1979 was the year of the yoof cult, with mod getting its second wind, aided by the coincidental appearance of the Quadrophenia movie, a brace of sharp 45s from The Jam, and the now legendary Mods Mayday ’79 live album. Think of this new four-CD collection as that album grown sharply tailored arms and legs.
Like the original record, the box set features the choon that ultimately came to define the mod revival (aside from everything Weller released with The Jam) and that’s Secret Affair’s Time For Action.
The collection’s 100 tracks fall into various categories. There’s the fire and skill by proxy of the Jam-esque (Sta-Prest’s School Days and Career Girls by Les Elite are the best of that bunch); blistering R&B (Nine Below Zero’s demo of Pack Fair & Square); 60s throwbacks like the James Taylor Quartet’s Blow Up, Eleanor Rigby’s sweet I Want To Sleep With You; and The Untouchables’ 2-Tone influenced Free Yourself.
It’s a mixed bag and, while the Secret Affair tracks (the big hit and My World) are still the pick of the litter, there are very few real dogs here. Melodic gems like The Combine’s Dreams Come True and Squire’s My Mind Goes Round In Circles show there was more to the mod revival than Jam remoulds and Cockney wannabes.
Buy the box set and relive the glory days. After all, it’s cheaper and safer than a clapped-out Lambretta./o:p