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on 8 March 2015
Great CD - maybe there best album ?
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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.
4 people found this helpful
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on 20 November 2010
I was a punk in the 70s but never really took to The Jam yet Going Underground is one of my favourite singles (which I never bought). The Style Council baffled me - how could he get from there to here??? But lately I've got into Paul Weller and realised the error of my ways. So having bought several CDs of his solo stuff I thought I'd buy this Deluxe Edition of Sound Affects and I have no complaints.
Considering the music is 30 years old it still sounds very fresh. The bonus CD contains Beatles & Kinks covers which I find fascinating - how about covers of The Move and The Herd?
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on 16 December 2010
A lot of the extra tracks are available elswhere. Although I enjoy listening to the extra tracks and demos; once I've listened to them a few times, the appeal is lost for me. The origional album however, is superb and gets many regular repeats. A really well produced package. Shame they can't put together the famous lost third album (before they went away and produced All Mod Cons)
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on 6 November 2011
magnificent original but remastered CD album enhanced with extra bonus CD of out-takes, alt-takes, B sides, un-released.

pity about no plastic slip sleeve to protect purchase.

otherwise excellent sounds and sound quality.
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on 3 March 2014
Had this album when I was ickle! Great to revisit it again and the price is right.
That's enough you need to know
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VINE VOICEon 8 November 2010
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.
14 people found this helpful
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on 14 May 2010
I don't claim to be a big fan of The Jam, and I can only claim that they produced two great albums 'All Mod Cons' and 'Setting Sons'. Much of this album is so average, I find it hard to understand why it is so revered and so highly rated. For me it is only saved by the two single tracks; 'Start!' and 'That's Entertainment'.

With six albums released in five years, each one of the Jam's albums is a distinct stage on Paul Weller's journey from callow, Thatcher-supporting yoof to mature writer with more on his mind than just teenage angst and political disatisfaction. This, their fifth effort, often vies for the title of their best; the other candidate of course being 1978's All Mod Cons. But whereas AMC is a heady slice of proto-Britpop, wearing its sensitivity and social comment (and debt to the Kinks) like badges, Sound Affects is a superb amalgam of funk and mid-60s psychedelic rock. All sprinkled with fantastic hooks and tight-as-you-like playing.

This was where Weller began moving towards the Britfunk of his next outfit, The Style Council. Horns began to enter the mix on tracks like Dreamtime while Bruce Foxton's bass on opener Pretty Green was a distinct move away from the bolshy four-four of previous work.
The band or should I say Weller had obviously opened their ears to more than just the Who and Ray Davies. Weller's lyrics were also more human and approachable. Several times he makes self-deprecating reference to his 'star' status (Boy About Town) and also the acceptance of the healing power of love (But I'm Different Now). Only on Set The House Ablaze (which sounds like an out take from their previous album, Setting Sons) does he sound like he's treading water. The album is probably the bands most varied and surprising record mixing short,g iddy bursts of pop mixed with melancholy songs of the unchanging human condition "whlist stil focusing on tough social and political writing isues.

The sound here has post punk and 60s psychedelia influences throughout but they never really overwhelm the record , its still very much a jam album and both bruce foxton and rick buckler show here what fantastic supporting players they were for Weller, Which is a shame because I thing if Bruce and Rick were given the opportunity the Jam could have so much More. Ultimately Sound Affects shows a band that was being pushed by its leader slightly beyond their level of ability. Buckler and Foxton's propulsive acumen was already falling behind Weller's ambitions and direction After the full-on soul revival of The Gift he was to abandon the three-piece for pastures new. But on this album you get to hear the Jam at their post peak before their demise.
Sound Affects, it is ultimately more of a pop album than its four predecessors.,

Wellers incisive buzzsaw guitar is often relegated to the background in favour of Bruce Foxtons melodic and hummable basslines. Much of the album is instantly accessible and the anger has gone. The album is very polished but, for all its accessibility, the tracklist often dips into more experimental territory, and also explores an almost-psychedelic sonic template in places, augmented with layered instruments.

This Album was created and improvised in the studio with only a few ideas for lyrics and chord sequences. The in situ creation of Sound Affects resulted in an inconsistent record with different moods and atmospheres unique to each track, giving a slightly incohesive feel. However this didn t stop the album selling 100,000 plus copies. End of year polls in 1980 placed the band at the forefront of the British music scene. Despite all this, Sound Affects proved to be their penultimate album; it was the beginning of the end for The Jam.

Sound Affects was released in November 1980, following the lead-off No.1 Start!, and was the follow-up to the success of 1979 album Setting Sons and the famous single that followed that album Going Underground. Sound Affects bore a lot less of a punk or mod influence than the albums that went before it, and was the first Jam album to not contain a cover version on it. It doesnt sound like previous records in most ways, and in many ways some of the instrumentation is odd-sounding and abrasive, yet somehow virtually all the songs are catchy and contain some sort of hook.

It is difficult to look at the album as inconsistent although virtually every track is memorable yet confusing why. Obviously there are the fan-favourites forming the backbone. Pretty Green is a thundering opener with a strong one-note bassline and catchy verse lyrics. The stop-start dynamics of the song immediately catch the attention, despite the song being quite weak when taken out of album context. .

The record only is only memorable because virtually all the songs contain a brilliant chorus. Throughout the tracks there is experimentation in intros and verses. Riffs are played in a way that sounds backwards, there is the odd funk bassline dotted around, vocal follow odd patterns, there are large psychedelic-sounding verses, but all the tracks pull together for choruses with memorable vocal lines.

Sound Affects Blatantly highlights that the state of the band at the time Buckler and Foxton were uncomfortable leaving the signature Jam sound behind, whereas Paul Weller was uncomfortable with his celebrity status and growing tired on his audience (and band mates) narrow minds. One album after this The Jam would be over,.

So ask your self the question Weller "A spokes person for a generation a disenchanted youth"- Was her really or was he just pretending.

A spoilt kid who got lucky and perhaps a well deserved break who then threw his dummy out of the pram.

For the real Jam all you need is All Mod Cons and Setting Sons.

Weller the Champagne Socialist
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on 6 June 2017
Great Jam sounds !
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on 15 July 2017
Good as new
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