There are some groups that despite universal appeal still seem very much like they belong solely to England and the rest of the world is just borrowing them for a while. The Rolling Stones felt like they belonged to everyone; same with the Beatles. The Who, though they sold well across the globe, seemed very much like a UK-centric band. The same goes for groups like Blur, Suede and The Libertines. But perhaps the most British of the lot may be The Jam – a remarkably brilliant trio that took punk rock, new wave and classic pop in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s and forged it into their own unique sound that inspired a slew of groups around the world, but never managed to chart in the U.S., despite a catalogue of songs many would trade their careers to have written.
If you need a refresher on where the American record buying public failed with the first go-round, check out the DVD The Jam – About the Young Idea , which pairs a full length documentary on the band along with an unreleased concert film recorded for a German TV show in 1980.
The documentary intersperses interviews with British celebrities (naturally) like Martin Freeman alongside non-celebrity die hard fans to help tell the story of the band from their founding in 1972 to their implosion a decade later.
The documentary is well suited for everyone from longtime The Jam fans to those who have never heard them before, but the concert film is strictly for the true believers. Glad to see The Jam getting the recognition they deserve, even if it is decades after the fact.