The Jam were a huge band in my formative years. I was never a massive fan of theirs but always checked out what they released.
I picked up “Funeral Pyre” by chance on its release day. I just happened to go to my local record shop and had a bit of spare cash. I’m pretty sure 7 Inch records were 99p back in 1981. It was a no brainer. With a great looking cover – and despite the fact that I hadn’t heard it I just bought it without much thought.
I had heard most of the bands singles, but none of their albums. A bit like Black Sabbath, The Jam do not have a stand out studio album for me. Fittingly “Funeral Pyre” does not feature on any of their studio albums. It is on “Snap” and subsequent “hits” albums. Good job really, I doubt if the band could have kept up the level of venom this track spits for an entire album. It stands as a great single.
The reason I rate “Funeral Pyre’ so highly is that it’s unexpectedly dark. It’s quite removed from the near pop the band achieve on “Going Underground”, “Start” and “That’s Entertainment”.
It positively bustles with brewing menace. Always a great quality in music. The track rattles, dips and rises. The lyrical theme oddly fits the current unrest in the U.K. – maybe subliminally this has sprung to my mind because of this.
Not a very popular track by The Jam admittedly – but for me this sees the band really hit their real peak – and was a moment I realised just how good the band were….