Firstly, I would like to say that this is a well put together package. It also contains a nice piece of `personal' memorabilia in the Hardback 12"x12" book, namely a reproduction of a poster featuring images from the Trans-Global Express and Sound Affects tours. There with his arm raised, is my brother Adam at fourteen years of age. About six people to his right, wearing glasses, is me, aged nineteen. Next to me is my old friend Kelvin. This picture was taken at the wonderful Rainbow Theatre on 16th November 1980, during the Sound Affects tour. I can't believe how quickly time has flown : I now have two boys, aged nineteen and twenty one.
I was lucky enough to attend five Jam gigs in 1982 ;
In March at the Alexandra Palace on the Trans-Global Express tour, which is represented by the Stafford Bingley Hall show, featured on the DVD disc.
Three of the December shows at Wembley Arena, Thursday 2nd, Friday 3rd (from which the live CD is taken) and Sunday 5th.
Finally, in more ways than one, the Brighton Conference Centre show on Saturday, 11th December.
I'm sure I don't have to say anything else for you to know why this release is so close to my heart. So why am I a little disappointed with it? I'll tell you :
Disc 1 contains The Gift along with Singles & B-Sides : The Precious 12" mix is included but not the live version of A Town Called Malice from the same release, recorded at the Hammersmith Palais. The Pity Poor Alfie (swing version) has been released before but was never issued as a B-side. Disgracefully, the versions of Stoned Out Of My Mind and War are not those released on the Beat Surrender packages. The former has Weller attempting to sing in a Falsetto range, in-keeping with the Chi-Lites version. Surely these tracks should have been placed on the Demos & Alternate Tracks disc? Surely someone with even a passing interest should have noticed these oversights and mistakes?
Unfortunately the errors continue : The said Demos & Alternate disc contains a demo of the Small Faces' Get Yourself Together : A great version of a great song, which they featured in the final tour dates. The issue is that it has recently been on the corresponding disc of the Sound Affects Deluxe Edition.
If I am going to get really critical I would also say that the cassette bootleg I've had for nearly thirty years, contains a show from the Wembley dates that is superior to the one issued here. It too opens with Start, so it's not from the Sunday show where they opened with a blistering Beat Surrender.
All of us who saw this wonderful, life-affirming band live were privileged and are also thirty years older than we once were. The Jam are still a great love of mine : It's a great shame that they don't mean as much to the people who put this together.
Love to Ad, Danny & Kelv.I'll be thinking of you on 11th December, thirty years on.