Reviews

The Jam, About the Young Idea (Eagle Rock Entertainment, 2016)

Being the big Paul Weller devotee that I am, I was ecstatic to learn about About the Young Idea, a feature-length documentary on The Jam. Originally airing in the States on Showtime back in the fall of 2015, the film didn't let me down.

Directed by Bob Smeaton, About the Young Idea includes brand new interviews with all three members of The Jam, plus chats with some of the trio's biggest fans, and key figures in the career of the influential soul punk outfit. The archival footage threaded throughout the doc is a huge treat, including rare interview snippets and live performances dating back to the '70s. Seeing vocalist/guitarist Weller, bassist Bruce Foxton, and drummer Rick Buckler delivering the hard-charging "In the City" to an intimate crowd at an early career gig was especially thrilling. Weller looked like a kid possessed during the performance. As About the Young Idea continues, Smeaton does a wonderful job of showing the viewer that even throughout all of the band's various stylistic shifts, The Jam was always Weller's ship to steer.

Weller broke the group up in 1982, at the height of their popularity, and About the Young Idea serves as a powerful tribute to The Jam's musical and cultural influence. Even if you've never dug into the band's work, this doc will compel you to change that.

The Blu-ray, which just hit stores, is filled with bonus material, including live performances and interview footage that wasn't used in the original film.

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