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SOUND AFFECTS - 1980-2010!
on 22 December 2010
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 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 indicate 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. Maybe I should also drop the guys at Record Store Day a line to see if the 4 Side Affects EP can be given a timely re-release!
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/Kinks/Small Faces influences are still apparent). 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.
Additional note: just check out this superb review from The Quietus - http://thequietus.com/articles/05249-the-jam-sound-affects-review