Strange Town

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"Strange Town"
Single by The Jam
from the album Snap!
B-side "The Butterfly Collector"
Released 9 March 1979
Format 7"
Recorded 1978
Genre Mod revival
Length 3:48
Label Polydor (UK)
Songwriter(s) Paul Weller
Producer(s) Vic Coppersmith-Heaven
The Jam singles chronology
"Down in the Tube Station at Midnight"
"Strange Town"
"When You're Young"
"Down in the Tube Station at Midnight"
"Strange Town"
"When You're Young"
Rear cover
Rear cover of Strange Town
Rear cover of Strange Town
Music video
"Strange Town" on YouTube

"Strange Town" is a 1979 single by The Jam. The single was released on 9 March 1979 and reached No. 15 in the UK Singles Chart[1] on 8 April.[2]

This single, backed by the Paul Weller-penned "The Butterfly Collector", only appeared on one of the band's studio albums, the Canadian Polydor pressing of Setting Sons. "Strange Town" also appears on the greatest hits album Snap!. "The Butterfly Collector" also appears in the 1996 The Jam Collection compilation album as well as on Snap!.

The start of the promotional video for the single was filmed at the entrance to the underground section of London Victoria station.

US release[edit]

The single was also released in the US in May 1979, as Polydor #14553. However, for the American release "The Butterfly Collector" was catalogued as the A-side. The single did not chart in the States. Pressings were issued on both see-through gold vinyl and standard black vinyl. The latter appears to be the less common variety, but neither edition is rare. Other than colour, there is no difference between the two issues. There was no picture sleeve for the US issue. Gold vinyl issues were packaged in a clear plastic sleeve. Black vinyl issues were marketed in standard Polydor house bags.

Butterfly Collector[edit]

The B-side song was covered by Noel Gallagher with Paul Weller at a Teenage Cancer Trust gig at the Royal Albert Hall in 2007. This track was also included on a CD of songs given away with the 15 March 2009 edition of the Sunday Times.[3] It has also been covered by Garbage as a b-side of the "Queer" single.


The song was ranked at number five among the top "Tracks of the Year" for 1979 by NME.[4] In a 2015 interview granted to Radio X, Paul Weller opined Strange Town as one of the three best songs he has written in his entire career.[5]

Track listing[edit]

  • 7"
A. "Strange Town" – 3:48
B. "The Butterfly Collector" – 3:11


  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 277. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 40: 08 April 1979 - 14 April 1979". 2011-05-29. Retrieved 2017-01-12. 
  3. ^ "Oasis to give away free live CD". Retrieved 2016-01-14. 
  4. ^ "Albums and Tracks of the Year". NME. 2016. Retrieved 9 November 2016. 
  5. ^ "Paul Weller: I've Written Three Perfect Ssongs in my Life". 2015-06-10. Retrieved 2017-01-12. 

External links[edit]