The Jam was probably the first "guitar" band that I really got into. I wasn't there at the start in 1977 and my first purchase was the single "Eton Rifles" which had made it into to the top 10, and seeing the album "Setting Sons" plastered all over the record shops. The first album I bought was "All Mod Cons" which to this day remains one of my all time favourite albums which combines great melodies and a great guitar sound, and that works for me every time.
In 1980 the album Sound Effects was released and I remember the local record shop selling tickets for the Bracknell gig at £2.50! However I was not allowed to go to the gig and had to wait until the farewell tour in 1982 when at 16 I was allowed to go to see them at Wembley Arena. That was my first ever live gig and it was fantastic and the support band on those shows was Big Country.
The Jam had an amazing history in terms of single releases and many of their singles were not included on their albums. I think back at the time "Funeral Pyre" was my favourite single partly because I was so excited about its release and I got the school coach into Maidenhead on the day of its release and then walked 2 miles home with my copy. Over the years I would probably say "When You're Young" has just about become my favourite single by the band.
After the band split in 1982 I followed Paul Weller in The Style Council, but more out of loyalty rather than the material I have to admit. I enjoyed Rick Buckler in The Time UK and followed Bruce Foxton's short lived solo career. I have struggled to really like Paul Weller's solo material over the years. More recently I have enjoyed going to see From The Jam featuring Foxton and Buckler (now just Foxton). Songs such as "Down In The Tube Station At Mightnight", "Going Underground" and "A Town Called Malice" remain a big part of the musical soundtrack of my life.