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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best album ever
Due to their non stop output of top notch singles, The Jam are often understandably remembered as a "singles band", when in fact nothing could be further than the truth. They made some good albums as well, but Setting Sons was not one of them, because it's not just good it's absolutely superb! The songs relate to everyday issues that are as relevant now as they were when...
Published on 28 May 2005

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
music to fall asleep to.
Published 28 days ago by g s t


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best album ever, 28 May 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Setting Sons (Audio CD)
Due to their non stop output of top notch singles, The Jam are often understandably remembered as a "singles band", when in fact nothing could be further than the truth. They made some good albums as well, but Setting Sons was not one of them, because it's not just good it's absolutely superb! The songs relate to everyday issues that are as relevant now as they were when it was released. Buy this album - you won't regret it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Setting Sons, the album, the classic, 21 Aug 2000
By 
This review is from: Setting Sons (Audio CD)
Setting Sons is the album which best defines The Jams most prophetic period. Weller and Foxtons finely balanced composisions make this album a true classic. The album seems to have lost the rough edges which adorned the previous albums, but it still has managed to retain the cynical cheek which all fans have come to know and love. "Thick as Thevies" is a song which I think that everyone can relate to, with its pumping base and machine gun drums, this song for me, is the best on the album. Paul Weller may have been responsible for 8 of the 9 composed tracks on the album ( exculding Heatwave) but we must not forget the genius that was Bruce Foxtons "Smithers Jones". This song brings some light relief to an album that can, after a while, become a bit wearing. ....Five stars for this little gem, a must have in any music lovers colection.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the Jam's finest album, 20 Jan 2004
This review is from: Setting Sons (Audio CD)
The Jam's masterpiece.
Strictly a singles band,this only contained the one single "The Eton Rifles" plus a orchestrated version of Bruce Foxton's brilliant slice of life " Smithers-Jones".
But this was the album which really marked a more conceptual and progressive album than on "All Mod Con's"
Standout tracks are the excellent "Thick As Thieves", the song in parts "Little Boy Soldiers" and the vulnerable but charming "Wasteland".
Classic mid-period Jam..
Awesome.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my Top 10 favorite albums, 12 April 2005
By 
Andrew (Lansing, Michigan USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Setting Sons (Audio CD)
First saw the Jam, on a Saturday afternoon on American Bandstand (they were supporting the then-new Setting Sons), and performed (Love Is Like A)Heatwave. Bought the LP the very next day, it's been in my collection ever since. Eton Rifles, Smithers-Jones, Saturday's Kids, are nothing short of magical. An absolute ORGY for the ears! Every track is great, including the still-relevant "Little Boy Soldiers".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jam today, 13 Mar 2010
This review is from: Setting Sons (Audio CD)
The Fab 3 at their best. I first heard Setting Sons as a 15 year old Mod in 1979. 30 years later it still makes the hair on my neck stand on end; even if, these days, I have more hair on my neck than on my head...
For David Cameron to try and lay claim to the Eton Rifles is just disgusting.
Buy it and love it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Jams greatest album, 10 Sep 2009
By 
DayTripper (Glasgow, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Setting Sons (Audio CD)
Paul Weller was 21 when this album was released, but the songwriting shows an amazing level of maturity. No British songwriter has managed to articulate feelings of growing up and non dewy-eyed nostalga as well as Weller. On the brilliant Private Hell, he even manages to get inside the head of a middle aged, vallium addled housewife!
As Im old school, and up until recently listened to my old vinyl copy, I still divide this album into 2 sides. Side 1 Girl on the phone - Wasteland is perfect. Taking in the previously mentioned themes of growing up and middle age; along with war and urban alienation. Side 2 begins with Burning Sky (about growing apart from your childhood friends - although Im still not sure what bowing down to the Burning Sky specifically refers to). Following this is Bruce Foxtons finest moment, Smithers-Jones, a critque of the acceptance of the 9-5 grind (I believe the final chorus lyrics are by Weller). To follow we have 2 excellent tracks, Saturdays Kids - adolecents without much of a future; Eton Rifles - comment on the class system - the single sales of this track signalled that The Jam were hitting the big time. The album finishes with a cover of Heatwave - it doesnt really fit with the rest of the album, but is entertaining never the less.
The music needs no explaination - you either know The Jam 'sound' or you don't. All in all IMHO, this is a faultless album.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The sons never set!, 11 Jun 2007
By 
A. J. Rabet "Rabs" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Setting Sons (Audio CD)
I first heard this album in 1979 when at University shortly after its release as a flatmate of my girlfriend had a copy I was a fan of the Jam at the time but I was rather impoverished at the time and wasn't going to buy it on spec. I immediately went and bought my own copy even though it stretched my overdraft to the limit.

But then again what is money compared to the genius of the songs on this album tracks such as "Eton Rifles" "Girl on the Phone" "Little Boy Soldiers" "Private Hell" "Smithers-Jones" "Saturday's Kids" in fact I could name all the tracks as having some relevance to life in general in the 1970's and for me during my time at University. Needless to say as soon as the Jam toured in Bristol I was straight there risking being spat on to hear them live, which is a pleasure which remains at the forefront of my concert going memory.

BUY it now!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Setting Sons, 29 Aug 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Setting Sons (Audio CD)
This album was the very first quality L.P. that I ever bought, and "Girl on the phone" simply lit up my record player every time it was played. "Little Boy Soldiers" gave me my first ever experience of feeling like a thug which at the age of 7 was something to behold!! And as for "Eton Rifles", say no more. I will always regard Paul Weller as a genius to the British music industry, but Bruce and Rick also played their part in making one of the greatest UK bands ever. Any chance of a reunion lads??
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only own one Jam album buy this one, 27 Jan 2010
This review is from: Setting Sons (Audio CD)
We are told Setting Sons was originally conceived as a concept album about old friends reunited after many years to find they had nothing in common anymore (Sound Familiar). "Setting sons" doesn't quite follow through on the premise of a song cycle but it still makes for a fascinating listen. Weller had incredible foresight and was even cable of switching gender roles as demonstrated on the articulate and hellish nightmare of Private Hell. Its a harder and grittier record than "all mod cons" and the band back him with some brittle white knuckle rock music and muscular tracks boiling over with class hatred and spot on insights into British life. Like Ray Davies and Pete Townsend, Paul Weller is obsessed with England. But we also find Weller and the Jam beginning disassociating themselves from mod before they were buried with it. The cold bleak atmosphere and depression created by this record means the sound remains a product of the late 70's and doesn't quite have a place in today's egocentric self obsessed world of gluttony. History tells us that the Jam had three members, Weller, Weller and Weller, but here we have Weller, Foxton and Bucker perhaps for a last time acting as a cohesive unit and dare I say enjoying themselves.
As on most of his compositions, Weller is pointing his finger at the protagonist whilst accepting that he is merely a pawn in society's game. Factor in "strange town" and "when your young" oh and "going underground" singles from the period and its clear the band were starting to hit their stride. Paul Weller's lyrics concerning all the quirks of school, work and family life have a brutal honesty reflected in Paul's harsh Surry accented vocal. To day we Weller's "Love Child" Alex Turner (Artic Monkeys) picking up the gantlet where the Jam left of.
Me and my radical left wing college mates of the day (1979) we were more interested in the lyrics than the music. Weller gave us an insight into the world around us just at the time when were eligible to make our first visit to the ballot box. Remember this bloke was only 21 years old when he wrote this stuff but his vision and understanding of life was like that of a bitter man in his 40's who had experienced and bore the scars of life's the trials and tribulations. Songs like Burning Sky 30 years on is so dam accurate its scary. The Jam had sophistication and style of there own abiet borrowed from the sixties. Weller was never likely to self-destruct he was far too clever and his legacy is testimony to that. .
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spitting snarling perceptive 1979 gem. The Jams best., 2 Aug 2004
By 
russell clarke "stipesdoppleganger" (halifax, west yorks) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Setting Sons (Audio CD)
There I was watching "The Long Firm" on T.V. when at the end of the episode on came The Jams "Thick as Thieves" and it got me thinking. "Y, know, I haven't listened to "Setting Sons" since the Jam split up, over twenty years ago."(I was bitterly upset, and have never really forgiven Weller, especially since most of his output since has been dire) So guess what? I did, and cover me in glass and use me as a paperweight it's even better than I remember it. I always thought it was the bands best album, but time had diminished the albums erudite righteous anger and the sheer melodic power of the songs. "Setting Sons "is a flawless series of snorting rock/pop songs cloaked in barbed wire. A spitting snarling masterpiece.
Musically its bog standard, guitar, bass, drums -with the exception of the orchestral "Smithers Jones"- yet Bruce Foxton and Rick Butler are such a dynamic rhythm section that the songs transcend these constraints and like that other brilliant three piece Husker Du achieve a lacerating organic vigour. A lonely recorder trills in the background on "Wasteland" to add a touch of poignancy.
Lyrically it's a definite step up from "In the City" and "Modern World" and taken on a contemporary level is amazingly perspicacious. "Burning Sky" laments the onset of big business and commercialisation, "Private Hell" chronicles one person's mental disintegration under the daily grind while "Wasteland" and "Saturdays Kids" sees Weller attack urban decay, ennui and the paucity of hope and choice for a generation. Something that was to become even more acute as this album was released in 1979, the year Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister. "Eton Rifles "wittily sends up the class struggle, and "Little Boy Soldiers" is more pertinent than ever given events in Iraq. Foxtons "Smithers Jones" rues the plight of being a wage slave with some sympathy for its rather sad protaganist."Girl on the Phone "is a rather silly ditty about obsession, but is set to an infectious scalpel sharp riff and given recent stalker cases isn't as daft as it may seem. The cover of "Heatwave" reveals Weller's love of soul, and is a decent skirmishing version.
The Jams three middle albums, "All Mod Cons" before this, and "Sound Affects" after are all superb, but taken as a complete work this, while not as diverse, is the best of the lot. Essential stuff, now more than ever.
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