Most helpful critical review
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 15 March 2011
Being a huge Jam and Weller fan who has never had the chance of watching them in concert, I have purchased numerous live bootlegs that all differ so much in quality. This official live album is a welcome addition at first sight, offering the listener a very varied set list, featuring power pop songs such as "Modern world" as well as more balladesque tunes like "Carnation" or "Butterfly collector". The trouble here is that the responsible sound engineer's attempt seemingly was to over-emphasize Bruce Foxton's bass guitar so that the overall "wall of sound" appears dull to my ears. Secondly the sound quality is much too consistent and monotonous - not very authentic if you consider that this is a compilation made up from various gigs between 1977 and 1982. At this point I'd rather recommend the more nuanced and differing "Dig the new breed" release from 1982. Thirdly this Polydor compilation was released at a time when Paul Weller (who was sacked on the spot in 1990) started being successful again on Go!Discs - Dennis Munday, once intimate friend of Weller, now a fellow traveller who tries to earn a profit by assembling this CD from the Polydor vaults is responsible for this album. The same person who published the paperback "Shout to the top"a few years ago, in which he stabs his former friend in the back by writing lots of rubbish about Weller's mistakes in the music business... All this smells a bit fishy to me!