Gold

by: The Jam

There certainly is no shortage of Jam anthologies on the market to appease the fan who needs everything (a massive five-CD box set) and the listener just wanting the greatest hits and nothing more (see Snap! for the most thorough portrait of the Jam's legacy). Gold falls in between the two poles by supplying one disc filled with 26 of their finest moments and a second disc of fan favorites, B-sides, and studio outtakes. While 49 songs might be a bit much for an introduction, or even a greatest-hits, it is a concise version of the box set. All of their most recognized anthems are here, and while there are odd omissions (for example "Art School" is replaced by "Butterfly Collector," no sign of "The Bitterest Pill" anywhere), they're minor complaints only die-hard fans would argue over. Not as immediately accessible as the 20th Century Masters collections, but definitely one for the shelves of those looking for a decent Jam compilation. ~ Rob Theakston

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