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on 27 April 2017
Had this album on CD for many years, great to get it on vinyl. Sounds great, very happy with the purchase
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on 17 December 2017
Forgot how great this album was - it was on vinyl the first time round I bought it. Good service from seller
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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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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 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 13 July 2007
For many this album represents the musical zenith for The Jam. It is a fantastic album from start to finish in terms of the songwriting. The earlier Setting Sons has few brilliant anthemic tracks such as Thick as Thieves or The Eton Rifles and was intended as a concept album with the themes of friendship over time being the focal point but by Paul Weller's own admission had a few fillers such as Girl on the Phone, Private Hell and the cover of Martha Reeves' Heatwave. This album by contrast is a highly polished offering, perhaps a little too over produced at times and as such saw The Jam going in a new direction. Gone is the earlier raucousness and anger and the imperfect guitar playing and vocals which added something to the songs and at times made them seem rather like live tracks. Instead, this album has a veneer and a polish which firmly established The Jam as a post-punk band.

Weller's vocals are muted and his growth in maturity as both a songwriter and a singer are clear. His voice sounds less angry, the guitar is strummed rather than twanged, Foxton's bass no longer pounds and in songs like The Man In The Corner Shop, Music For The Last Couple, Monday, Dreamtime and That's Entertainment show how musically at least the band produce some "sweet" and melodic music. Even the mandatory Weller rail at society's inequity and the hypocrisy of the establishment, Scrape Away is delivered in a more ironic and sombre rather than vitriolic way.

Nevertheless, the album is masterful. The band have sounded as good but never any better than they do here. For many The Jam existed first and foremost as a live act full of passion and adrenaline and this is as far from that image as the band ever came.

The album probably is as close to mainstream as the band ever came in terms of the music but the real reward for listening to the songs comes with the lyrics. Weller writes such fantasticly here in poetic style (indeed a section from Shelley's Mask of Anarchy is printed on the back of the original vinyl album- Weller's homage to romantic poetry and a hint at his mellowing)and with a clear precision not seen in many young writers of the time. Lyrically, The Jam reach their peak with this album and when you listen, they show that sound does indeed affect.
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on 12 December 2010
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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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 17 December 2008
The Jam story comes to its climax with the stupendous 'Sound Affects'. Taking some of the sparse furore of 'Setting Sons' and stripping it down even further, Weller concocted a modernist brew of transparency and minimalism that happily just stays the upward side of risky experimentation.

Gone were the full-on arrangements of previous releases. Here, Weller fully took on board the zeitgeist of the so-called new-pop movement blazing across the UK in the early 80's ~ Important groups like The Sound, Clock DVA, Wild Swans, Crispy Ambulance and many others .. essentially, twisted agit-pop combos - but as part of a mode of musical history, the UK has never been as creatively deluged before or since.

Weller assimilated all this new enthusiasm into the framework of Sound Affects (and also the breathtaking 'Funeral Pyre' single), which in turn, took The Jam away into the corners, away from the mainstream and the comfort zone of the Top Twenty.
In a real sense, away from the numbers (!)

Luckily for them, their audience followed. In fact, it increased. 'Start' was No.1 for weeks, closely followed by the fierce 'That's Entertainment' - one of Weller's most recognizable songs - at the top bit of the hit parade.
The cool 'Monday' is an astonishing song, melancholy and abrupt.
Another fine Weller moment: 'Man in the Corner Shop' is a plaintive voice against individualism - the battle cry of Margaret Thatcher's incoming Tory Government.

Weller hated the bones of Thatcherism, but this antagonism sowed the seeds of his mid-80's self-destruction ~ fatally cultivated by his involvement with torpid political turkeys like the SWP and Red Wedge.
'Sound Affects' is Weller's last truly great work.
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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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