Release Date: March 20, 1977
Produced by Vic Smith and Chris Parry
Chart Positions: #20 (UK)
Singles: “In The City” (#40 UK)
In the City is the debut studio album of British mod revival/punk rock band The Jam. It was released in 1977 by Polydor Records and featured the hit single and title track "In the City".
Paul Weller's guitar style on the album is very much influenced by Wilko Johnson and Pete Townshend. The album includes two cover songs, "Slow Down" (the Larry Williams song made famous as recorded by The Beatles for their 1974 album "Something New") and the theme to the 1960s television series, Batman.
“In The City” offers a good balance between the forward-looking, "destroy everything" aggression of punk with a certain reverence for '60s beat and R&B. In an era that preached attitude over musicianship, the Jam bettered the competition with good pop sense, strong melodies, and plenty of hooks that compromised none of punk's ideals or energy, plus youth culture themes and an abrasive, ferocious attack.
"In the City" was the debut single by English mod revival/punk rock band The Jam from their album of the same title. It was released on 29 April 1977 and reached No. 40 on the UK Singles Chart in May 1977, making it their first Top 40 single and the beginning of their streak of 18 consecutive Top 40 singles. While only a minor hit on the charts, the song was the UK's first introduction to The Jam, and was characteristic of Paul Weller's youth anthems—mod-influenced celebrations of British youth—that dominated the band's early output.
"In The City"
Musically, the song is in the vein of the band's first album, a mod/punk number influenced by The Who's early music, but with an energy and attitude updated for the punk era. "In the City" borrowed its title from an obscure Who song of the same name, which was released in 1966 as the B-side of the "I'm a Boy" single (and which can now be found as a bonus track on most CD re-issues of their 1966 album A Quick One).
Lyrically, the song is a celebration of youth in the big city, and of what Paul Weller called the "young idea", reflecting Weller's optimism for the punk movement. There was also a direct reference to police brutality: "In the city there's a thousand men in uniform/And I hear they now have the right to kill a man".
The Jam (1977)