In five years, The Jam built a legacy that has lasted ever since. On the UK album chart of 22 October 1983, some ten months after Paul Weller confirmed fans’ worst suspicions by announcing that the trend-setting modern rock trio were splitting up, the band’s name was back in the bestsellers with their first hits retrospective, Snap!
Listen to Snap! right now.
The album offered both a succinct summary of their biggest songs and, on a second disc, a collection of some of their notable b-sides and rarities. Initial copies of the double LP contained an extra prize that has become highly valued among Jam followers: a four-track live EP recorded during their farewell tour at Wembley Arena in the autumn of 1982.
Those tracks are available on the Polydor reissue of Snap!, and include a version of Curtis Mayfield’s ‘Move On Up’ as well as ‘Get Yourself Together,’ ‘The Great Depression’ and ‘But I’m Different Now.’ On the original release, the presence of that EP along with a disc featuring the remixed ‘Funeral Pyre,’ the demo of ‘That’s Entertainment’ and other gems made the package highly desirable.
The Jam’s first and only UK No. 1 album was, ironically, with their last studio release, The Gift, after which the live set Dig The New Breed stopped at No. 2. Snap! also narrowly failed to top the chart, debuting in runner-up spot behind Culture Club‘s new entry with Colour By Numbers, a one-two ranking that was repeated the following week before the compilation started to fall away.
Nevertheless, the album spent 30 weeks in the top 100 and kept the name of The Jam alive on the album chart well into the spring of 1983. The later, truncated CD version, Compact Snap!, was certified gold in 2013.
Snap! can be bought here.
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