The Modern World
Label: Polydor Records
This was the Jam's second album from 1977, and while the strain was showing, this one is better than its reputation. The trio's professional mod tightness is still mixed in with spiky punk energy, but a couple of tracks -- "I Need You (For Someone)" and "Life from a Window" (which sounds like a missing gem from The Who Sell Out) -- offer up the kind of introspection and tenderness that was largely missing in the punk scene. "Modern World," "In the Street Today" and the sing-along "London Girl" also stand out. After this, the Jam took a giant artistic leap forward with All Mod Cons.