Sound Affects

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Not to be confused with sound effects.
Sound Affects
The Jam - Sound Effects.jpg
Studio album by The Jam
Released 28 November 1980
Recorded 15 June–22 October 1980
Length 35:18
Label Polydor
The Jam chronology
Setting Sons
Sound Affects
The Gift

Sound Affects is the fifth studio album by British rock band The Jam. The cover art is a pastiche of the artwork used on various Sound Effects records produced by the BBC during the 1970s. It is their only album co-produced by the band, and contains the only album track co-written by the entire band, "Music for the Last Couple". It was released in November 1980.


Musical influences noted include post-punk groups such as Wire, Gang of Four, and Joy Division and, particularly evident in Rick Buckler's drumming, Michael Jackson's Off the Wall album. Frontman Paul Weller said at the time that he considered the album a cross between Off the Wall and Revolver. In BBC Radio 6 Music's documentary The Jam: Made in Britain, Weller cited it as his favourite Jam album.


The album features the group's second UK number one single, "Start!", built around an almost exact copy of the bassline and an homage to the guitar solo from The Beatles' "Taxman", the lead cut on Revolver. Polydor pushed for "Pretty Green" to be the first single released, but Weller insisted on "Start!". This involved consulting a few of the band's friends as to what they thought the best release would be. Weller had Polydor A&R man Dennis Munday ask a small peer group of his friends who had been present throughout the recording sessions at the Town House and prior demo recordings at Polydor studios. Given the choice, they chose "Start!" as the best single release and the decision was made to release it. The decision was vindicated when "Start!" topped the British singles charts in its third week after entering at number 3.[2] "Pretty Green" includes a funk bassline and rhythm with melodic guitar breaks and psychedelic sound effects. "That's Entertainment" is an acoustic ballad. "Boy About Town" and "Dream Time" include horns.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[1]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 5/5 stars[3]
Mojo 5/5 stars[4]
Q 4/5 stars[5]
Record Collector 4/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 5/5 stars[8]
Uncut 4/5 stars[9]

In 2006, Q magazine placed the album at No. 15 in its list of "40 Best Albums of the '80s".[10]

NME ranked the album No. 487 on their list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

Track listing[edit]

Side one
  1. "Pretty Green" – 2:37
  2. "Monday" – 3:02
  3. "But I'm Different Now" – 1:52
  4. "Set the House Ablaze" – 5:03
  5. "Start!" – 2:33
  6. "That's Entertainment" – 3:38
Side two
  1. "Dream Time" – 3:54
  2. "Man in the Corner Shop" – 3:12
  3. "Music for the Last Couple" (Rick Buckler, Bruce Foxton, Paul Weller) – 3:45
  4. "Boy About Town" – 2:00
  5. "Scrape Away" – 3:59
  • "Start!" was the first track on Side one of the US issue. This issue also included the "Going Underground/"Dreams of Children" 7".

2010 2 CD Deluxe Edition[edit]

Sound Affects was re-issued on 8 November 2010 as a 2 CD Deluxe Edition to celebrate its 30th Anniversary.

CD1 – the original LP.
CD 2 – Demos, B-sides, alternate versions

All songs by Paul Weller except where stated

  1. "Start!" (Single version) – The Jam, Vic Coppersmith-Heaven
  2. "Liza Radley" – The Jam, Vic Coppersmith-Heaven
  3. "The Dreams of Children" – The Jam, Vic Coppersmith-Heaven
  4. "That's Entertainment" (alternate) – Peter Wilson, The Jam, Rick Buckler, Bruce Foxton, Paul Weller
  5. "Pretty Green" (demo) – The Jam ♠
  6. "Pop Art Poem" – Peter Wilson, The Jam
  7. "Rain" (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) (demo) – Peter Wilson, The Jam, Rick Buckler, Bruce Foxton, Paul Weller
  8. "Boy About Town" (demo) – The Jam ♠
  9. "Dream Time" (demo) – Rick Buckler, Bruce Foxton, Paul Weller, The Jam, Vic Coppersmith-Heaven
  10. "Dead End Street" (Ray Davies) (demo) – Peter Wilson, The Jam, Rick Buckler, Bruce Foxton, Paul Weller
  11. "But I'm Different Now" (demo) – Peter Wilson, The Jam
  12. "Scrapeaway" (instrumental) – The Jam ♠
  13. "Start!" (demo) – The Jam
  14. "Liza Radley" (demo) – Peter Wilson, The Jam
  15. "And Your Bird Can Sing" (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) (demo) - Peter Wilson, The Jam
  16. "Monday" (alternate) – The Jam ♠
  17. "Get Yourself Together" (Ronnie Lane, Steve Marriott) (demo) – Peter Wilson, The Jam
  18. "Set The House Ablaze" (alternate 'dub' ending) – The Jam ♠
  19. "Boy About Town" (alternate) – Peter Wilson, The Jam, Vic Coppersmith-Heaven
  20. "No One in the World" (demo) – Peter Wilson, The Jam
  21. "Instrumental" (demo) – The Jam ♠
  22. "Waterloo Sunset" (Ray Davies) (demo) – The Jam ♠

Note ♠ – Tracks previously unreleased


  1. ^ a b Woodstra, Chris. "Sound Affects – The Jam". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "The Jam – Start Chart Stats". Chart Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  3. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-857-12595-8. 
  4. ^ "The Jam: Sound Affects". Mojo (205): 114. December 2010. 
  5. ^ "The Jam: Sound Affects". Q (293). December 2010. 
  6. ^ Staunton, Terry (25 December 2010). "The Jam: Sound Affects". Record Collector (383): 89. 
  7. ^ "The Jam Recordings". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 16 June 2001. Retrieved 29 August 2016. 
  8. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 416–17. ISBN 0-743-20169-8. 
  9. ^ Quantick, David (December 2010). "The Jam: Sound Affects". Uncut (163): 99. 
  10. ^ Q August 2006, Issue 241, list

External links[edit]