Monday, February 27, 2012

town called malice

The Jam had their only American hit with this Motown-flavoured exhortation to the exploited masses. 'Town Called Malice' was a bleak, yet bouncy picture of unemployment in Thatcher's Britain. Paul Weller admits, "It could have been written about any suburban town, but it was in fact written about my hometown of Woking." It was released as a double A-side single with 'Precious'. The twelve inch version included a live version of 'Town Called Malice' and an extended version of 'Precious'. Both formats were counted together and the song made its debut at number one. It was a top twenty hit in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. In the US, it went to number thirty-one on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. About the pop appeal of the song to politically conservative fans, Weller says: "I think I pretty much nailed where I was at to the mast. But people come to gigs for different reasons: it isn't necessarily about what the person on stage is singing. But at the same time, you do think, 'Well, maybe this'll change their minds'."

Better stop dreaming of the quiet life
Cause it's the one we'll never know
And quit running for that runaway bus
Cause those rosy days are few
And, stop apologizing for the things you've never done,
Cause time is short and life is cruel
But it's up to us to change
This town called malice.
Rows and rows of disused milk floats
Stand dying in the dairy yard
And a hundred lonely housewives clutch empty milk
Bottles to their hearts
Hanging out their old love letters on the line to dry
It's enough to make you stop believing when tears come
Fast and furious
In a town called malice.

Struggle after struggle, year after year
The atmosphere's a fine blend of ice
I'm almost stone cold dead
In a town called malice.

A whole street's belief in Sunday's roast beef
Gets dashed against the Co-op
To either cut down on beer or the kids new gear
It's a big decision in a town called malice.

The ghost of a steam train, echoes down my track
It's at the moment bound for nowhere
Just going round and round
Playground kids and creaking swings
Lost laughter in the breeze
I could go on for hours and I probably will
But I'd sooner put some joy back
In this town called malice.

The Jam became the first act since the Beatles to perform both tracks of a double A side on Top Of The Pops.

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