13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WARNING ABOUT DELUXE EDITION TRACKLISTING at end.
If The Gift had "Beat Surrender" and a decent arrangement of "A Solid Bond" (which doesnt seem to exist) on it in place of "circus" and "The planner's dream went wrong," then most of the Jam fans criticising this would then regard this as a classic. Maybe also dropping the red-wedge style preaching of "Transglobal express" to a b side status and swapping it for "The Great...
Published 17 months ago by Tando
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stop Dreaming of a Quiet Life! The Gift - 2012
A good album gets the deluxe edition treatment. I remember buying this album in Clapham, as a young kid I strutted through the high street with the album clad in its lilac and white candy striped bag, singing 'A Town Called Malice' - those were the days. Never a classic album in my mind though, but one that helped shape my youth. My point in writing this review is this,...
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Beginning Of The End" For Weller & Co......,
The Gift was to be the last studio album that The Jam made.
A 23 year old Paul Weller was becoming increasingly disollusioned with the music industry.He quit drinking, & whilst on tour to promote "The Gift" had taken to "Sloping off alone for a cup of tea" after the shows.Fellow band members Foxton & Butler also socialised seperately, the cracks had begun to appear & this would result in their split just a year later.
Given all this it`s hardly surprising that "The Gift" has a bit of a disorganised feel to it.
There are 11 tracks in all, 4 of which are poor by The Jam`s standards (Trans global,5 o clock hero,Planners dream & The Gift)are the guilty parties!!
The album starts explosively with the sublime & optimistic "Happy Together" then onto "Ghosts" another of Wellers beautiful & thoughtful ballads.The funky "Precious" works well, & "Running On The Spot" is a driving raw tune."Carnation" is quite simply a classic in the mould of Fly or English Rose & "Town Called Malice" is the big hit that everyone will recognise.
The good songs outweigh the bad on The Gift,& some cannot be found on any "Greatest Hits" compilations so it`s definately worth adding to your collection,plus, a quick listen to the weaker tunes will make you realise why Weller called time on the band soon after..........
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe not the best,
By A Customer
Jam LP.....but it still earns 5 stars in my book. The Jam's style changed here but it was a progressive path that you could trace through all the Jam LPs. It was somewhat surprising to say the least when Weller first came out with the Style Council shortly after this LP cos that was a different direction again and definitely not a forward step from this. The Jam could maybe have squeezed out another couple of LPs. They were worth more than merely five years together........
2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If you're wondering by now who I am look no further than the mirror,
The Gift was to be the final Studio album cut by The Jam, and it simply showcases how Weller ambitions had massively outgrown the band. In places it sounds like a Style Council record that has Foxton and Buckler looking over their shoulders and glancing at the spots their musical ideas where when they began. Because they had little to contribute by this point. It is not necessarily their fault
Weller has come up with some textures and grooves that are totally un-Jam like, in the same way that Pete Townsend brought along influences for the recording of The Who's "Who Are You" that left many band members (especially Keith Moon) stranded. When that happens, a band takes its last bows and walks offstage. The Jam were not a band anymore, ironically they were at there commercial peak. Oh the power of the media and the press Quadrophenia and the teenage pangs of Jimmy the disillusioned Mod
The GIFT is essentially a ball of confusion. Though its purpose is laudable it's undermined by a failure to balance questions of style ... What this record misses most is the cohesion and coherence of its predecessors ... The tensions on which their records fed so brilliantly have, on the GIFT, been pushed into irreconcilable extremes. It's an LP riven by frustration ... The undercurrents that before were held together are now falling apart. Weller wants to be optimistic, but not escapist; he distrusts politics, but is drawn to political affairs ; he seems tired of the old-style Jam music, rooted in '60s pop and soul, but knows of no better alternative, so ends up dabbling to meet contractual obligations
Sadly the complexities and rich social detail that went into ALL MOD CONS and SETTING SONS have largely been ditched in favour of such abstract simplifications . The two exception on this, are 'Town Called Malice' a magnificent howl of outrage at Thatcherism Britain and the contemporary love song CARNATION.
I'd guess that it's not much fun being Paul Weller, for all his success. Weller more than anyone is aware of the absurd tensions which his pop star role automatically afflict him with . Despite the potency of some of the images it's only when Weller uses his imagination and not just his eyes that the strong achieves anything more than impotent rage
The Gift is unified by its very refusal to stick to one defining style. Weller throws everything at the wall and most of it sticks, giving The Gift a bold, carefree atmosphere. While bass player Bruce Foxton and drummer Rick Buckler were apparently incensed by the change in style Weller imposed on The Jam, the public embraced it resulting the band's first and only number one album. I wonder how much opportunity were Foxton and Buckler given to contribute
The genuinely classic "Town Called Malice" is the best track on The Gift by some distance and it's rather odd that it appears so late in the album, tucked away as the penultimate track perhaps so as not to upstage the earlier material. Amidst the increasingly barmy genre-hopping, "Carnation" is a reflective moment of sombre sanity. A refined, stern ballad, "Carnation" casts Weller as a destructive, compassionless monster who promises "If you gave me a fresh carnation I would only crush its tender petals". Set to an effectively keyboard heavy musical backdrop, "Carnation" is a beautifully downbeat glimpse at a cold hearted swine.
The problem for The Jam now what and where to go next?
Weller had is covert Contingency Plan mapped out in detail
It was plain for all to see that major changes were taking place and it would be all too easy for The Jam to morph into something unrecognisable. Instead, they made the wise decision to split up. After the release their number single one "Beat Surrender", The Jam went their separate ways
Weller formed The Style Council, a popular band who tended towards the commercial end of 80s white soul and had a couple of good singles amongst a sea of mediocre, feeble and just plain weird ones! Bruce Foxton went on to a short lived solo career before becoming bassist with Stiff Little Fingers while Rick Buckler joined Time UK. None of them were ever that successful again, the little boys solders who were once as thick as thieves actually prophetically foresaw their own fates.
The Jam with out Weller reformed a couple of years ago but shortly split after one of them became mates with Weller again.
AHRR oh to be 17 again
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