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Published on May 28, 2008
The Jam were an English mod revival band active during the late 1970s and early 1980s. They were explicitly separated between the punk rock genre because of the rivalry between punk rockers and mods.
They had eighteen consecutive Top 40 singles in the United Kingdom, from their debut in 1977 to their breakup in 1982, including four number one hits. Two of these eighteen singles were only available in the UK as imports, and as of 2007 they remained the best-selling import singles of all time in the UK. The Jam released one live album and six studio albums, the last of which, The Gift, hit number one on the UK album charts. On splitting up all 18 singles were re-released and all reached at least the top 60.
The band drew upon a variety of stylistic influences over the course of their career, including 1960s beat music, soul, rhythm and blues and psychedelic rock, as well as 1970s punk rock and new wave. The trio was known for its melodic pop songs, its distinctly English flavour and its mod image. The band launched the career of Paul Weller, who went on to form The Style Council and later had a successful solo career. Weller wrote and sang most of The Jam's original compositions, and he played lead guitar, using a Rickenbacker. Bruce Foxton provided backing vocals and played unusually prominent basslines, which were the foundation of many of the band's songs; including the hits "Down in the Tube Station at Midnight", "The Eton Rifles" and "Town Called Malice".