The Jam – In The City
Released May 20th, 1977 on Polydor Records
The debut album from The Jam was lumped in with the first wave of punk rock, partly because of the year of it’s release (that fabled year of 1977) and partly because of the crisp speed and attitude that the songs on it are played. Underneath that Spirit of ’77 shine ‘n’ grime, however, beats the heart of the early British Invasion: Maximum R&B, just like The Who used to play it, mods over rockers forever and ever. They played their songs with an eye toward the jaded angst of the under-20 set, but so did The Who; the Sex Pistols and the Clash didn’t have a complete lock on youth revolution. The band’s penchant for smartly ironic ties, tongue-in-cheek Beatles get-up for a world where phony Beatlemania had bitten the dust. While the band would go on to produce much stronger albums, In The City is a portrait of a young band who, having grown up on British distillations of American music, set out to reclaim the spirit of the music entirely for a new generation.