Posts from 1st May 2009

May 09

The Top 100 Tracks Of All Time: 28. The Jam – Going Underground

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Mildred: What’re you rebelling against, Johnny?
Johnny: Whaddya got?

Going Underground is the aural equivalent of this quote from The Wild One. I’m not saying that Paul Weller is Marlon Brando, but Going Underground is cliched and as empty as a rabble rousing tune as Brando’s rebel was.

Teenagers are the lifeblood of pop music. They were the primary consumer, the ones with the disposable income, disposable time but most importantly the absolute disposable energy to be passionate about pop music. And it is when people start to learn instruments, form bands, write rubbish songs about endless love that they have not felt because that is what other pop songs are about. Because the truth is teenagers don’t usually make that good pop stars, feckless, directionless, a little too close to their audience*. And this is no bad thing, get your juvenalia out of the way first because you don’t want your early albums to be cluttered with songs about how you hate to tidy your bedroom.

Going Underground is luckily not a song about Paul Weller never putting away his Ernie Ball wrappers, but it could be.