Review: The Jam – ‘Fire and Skill: The Jam Live’

by Deanna Chapman

The Jam will be releasing Fire and Skill: The Jam Live on Ocober 30th via Universal/Polydor. This is absolutely for huge fans of the band. The release consists of six CDs of live performances by the band spanning from 1977 to 1982. You will also get a 72 page book, five postcards, rare memorabilia, photos, and an essay with the box set. The overall track total is 121 songs, all of which were remastered at Abbey Road. What more could the ultimate fan of The Jam ask for?

The live performances take place at the 100 Club, Music Machine, Reading University, Newcastle City Hall, Hammersmith Palais, and Wembley Arena. Only 11 of the live tracks were previously released, so you are definitely in for quite an experience. There are some repeats of songs, but I found that it gives you a chance to hear any changes the band made to their live songs over the years and how those songs fit in with various sets. Now, 121 songs is a lot to listen to, but it also means you have a lot of songs to pick and choose from if you so wish. This is by no means something to listen to in one sitting (unless you want to, of course). You can experience bits and pieces of live sets and come up with your own set list in a way or you can enjoy each performance with it’s respective CD. The songs are fast, fun, and witty. But if you’re going to be listening to this box set, you already knew that.

Overall, I would really only recommend this for anyone already a fan of The Jam. It can be a bit overwhelming at times with the amount of songs, but in doses it’s a great listen. You get the extras and you get the live show banter as if you’re there, which is completely worth it. You’ll take in nearly six and a half hours of The Jam with this release. And if that doesn’t scream ultimate fan, then I don’t know what would.