On 30 October 1982 it was officially confirmed that The Jam would be splitting up at the end of the year. Prior to that there would be one last single and dates on the winter tour of the UK would be fulfilled. The news was greeted with some dismay but no real shock as the songs were now a long way removed from how they had started out and it was clear that Paul Weller wanted to go in a totally different direction from Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler.
On Thursday 26 November the band began the farewell tour at the Glasgow Apollo. Having camped out for tickets some months previously, long before the band break-up had been announced, I had a very hot and in demand piece of paper but there was no way I was giving it up no matter how much I was offered.
The following day, the band’s last single was released in standard 7″ a double-pack of 7″ singles and in a 12″ format. It went straight to #1 where it stayed for two weeks:-
mp3 : The Jam – Beat Surrender
mp3 : The Jam – Shopping
mp3 : The Jam – Move On Up
mp3 : The Jam – Stoned Out Of My Mind
mp3 : The Jam – War
It was a gloriously upbeat end to the band’s career. Not their best single by a long way but still a decent ending. They had scored eighteen successive Top 40 hit 45s with two of these being via the very unlikely and unusual import-only route. The standard 7″ came with Shopping on the b-side while the double pack and 12″ offered the three soul covers that had been made famous originally by Curtis Mayfield, The Chi-Lites and Edwin Starr.
No other versions on offer today. And that would be that except that I want to offer a little bonus.
At the very height of their popularity, the band made a one-off recording available for publication called Flexipop which had the gimmick of offering an otherwise unreleased recording by some of the best selling artists of the day. The Jam offered something very unusual indeed along with a different recording of a track from Sound Affects:-
mp3 : The Jam – Pop Art Poem
mp3 : The Jam – Boy About Town (flexipop version)
And that seems as good a way as any to bring the series to a close.
Next up for the singles treatment……The Style Council.
(Well it had to be didn’t it????)