From The Jam’s ‘All Mod Cons 35th Anniversary Concert’
Bruce Foxton Interview & Exclusive Competition
It has been 35 years since The Jam released All Mod Cons.
The Jam delivered one of their defining statements, their initial punk ferocity injected with a stronger sense of ’60s R&B and a soulful sound
A double-A-side single preceded the album: a Kinks cover, David Watts, and the Weller-penned fury of ‘A-Bomb In Wardour Street’. Released on August 26, it reached Number 25 in the UK, beating the band’s previous single, News of the World, by two places.
Single number 2, ‘Down in the Tube Station at Midnight,’ went ten places better, reaching Number 15 in the UK charts in October, 1978. Setting up the album which emerged a month later, All Mod Cons rose to Number 6 and transformed The Jam’s fortunes. None of their three remaining studio albums would chart lower than that.
Cynical and sneering, but never overly abrasive, the songs on All Mod Cons mainly adhere to the classic rudiments of short and sweet songwriting. Weller showcased his increasingly assured touch with the occasional wistful ballad and reached into the soul copybook to embellish ‘Down In The Tube Station At Midnight’, harbingers of subsequent Jam albums. This album was the start of something very big.
Thirty-five years after that career-defining release, bassist Bruce Foxton is revisiting All Mod Cons and playing the album live in its entirety with his band, From The Jam.
I was lucky enough to catch up with Bruce ahead of From The Jam’s landmark ‘All Mod Cons 35th Anniversary Concert’ at the gorgeous Clapham Grand on the Friday 01 November.
You are playing the Clapham Grand to celebrate 35 years since the release of “All Mod Cons” – any surprises in store? What can we expect from your live version?
A…. The songs have been going down great live especially the ones that we never played live like Fly and The Place I love but anything can happen live that’s the beauty of it!
By all accounts the writing and recording of “All Mod Cons” was tense, with your initial demo’s being knocked back. What was your take on the experience?
A…. It was certainly a make or break album for us and were under a lot of pressure to get it right. Fortunately it turned out the way it did and the rest is history as they say
What were the biggest musical influences on “All Mod Cons”?
A…. The Who and The Beatles I’d say but also our own style was now developing so we influenced ourselves in an odd way.
All Mod Cons saw a return to commercial and critical acclaim for The Jam. How did the success affect you at the time?
A…. It felt great! But that success feeling had to be followed by more success which is hard to keep going so very stressful at times as well.
What do you consider to have been some of the most defining moments of your career?
A…. been quite a few but when Going Underground went straight to no.1 and we flew back from the States on Concorde.
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We have 3 CD & Vinyl bundles of Bruce Foxton’s latest record ‘Back In The Room’ – which includes a collaboration with his The Jam band mate Paul Weller.
Plus one lucky winner will get a pair of tickets to the 01 November show at London’s Clapham Grand.
For a chance to win just answer this simple question. See full competition terms & conditions here.
How high did ‘Down In The Tube Station At Midnight’ reach in the UK charts in October 1978?