By 1979 I was taking a small transistor radio to school with me on Tuesdays, so that I could listen to the new chart on Radio 1 at lunch time.
The lads at school all thought ‘Eton Rifles’ was “Ace”, and we were surprised it didn’t get to No.1.
When one Tuesday in March 1980, I listened to the chart run down, and couldn’t work out what was number one, nor why the Jam’s new single wasn’t Top 10.
Then it was announced that they were straight in at No.1. I was ecstatic! I wonder if the youth of today get as excited over their music as we used to back then?
Later that year, The Jam would do it again with ‘Start’, followed by The Police with ‘Don’t Stand So Close to Me’.
These days, if a record is going to make No.1, it’s more likely to do it on it’s first weeks sales.
I started to collect all of the Jam’s singles, and got nearly all of their back catalogue on cheap 7” vinyl out of Woolworth’s sale bins. Somehow, getting the ones I missed out on, in mp3 format recently, just wasn’t as rewarding an experience.
The B-sides were brilliant too, if often in a completely different style to the A-sides. Oh, and I got the missing B-sides on mp3 as well. If you’re going to do something, do it properly!