Saw one of those Time-Life ads for an '80's collection. Some good stuff; a lot of trivial songs intermixed with a few catchy ones. No TSC. Bummer. These folks bestrode the '80's like giants amongst pygmies. Who else but the Beatles managed to conquer so many pop idioms, yet do them all extremely well at the same time?
Most of this has to do with the pairing of Weller and Talbot. Much as Lennon/McCartney, each partner gave a missing element to the writing, to produce a product so much stronger as a result. The true strength in this pairing comes from the tremendous drive always inherent in Paul's writing and playing (The Jam) coupled with the lucious charts and strength of Mick's playing. The result was hard-driving acid_jazz/rock/lounge/house/big_band/every_pop_idiom_under_the_sun, but so much more. After TSC, Paul's work, while always good, lacked the finesse of TSC; Mick's subsequent work lacks the drive of TSC.
Memories of the pop culture of the '80's gain great depth when listening to their music. They reinvented lounge music; virtually invented house music (the last unreleased lp) and acid jazz. I hope this magnificent collection, which is the only true single showcase of all of this variety, will boost their reputation in the States and all over the world.