20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Jam (Remastered)
It was the music of The Jam that gave the second coming of the mod subculture a fresh soundtrack and provided a springboard for similar bands like Secret Affair, Purple Hearts, the Lambrettas, and many others. Rather than recreating the past, Paul Weller and company forged a sound that fused punk's temper with power pop's contagious melodies and some slight vestiges of the British Invasion. Opening the song sequence here with "In the City" makes perfect sense, as the song both epitomizes (and sometimes eclipses) The Jam's legacy in much the same way that "Should I Stay Or Should I Go" first comes to mind for The Clash. "The Modern World" evokes imagery of the angry English schoolboy rebelling against authority and criticism while maintaining a stylish mod composure. The most '60s sounding song here is easily "Start!" with its "Taxman" borrowed riff and psychedelic guitar lead. While devotees of The Jam may have worn out these obvious standouts, and though fans can rightfully argue that some integral gems have been left out, this collection is an ideal place for newcomers to become associated with one of the most influential power trios of the British pop scene.