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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 15 December 2004
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 topping, no1 singles band.It was at this point that Weller,(the Jam`s main creative force) suddenly announced his decision to leave,which effectively split the band at the peak of their powers.
At the time it seemed a bizarre decision,but in retrospect, latter Jam albums like "The Gift" had more bad tracks than good, & came nowhere near to matching their earlier offerings.
The real peak ,many believe,came in 1980 with the release of "Sound Affects".
It was at this time that Weller Wrote "Start" & the classic "That`s Entertainment", both of which feature here.
Weller himself Sites this as his favourite Jam album & it really delivers,every track, from beginning to end.
He is at his lyrical best here,& mixes wonderfully crafted love songs, with other tunes,that see him doing what he has always done best,reflecting on life in general with his inspired social commentries.
Each song has a right to be on the album & gives you something different than the last.
Dont do the "Greatest Hits Thing"
Buy "Sound Affects" Its The Jam at their best,
& does exactly what it says on the tin!
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on 2 May 2003
To me, this is the only Jam LP that feels complete, has variety and consistency. We have the melody of 'Man in the Corner Shop', the immediacy and tightness of 'Start' as well as the stark early 80's new wave feel of 'Set the House Ablaze'
The album begins with the simple but memorble bass line of 'Pretty Green', moves into the anticipatory love of 'Monday' (does anyone else think this sounds like the theme tune to 'The Bill'?) and then we're in. Every song is awesome and benefits from what I can only describe as a metallic, harsh production where the vocals are almost set back behind the music but provide just enough to drive the songs forward.
I think this is Weller's attempt to rewrite 'Revolver' in a 'modern' style. It captures 'The Jam' at their peak of songwriting (bear in mind, 'Going Underground' does not feature on this album even though it was written around the time).
Don't buy the collections and greatest hits, immerse yourself in this album and enjoy!
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on 1 June 2011
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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on 4 November 2004
If ever proof were needed that Paul Weller is a God, it is found here with some of the best song writing you are likely to see.
That's not to discredit Foxton and the rest of the band who provide the musical force to back-up Weller's superb lyrics and vocals. This can be heard especially on 'That's Entertainment' (my personal favourite) and the excellent 'Set the House Ablaze' with it's whistling ambient intro.
Another Outstanding track, one which I disliked at first but have now come to love, is 'Boy About Town', which seems to capture the mood of every young man from the age of 17-22 so well.
Most of all The Jam have a legacy that can be seen today as they have influenced and inspired many artists.
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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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on 6 September 2005
Growing up in the late 70's my soundtrack was a mix of punk/ska/mod-the usual suspects.Most of those old records sound really dated now,but this album i just can't stop revisiting.Weller's psychedelic stuff (this album plus b-sides like butterfly collector or tales from the riverbank etc) seems to me to be up there Revolver,Floyd's Piper or Who Sell Out-just timeless music.
For those who haven't heard Sound Affects i can best describe it as the mutant offspring of Gang of Four and Revolver-era Fabs.For those who like their Power-pop with a healthy dose of Psychedelia!
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on 9 November 2010
My favourite Jam LP and up there with my all time favourite records. I agree with the earlier review that this remastered version sounds a little trebly but I also think there are things on there I've not heard before (the count in to That's Entertainment for example) but overall I think they've done a good job with the sound. As for the extra tracks a lot has been available before on Extras and the boxed set. Even the "unreleased" Pretty Green was given away in cassette form with an issue of Select magazine so a bit disapointed with the extra disc. My main gripe however is with the sleeve notes. Weller himself describes how the bulk of the songs developed from jam sessions/rehearsals so it would have been nice to have the recollections of Bruce and Rick - it's not as though they would have had to sit together in the same room in order to have done this. Love the album, love the band but feel this repackaged version could have been done much better.
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on 7 March 2007
Music historians will always site "All Mod Cons" as The Jam's greatest achievment because of its significance in the scheme of things. But this record has to be my favourite from the Wheller collection. It's the variety that gets you first. Compare the pounding bass of the opener "Pretty Green" to the melancholy of "Monday" and then the thrashing rhythm of "I'm Different Now" or the psychedelic post-punk of "Set The House Ablaze". And then there's the Beatles/Harrison tribute "Start" (the bass line is affectionately nicked from "Taxman"). And don't forget the classic "That's Entertainment", a song that elevates Wheller from punk rocker to voice of a generation (and a few generations to come). I don't understand why The Jam didn't become the biggest band in the world...i suppose the music is just too good for the american market.

Do yourself a favour and buy this album...you will never ever ever regret it. Trust me on this one.
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on 21 December 2010
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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on 3 August 2004
This album has it all. I think this has to be the best Jam album. It has everything. Each song takes you on a different journey with all trains stopping at Modsville - SUPERBE
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