The 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Jam

by: The Jam

Inexplicably, Universal saw fit to re-release a 20th Century Masters survey of the Jam a mere 18 months or so after its original release. Along with new photography, there's also a slight modification in the track listing, which is sadly underwhelming and fails to paint a true portrait of the diverse songwriting that the Jam consistently had over the duration of their relatively short career. Gone is the fiery anthem "The Eton Rifles" and in its place is the soft "Butterfly Collector," which was a B-side. Also conspicuously absent are the anthem "Man in the Corner Shop" and the harrowing "Funeral Pyre." However, that is not to say this is a bad compilation -- far from it. The punk rock anthem "In the City" kicks things off in fine form, and hits like "Going Underground," "Town Called Malice," "Start," and "That's Entertainment" all make appearances. It's a fine primer for those previously unfamiliar with their works, but the earlier 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Jam (the version with the black-and-white photograph on the cover) will serve as a more well-rounded introduction. Die-hard fans will want to check out Snap! or The Very Best of the Jam to fulfill their need for a thorough greatest-hits anthology. ~ Rob Theakston

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