The Gift (The Jam album)

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The Gift
The Jam's The Gift.png
Studio album by The Jam
Released 12 March 1982
Recorded October 1981 – February 1982
Studio Air Studios, London; PolyGram Studios, London
Genre
Length 32:47
Label Polydor
Producer Peter Wilson, The Jam
The Jam chronology
Sound Affects
(1980)Sound Affects1980
The Gift
(1982)
Dig the New Breed
(1982)Dig the New Breed1982
Singles from The Gift
  1. "Town Called Malice" / "Precious"
    Released: 29 January 1982
  2. "Just Who Is the 5 O'Clock Hero?"
    Released: 21 June 1982
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic2.5/5 stars[1]
NME(mixed)[2]
Record Mirror(favourable)[2]
Robert ChristgauB[3]
Uncut8/10[4]

The Gift is the sixth and final studio album by English New Wave/Mod Revival band The Jam. It was originally released on 12 March 1982 by Polydor as the follow-up to The Jam's critically and commercially successful 1980 album Sound Affects. The songs were largely recorded during 1981 to 1982, assisted by Peter Wilson, and is generally regarded as the culmination of the smoother, more adult-oriented sound of the band's later work. It was one of the band's most successful studio albums, reaching No. 1 in the UK Albums Chart.[5]

After the album's release, the Jam disbanded. The song "Carnation" was later covered by Liam Gallagher of Oasis and Steve Cradock of Ocean Colour Scene.

A 2-disc deluxe edition of The Gift was released in 2012, to mark the 30th anniversary of the album's release.[6]

Music and lyrics[edit]

The album moved away from the simple music of In the City and This Is the Modern World, and the more melodic All Mod Cons, Setting Sons and Sound Affects, to demonstrate Weller's love of northern soul. Funk bass lines and wah-wah guitar effects were often used throughout the album, along with jazz influences such as brass sections and saxophone solos (most notably on the track "Precious") and "Trans-Global Express" which was based on the Northern Soul funk hit "So Is The Sun" by World Column, lifting the chorus and rhythm line in their entirety from that song. Only two songs on the album exceed three and a half minutes.

The biggest hit of the album was "Town Called Malice". The song's title riffs on the novel "A Town Like Alice" whilst its lyrics lament disappearing aspects of stereotypical working class life in Margaret Thatcher's Britain. The message is not altogether negative though and the song stands as a potent rallying call to roll with the changes. One of the quintessential "state of the nation" songs in the band's catalogue it is still frequently performed by Weller in concert as a rousing finale to the set. "Just Who Is the 5 O'Clock Hero?", which was released as a 7" vinyl single in the Netherlands only, represents the efforts put in by 9-to-5 working men and women of Britain, who keep society running (and as such, are unsung heroes). Unlike the earlier song "Mr. Clean" from All Mod Cons, Weller does not mock the character, but rather praises him/her. However, the character from "Mr. Clean" represents a completely different strata of society, the executive/upper management types who would typically hound and otherwise make the character from "Just Who Is The 5 O'Clock Hero?"'s life difficult.

End of The Jam[edit]

Weller's experimentation with several new musical styles on the long-player contributed to a distancing between him and The Jam's other band members, Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler, who were uneasy with the move away from Rock/Mod Revival style. The band broke up, despite the long-player reaching #1 in the United Kingdom's Album Chart on release, during the 'Trans-Global Express Tour' to promote it.

Cover art[edit]

The original release of the album was on 12" vinyl, and initial copies came with a paper bag stating "The Jam... A Gift". These copies are increasingly difficult to find, especially in good condition. Other issues included the regular vinyl issue, the Japanese vinyl issue (with a bonus lyric book), the CD issue, the re-mastered issue, and a recently issued Japanese version in a mini-LP style sleeve.

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Paul Weller except where otherwise noted:

  1. "Happy Together" – 2:51
  2. "Ghosts" – 2:11
  3. "Precious" – 4:13
  4. "Just Who Is the 5 O'Clock Hero?" – 2:15
  5. "Trans-Global Express" – 3:59
  6. "Running on the Spot" – 3:06
  7. "Circus" (Bruce Foxton) – 2:11
  8. "The Planner's Dream Goes Wrong" – 2:19
  9. "Carnation" – 3:28
  10. "Town Called Malice" – 2:55
  11. "The Gift" – 3:08

2012 Deluxe Edition bonus tracks[edit]

Disc One additional tracks:

  1. "Precious" (12") – 5:54
  2. "The Great Depression" – 2:53
  3. "The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had to Swallow)" (12")[citation needed] – 3:33
  4. "Pity Poor Alfie" / "Fever" – 4:40

Disc Two: (tracks 7–15 previously unreleased)

  1. "Beat Surrender" – 3:27
  2. "Shopping" – 3:21
  3. "Move on Up" – 3:52
  4. "Stoned Out of My Mind" – 3:15
  5. "War" – 5:10
  6. "Pity Poor Alfie" (swing version) – 4:11
  7. "Skirt" (demo) – 2:45
  8. "Ghosts" (instrumental demo) – 2:35
  9. "Just Who is the 5 O'Clock Hero?" (demo) – 2:21
  10. "The Planner's Dream Goes Wrong" (demo) – 2:18
  11. "Carnation" (instrumental demo) – 1:33
  12. "Alfie" (demo 2) – 2:38
  13. "We've Only Started" (old version) – 2:35
  14. "Shopping" (aka Paul's Demo) – 3:22
  15. "Solid Bond in Your Heart" (demo) – 3:07

Personnel[edit]

The Jam

with:

  • Pete Wilson – keyboards on "Trans-Global Express" and "The Gift"
  • Keith Thomas - saxophone
  • Steve Nichol – trumpet
  • Russ Henderson - steel drums
Technical

Chart performance[edit]

The Gift spent 25 weeks on the UK album charts, rising to No. 1.[7] In the U.S., the album spent 16 weeks on the Billboard 200 album charts and reached its peak position of No. 82 in May 1982.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Chris Woodstra (1982-03-12). "The Gift – The Jam | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-10-12. 
  2. ^ a b c "The Jam Album Reviews – The Gift". Thejam.org.uk. Retrieved 2016-01-14. 
  3. ^ "CG: the jam". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2016-01-14. 
  4. ^ "The Jam – The Gift: Super Deluxe Edition". Uncut.co.uk. 2012-11-19. Retrieved 2016-01-14. 
  5. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 277. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  6. ^ "Paul Weller Opens up About Anniversary Reissue of The Gift". NME. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2017. 
  7. ^ "UK Official Charts: The Gift". Official Charts Company. 2017. Retrieved February 16, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Billboard 200: The Jam". Billboard. 2017. Retrieved February 16, 2017.