THE JAM – “David Watts” / “A” Bomb In Wardour Street” (Polydor 2059 054) August 1978
For almost too long it seemed The Jam had been left, spent and burned by their own runaway momentum, that they’d given their all in blinding rapid fire succession. Much too much, much too soon.
Paul Weller can deny it till he’s blue in the face, but The Jam’s second album sounded hurried, dizzy, incomplete, containing seeds of songs that should have been steadily nurtured instead of forced into a premature daylight.
It’s been said before but I’ll reiterate for ya: The Jam shouldn’t have put out that album, they should have concentrated on knocking out one hit single after another – like this one.
Forget the lacklustre ‘News Of The World’, this is The Jam as they were and should always be: riding out strong and furious and instinctive. Every time I play it, it just gets better. And who is David Watts? One of Ray Davies’ (for it’s an old Kinks song circa ‘Village Green’ / ‘Something Else’) cast of fictitious characters. The schoolboy who has it all and doesn’t even have to try. The kid who leads the team, wins the fights, passes his exams and gets the girl. There’s one in every class and it’s never you or me.
“Wish I could have all he’s got / HOY/ Wish I could be like David Watts . . .”
It applies the seductively naive vocal charm of ‘Happy Jack’ to the tense rhythmic paces of ‘Let’s Spend The Night Together’.
The Clash-like flip, ‘A Bomb In Wardour Street’ continues Weller’s fixation with faded Brit-pop-culture locations but is nowhere near as compelling and thus plays second fiddle. (NME)