significantly different mix, but is made from the same basic recording as the Y version.

"Midnight Maps" is the only track that is essentially the same on both editions, although the Arista version is probably a remix.

The album title is printed as one word, Jamscience on the cover of the first edition (front and spine), but as two words on the label. It is spelled consistently as two words on the Arista edition. The Y edition's cover shows a group lineup of three musicians with Martyn Barker (drums) included in a list of additional musicians; the Arista edition declares a lineup of four musicians including Barker, although he only plays on two tracks. The Y edition credits Barry Andrews as the producer, while the Arista edition credits Shriekback with Paul Groucho Smykle.

The two editions have completely different covers. The Y edition uses a graphic of a comical anthropomorphic machine screw, which some have interpreted as either an accusation that the group "screwed" the label by leaving (even though their departure may have been a result of the label folding), or a declaration that the label was "screwing" the group by releasing the album without their approval. Neither interpretation has been officially acknowledged, and there is no conclusive evidence that any sinister message was intended.

Track listings[edit]

Y edition[edit]

All tracks credited to Shriekback.

Side one[edit]

  1. "Under the Lights" – 4:01
  2. "Building Up a New Home" – 3:51
  3. "Hand on My Heart" – 4:40
  4. "International" – 3:28

Side two[edit]

  1. "Putting On the Pressure" – 4:31
  2. "Party Line" – 4:12
  3. "My Careful Hands" – 4:22
  4. "Midnight Maps" – 4:14

Arista edition[edit]

Composed by Dave Allen, Barry Andrews, Carl Marsh; except * by Allen, Andrews, Martyn Barker, Marsh.

Side one[edit]

  1. "Hand on My Heart" – 3:49
  2. "Newhome" – 3:38
  3. "Achtung" – 4:20
  4. "Partyline" – 3:29
  5. "Midnight Maps" – 4:09 *

Side two[edit]

  1. "Mercy Dash" – 4:04 *
  2. "Under the Lights" – 3:17
  3. "My Careful Hands" – 3:52
  4. "Suck" – 5:28
  5. "Hubris" – 3:52

Remastered edition[edit]

  1. "Hand on My Heart" – 3:49
  2. "Newhome" – 3:43
  3. "Achtung" – 4:20
  4. "Party Line" – 3:31
  5. "Midnight Maps" – 4:14
  6. "Mercy Dash" – 4:05
  7. "Under the Lights" – 3:20
  8. "My Careful Hands" – 3:53
  9. "Suck" – 5:34
  10. "Hubris" – 3:59
  11. "International" – 3:28
  12. "Putting on the Pressure" – 4:27
  13. "Nerve" – 2:42
  14. Big Sharp Teeth" – 2:54
  15. "Carrying Cameras" – 2:54
  16. "Jumping on the Ribcage (HOMH remix)" – 4:58
  17. "Cloud of Nails (HOMH Remix)" – 5:55
  18. "Mistah Linn He Dead (HOMH remix)" – 4:05


Additional musicians[edit]

  • Martyn Barker – Linn drum machine, percussion on "Midnight Maps", "Mercy Dash" (credited as group member on Arista edition)
  • Luc Van Acker – guitars on "Partyline", "Under the Lights"
  • Ian Caple – engineer/Linn drum programming, guitars on "My Careful Hands"
  • Phil Butcher – bass on "Partyline"
  • Emma Burnham, Linda Neville, Paul Groucho Smykle – vocals
  • Dave Marx, Pedro Ortiz – credited as additional musicians on Y edition