01 July 2005

The Jam - Get Yourself Together & Move On Up (live)


Sorry for the gap in postings, been away a lot. Gonna be away again for another week too. In the meantime...

In summer 1983, about eight months after The Jam split up, they released a compilation album Snap!. It was done as any decent greatest hits should be; all the singles, some classy b-sides, star album tracks. All in chronological order too, so you can see the progression.

The splendour of the double LP Snap! was fucked over and made into a simple singles compilation to be squeezed on to a single CD, although there has been a limited re-issue CD that has the full original running order.

With The Jam and The Style Council, Paul Weller made a point of giving value for money. The B-sides - and often the A-sides - weren't lifted from albums, the sleeve design and notes had passion and care in them.

And with Snap!, there was a limited edition bonus, a 4-track live EP. Recorded on 2nd and 3rd December 1982 during their 5 sold-out nights at Wembley Arena on the farewell tour, there were two unsung Weller classics on side B and two typically well-chosen covers on side A.

As a sucker for a decent or weird cover, it's these two that I'm giving you here.

Move On Up is the Curtis Mayfield classic, a live favourite with both The Jam and The Style Council. White guys can't really cover soul with the same vibe as the original, but then there's no point in facsimile covers.

The thing that white folks bring to music is tension. For all that rock n roll is simplistically defined as a melding of blues and jazz, it's the longing of country music and the uptight repressed tension of pretty much any white popular music that complete the equation, and this is abundantly clear when comparing the original Move On Up with the intensity and punch of The Jam's cover here, executed with a power that way exceeds their studio version.

Get Yourself Together is a Small Faces cover. They did some bona fide classics - All Or Nothing is simply perfect - and this song stands proud amongst them.

The lyric is has a remarkable sentiment for its time. In an era when a progressive writer like John Lennon was writing songs like Run For Your Life threatening physical violence against a girlfriends for looking at another man (gee, when she's got such a caring sensitive guy already why would she want to?), Marriott and Lane wrote this song where the bloke is acknowledging his girlfriend's unspoken pining for her previous lover and offering consolation, support and hope, telling her that she has got the inner mettle to recover and be alright.

To my knowledge, these live tracks haven't been reissued anywhere apart from that limited Snap! CD.

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UPDATE: After Paul Weller was given a Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, his greatest hits albums have been repushed. (How many artists can have three greatest hits albums from different bands and them all be really good?). Universal saw fit to reissue Snap! on CD, together with a limited bonus three CD set that includes the Wembley live EP.

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[MP3s deleted to make way for new ones. Sorry!]


Jim Bliss said...

"The thing that white folks bring to music is tension."

The film Stop Making Sense is the perfect illustration of this.

Anonymous said...

You put your finger on it. There is tension in the Jam's cover of "Heatwave" and here as well. Thanks for "Move on Up!" -- jonhope

EnglandMadeMe said...

Very lovely indeed. Cheers for that.