I just completed my latest alphabetical swing through the ever-rotating 7,000-plus songs on my mp3 player, and as a means of chronicling the occasion I paid especially close attention to the first "A" songs to play during my drive home this afternoon. I won't bore you with my personal joy at how much I enjoyed the first half-dozen or so; suffice it to say that at least for me as an individual, this narrowing down of my music collection is starting to pay off in the form of proud song selections at every turn. Anyway, I did promise not to bore you, right? Better get on that.
One of the tunes I enjoyed so much today was "Absolute Beginners," a 1981 non-album single from England's mod-inspired punk legends the Jam. This track may have become a major hit in the U.K., but I'm afraid it's much more obscure stateside, which may be one reason I've found it so refreshing to stumble across it once again. By this late point of the band's career, Weller's expansive explorations of the landscape of pop music had already been impressive and far-reaching, so it's not surprising that this song contains more than a touch of the R&B fixation Weller would display in his next group, the Style Council. Still, despite its looming dissolution, the Jam proves once again here that beyond Weller's capable leadership, this was a band that received vital contributions from its other two members, bassist Bruce Foxton and drummer Rick Buckler. If you need a boost of the magnitude that I've been needing all week, you may just want to tap into the joyous horns and infectious musical fusion of Weller and the Boys. If so, expect an efficient mid-week pick-you-up.
- Sample or download "Absolute Beginners" here.
- Compare prices on the Jam CDs here.
- Paul Weller's Official Website
Album Cover Image Courtesy of Decca International