Wednesday, March 13, 2013
I resented the release of Beat Surrender in November 1982.
It represented a dreadful time in my life - the very last release of The Jam, a band I had devoted so much of my time and energy to over the previous three years. The break-up was hard to take - that they marked it, to my ears at least, with such a disappointing final effort in comparison to so many classic 45s from the days of old, only added insult to injury.
I bought the single - of course I did - in both 7" and 12" formats and played my small part in giving the band their fourth #1 in the UK. But there was just something about the single that was so un-Jam that I didn't play it all that often. Nor was I all that impressed with the three cover versions that the band recorded.
But that was then.
It didn't actually take all that long for me to realise how wrong I'd been to dismiss the EP. I became an instant fan of The Style Council - this was Paul Weller in a new and different light - no longer the bitter angry young man with chips on his shoulders but now the cool sophisticated dude around town with a completely new sound to boot.
Only of course it wasn't. All the hints were there at the fag-end of The Jam's career. Horn sections on the records and the stage shows. Music you genuinely danced to rather than pogoed-to. An acknowledgement that music pre-punk wasn't all too be dismissed out of hand.
Thirty plus years later and Beat Surrender more than ever sounds like a classic. It's the point in time when old Weller met new Weller. It's a song that is joyous, infectious and a total celebration of what had been and gone with The Jam and what was still to come with TSC.
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
Years later it was revealed that Beat Surrender only just pipped another new song as the choice of single:-
mp3 : The Jam - A Solid Bond In Your Heart
Yup.....already as his first band were breaking up, the material was being gathered for the next assault on the pop world.