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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wellers Favourite Jam Album.....
The Jam were never just a band that you liked a bit & could take or leave.
To myself,my circle of friends, & I guess many,other people around at the time,They & their music were the soundtrack to our lives.I eagerly bought everything that they released & would sit glued to the TV, watching their inevitable rise through Punk to Mod, & eventually into being a chart...
Published on 15 Dec 2004 by frantollerson

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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Terrible remaster of a fantastic album
I've given this two stars because the remastering is terrible and unforgivable. All of the songs on the album sound very tinny and are actually unpleasant to listen to. I wish I had opted for the non-deluxe version of this. The remastered version sounds worse than my cassette tape copy from the 80's. I didn't recognise 'That's Entertainment' even though I've heard it...
Published on 1 Jun 2011 by Acton


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This ain't no punk record!, 17 April 2006
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Ec Tipton "donkey_sandwich" (Hereford, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sound Affects (Audio CD)
This ain't no punk album! Don't get me wrong, I love punk more than I can explain and this album is fantastic but by the time the Jam made this record their punk roots were long shaken off and forgotten. Instead the Jam turned more to pure power pop with hints of pyschedelia and folk.

This is without a doubt the finest album by a fantastic band, every song is a classic and although its about 40mins long it feels like its over in seconds.

This record doesn't need hype!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really Affecting, 16 Nov 2008
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This review is from: Sound Affects (Audio CD)
So, this is the penultimate album by The Jam. Of course it's fantastic, in my opinion it's their best. In eschewing the rather more slightly bombastic elements of the overall miraculous "Setting Sons" LP from the previous year The Jam here create an aural landscape which refines their obsessive opinions on English life.

It should be said that this album is one of the many miletones in (what is commonly known) as post-punk. Although the most impressive moments come from Paul Weller's nagging realisation that The Jam need to stay one step ahead of any prevailing fashions.

A few random highlights include the sub-funk bassline of the opener "Pretty Green", & the startingly brilliant "Set The House Ablaze" wherein Weller attempts & succeeds in cutting through the post-punk fog while slyly crafting a classic state-of-the nation pop song.

Talking of state-of-the-nation pop songs "That's Entertainment" rings as true for 1980 as it does for 2008. It's surely no coincidence that it's one of Morrissey's more succesful cover versions.

Apart from the all too true feel of the above mentioned songs special mention must be made of "Dream Time" (Joy Division with a shred of optimism?), the closing grind of "Scrape Away" & my own personal favourite "Music For The Last Couple" which sounds like Krautrock filtered through a very English sensibility.

To put it bluntly this is one of those forever classic albums that weirdly consistently get overlooked..... You really should become familiar with it's Wintry charms now.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Terrible remaster of a fantastic album, 1 Jun 2011
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This review is from: Sound Affects (Audio CD)
I've given this two stars because the remastering is terrible and unforgivable. All of the songs on the album sound very tinny and are actually unpleasant to listen to. I wish I had opted for the non-deluxe version of this. The remastered version sounds worse than my cassette tape copy from the 80's. I didn't recognise 'That's Entertainment' even though I've heard it hundreds of times probably, but on this cd it sounds crap; like it was played on one tape recorder and recorded on another tape recorder through a strip of metal.
Of course 'Sound Affects' is a fantastic album but this remastered version of it should be avoided. I'm surprised Weller let them get away with the useless sound quality but maybe he had no say in the matter.
On a more positive note: the second disc (of demos etc) seems to have been decently remastered and can be listened to. I am very disappointed with the album disc though and regret buying it. Seems strange that a 'deluxe' album would sound this bad.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid, if slightly underwhelming, re-issue of classic Jam LP, 8 Nov 2010
By 
Colin Mccartney (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sound Affects (Audio CD)
The received wisdom nowadays seems to be that "Sound Affects" is the Jam's second best LP. I personally don't agree - I don't think there's all that much between any of the final four Jam LPs. It doesn't quite hit the highs of Setting Sons (Burning Sky, Thick as Thieves, Smithers-Jones) or The Gift (Ghosts, Precious) BUT, it is probably their most consistent LP since All Mod Cons. And it does contain at least two of the best Jam singles that never were, in "Pretty Green" and "Boy About Town"; to say nothing of "Start!" b-side "Liza Radley", as featured on the bonus disc.

I'm generally a fan of Universal Music re-issues - they seem to have a knack of recreating how it felt to own the original vinyl LP (- the benchmark, Weller-wise, for me being the deluxe reissue of "Our Favourite Shop"). Whilst this new edition of Sound Affects is undoubtedly better than the standard CD edition, it's not quite as impressive as previous Jam/TSC/Weller re-issues. There's still the nice fold out digi-pack presentation. But on this occasion UMC have dispensed with the handy cellophane outer slipcase. Call me fussy, but the "hard copy" is like having a hardback book - you want the thing to last - and a slipcase stops the cover getting disfigured by my mucky paw prints. Instead that grey "deluxe edition" stripe you see on the Amazon picture comes courtesy of a see-through sticker which goes all the way around the box and serves no purpose other than to obscure the artwork. Pointless.

The bulk of the bonus disc is made up of songs already available on "Direction, Reaction, Creation" and "Extras". There are still eight unreleased tracks as well - all good (better than 99% of Blur's back-catalogue, anyway) though not quite of the calibre of the material on "Extras".

So?

If you don't own this album already, this is the edition to buy. On the other hand, if you're a Jam fan who has pretty much everything? Well...this IS reasonably priced and...would I pay 8.95 (at time of writing) for Paul Weller's uneaten Wednesday night tea? BirdsEye fish fingers, Heinz baked beans and chips (from the chip pan, slightly overdone), accompanied by a mug of tea and served on a wobbly wooden coffee table to a backdrop of a Grundig Colour TV showing the end credits of "The Changes" (hence the pylon reference)? Yes, I think I probably would.

Bring on the "Setting Sons" and "The Gift" re-issues.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must buy for new and old fans alike, 30 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Sound Affects (Audio CD)
I'm a life long Jam fan and have the original vinyl of Sound Affects and have been recently collecting the 30th anniversary reissues of The Jam albums. I'd read some Amazon reviews that the mastering and sound quality on the reissues was very thin and tinny but I've not noticed any poor quality on my hi fi. The second cd of demos and outtakes is a must for any Jam fan, several of the tracks have appeared on Extras and the Direction Reaction Creation box set but there are a few on here that I've not heard before. For me the most interesting of these are the early demo of Boy About Town with different lyrics and the demo of Set the House Ablaze which has a great ending. It's a lovely package with the booklet and the original artwork and well worth the less than 6 I paid for it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sound Affects-best Jam album?, 21 Dec 2010
This review is from: Sound Affects (Audio CD)
Bought the re-issue the other day as havent had SA since i bought it on vinyl all those years ago. Well memories came flooding back. It was quite a time when it came out-was it spring'80? Certainly think a lot of the songs stand up even today. My favourites have always been Pretty Green and Thats Entertainment but lyrics on Set The House Ablaze and Scrapeaway are stunning. In many ways i think SA was the true precusor to the Style Council and The Gift i always thought was a weak album albeit with some good tracks on it like Malice and Precious as well as the title track. To me The Gift was too obvious whereas SA was subtle and rounded.
SA had a very pastoral feel to it and went very well with some of the songs which Weller was writing at the time like Tales from the Riverbank. Music for the last couple was excellent in this respect.
However much i like SA it was synonymous with what i was doing-this does give a piece of music or album a strength as it provides memories but it doesnt quite knock, what in my view is their best one off the top. Many bands and singers usually have a golden period of between 3-5 years when they release 2 or 3 seminal albums. Dylan did it with Blonde on Blonde, Highway 61 Revisited and Bringing it all back home again. the Beatles with Sgt Pepper, Revolver, Rubber Soul and The White Album. Neil Young did it as did Van Morrison. For The Jam their period were the 3 albums, All Mod Cons, Setting Sons and SA and for me the middle one of those 3 was the best.
SA is a great album and was in my view the best of that year by a mile but for me Setting Sons hit the spot as the writing, tunes and the anger were all there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Now that's Entertaintment!!, 15 April 2010
By 
L. M. Stanley (Worcestershire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sound Affects (Audio CD)
If you've got into The Jam and your collection started with a Greatest Hits compilation, then "Sound Affects" or "All Mod Cons" should be your next port of call.

Sound Affects oozes sheer quality from beginning to end, it doesn't just rely on the classics "Start" and "Thats Entertainment". "Pretty Green", "Monday", "Boy about Town" and the excellent "Man in the Cornershop" are tracks which typify what The Jam and Sound Affects are all about : Catchy, Passionate music with thought provoking lyrics.

Sound Affects has been compared to The Beatles' Revolver, any comparsions with argubly the best album ever proves what a class act The Jam were at this point of their career.

Definitely recomended.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Jam's best album, wonderfully remastered, 12 Dec 2010
By 
Scott Davies - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sound Affects (Audio CD)
As an audiophile, the first thing I have to say about this package is that the remastering has to be one of the best I've ever heard. Every time I purchase a CD over the last 10+ years, my first concern is if it's going to be blasted so loud that most of the dynamics are squashed out making it painful to listen to. Not only are all the dynamics fully retained in this wonderful new remaster, but there has been a careful amount of re-equalization to correct from the midrange-heavy remaster from 2000. Also, there have been no poor attempts to remove or minimize the analog tape hiss. The person credited for remastering the sound is Tibor Pesci. I am unfamiliar with any previous release that may have been remastered by him but if this is the kind of quality that comes as a result, Universal mastering should hire him to remaster the entire back catalog of the Siouxsie and the Banshees botched remasters. I'm remarkably impressed with this product.

Now, onto the music. I spent many years avoiding The Jam. The video for `A Town Called Malice' was all over MTV in 1982 but did not catch my ear. It wasn't until first hearing `Going Underground' in the early 2000's on VH1 Classic that I decided to investigate some of The Jam's music. Based on a compilation I purchased, I avoided the early punk albums and started with the `Setting Sons' album. I was somewhat underwhelmed, but liked enough to move to the next album, 1980's `Sound Affects'. This album was a revelation for me. There are plenty of wonderfully catchy hooks and great songs that made me think The Jam's overblown and overrated reputation may not be entirely exaggerated. I eventually purchased their final album, `The Gift'. While I enjoyed many tracks on that album as well, I still find `Sound Affects' to be the most consistent album.

`Sound Affects' is filled with so many great songs: `Set The House Ablaze' has a great whistle-hook, `Monday' has an attractive melancholy melody, `Scrape Away' is a strong and hook-filled album closer. This special edition also comes with a bonus disc of 22 period rarities and curiosities. Though many are only of minor interest to me, it's nice to have all of it collected in this one package for any future interest.

If `The Gift' and `Setting Sons' are given the deluxe treatment, and remastered by the same engineer, I'll happily re-purchase those as well. As a nice change to some of my other (audio) critical reviews, I'm pleased to finish this by saying, well done Universal Music.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars SOUND AFFECTS - 30 YEARS OLD 1980-2010!, 22 Dec 2010
This review is from: Sound Affects (Audio CD)
This 2010 deluxe edition is a good release - my personal feeling is that with a bit more effort, Polydor/Universal could and should have made this an absolute killer release. So, why the criticism you ask - Well, Disc 1 is the original 11 track lp which clocks in at 36 minutes so basically around 43 minutes free space could've been used for more un-released tracks hidden in the vaults. Jam A&R man Dennis Munday`s 2006 book, "Shout to the Top" on the band, indicates some of the recordings still held and surely these these lost classics (a number of acetates were cut for "Going Underground" & criminally omitted here!) could have been dusted down and included on this release - & upped it`s overall VFM factor!

Disc 2 has the bonus material although a few of these tracks have already popped up on "Extras" & on the "Direction, Reaction, Creation" box set from a few years back. A little disappointing that no 3rd disc was included to really tempt the fans - this could either have been a live disc from the legendary Newcastle City Hall gig (28/10/10) or a DVD of the complete German Rockpalast TV broadcast (30/11/80) - on both occasions, the band were at their un-stoppable best. Bootleg recordings from these gigs show that at least 8x tracks from "Sound Affects" were played at each show so it would have made sense for it`s inclusion. Also missing are the Promo vids for "Start!", "That`s Entertainment" and the rarely seen "Dream Time".

The sleeve notes also seem to give a slight Weller bias - Foxton & Buckler hardly get a look in nor does producer Vic Coppersmith-Heaven, designer Bill Smith or revered rock photographer Pennie Smith. Shame as it would have been nice to hear their input on the concept of the lp. Foreign release pics of the lp, promo items, the planned sleeve for "Pretty Green" or even snippets from the super-rare songbook would have also been a nice touch if included.

To end on a positive note though, the original lp still sounds the business today with the likes of "Start!", "That's Entertainment" & "Man in the Corner Shop" being some of the finest tracks that the band ever recorded. The un-released demos of "Waterloo Sunset", "Monday" & "Scrape Away" are nice touches and show the band moving away from their so-called "Jam-Sound" into new territory (although The Beatles influence is still always there). This is the album that also broke the band in the States where U.K sales were matched with a chart placing of 72.

Lets hope rumoured news of "The Gift" re-issue are true and that Polydor/Universal can really get their act together for this one - although a double 35th Anniversary release of "In the City" & "This is the Modern World" complete with the 100 Club gig (11/09/77), related demos, radio sessions, TOTP appearances & pre-Polydor recordings would be more my cup of tea.
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5.0 out of 5 stars essential jam, 3 Mar 2014
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Had this album when I was ickle! Great to revisit it again and the price is right.
That's enough you need to know
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