Song Of The Day 4/23/2014: The Jam - "Away From the Numbers"

You Pick The Artist: Katrina Brede gave me The Jam, who I spent a lot of time listening to in my senior year of high school. The band I was in at the time, who went on to be called the Sunday Dancer's Club, covered "It's Too Bad" from All Mod Cons. This was after The Jam had disbanded and Paul Weller had formed The Style Council, whose initial EP sent shivers up my spine, but whose album catalog just sort of grazed my shoulder. I got familiar with The Jam's broader work via a 2-disc anthology called Snap!, probably one of my five or so most-played anthology releases. It wasn't easy to get Jam records in the US at the time. A lot of them were available as imports, but those were expensive, and I had a fear instilled in me that if I bought imported records my name would go on some Commie list hidden in a safe at the Pentagon.

"Away From the Numbers" is my favorite Jam song. I don't know if you feel like time travel at the moment, but if you can, try going back to when I was a 17-year-old kid trying (and failing) to define himself through surreptitiously-suggested fashion choices, and how this song spoke to him of breaking free from hermetically sealed social groups to find his real purpose constructed out of his own fully-realized and -executed fantasies. If you can't go back that far, three years ago will do too. Same situation. Same result, unfortunately. But it's never too late, I suppose, until it is.

Thanks, Katrina!

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