The Jam‘s incredible career took off 42 years ago this month when the group released its debut album In The City.
They had a hit right out of the gate with the title track. Its peppy style of punk combines rough-around-the-edge guitar strums with sunny melodies, and kicked off a string of hits for the band over five years.
The punk-rockers stood out from their counterparts by sporting tailored suits versus battered clothes. The ‘mod’ style saw a revitalization thanks to the members’ influence, which they absorbed from ’60s rock and R&B acts. From psychedelic to new wave, The Jam proved their versatility with a wide range of style infusions.
From the band’s debut album to 1982 when The Jam split, 18 consecutive Top 40 singles were notched in the United Kingdom, including four #1 singles:
The band also notched a #1 album with its final release, 1982’s The Gift.
Singer Paul Weller made the decision to break up the band. He told the Mirror in 2015:
“I wanted to end it to see what I was capable of. We stopped at the right time.”
Rick Buckler and Bruce Foxton were caught off guard, and both wanted to keep the band going. “It was like we were going to be driving over a cliff at the end of the year, and you keep thinking ‘Maybe he’ll change his mind’,” said Buckler to the Woking News and Mail in 2012.
In The City broke down barriers in punk and rock, thanks to the fusion of genres, the clashing of fancy attire vs. graffiti-filled cover art, and of course, the string of hits that caught the attention of everyone.