Paul Weller recalled the making of The Gift, the last album by The Jam, as the record is re-released to mark its 30th anniversary. The album came out in an era of strife and political unrest, encapsulated by the band’s number one single 'A Town Called Malice'.
"I was thinking about the times we were living in," he told NME. "It wasn’t the height of Thatcherism but she was well into her stride by that time. The country was being depleted and the working classes were being sh*t on. It was a very desolate time. You couldn’t help but be touched by the politics of the time, you were either for or against it and I was reflecting what I saw around me."
The album saw the flourishing of a new Jam sound, developing their post-punk attack. It was the early indication of the musical avenues that Weller would subsequently explore in The Style Council and his solo career. "I’d been listening to a lot of soul music," Weller said. "I was trying to incorporate some of that into what we were doing. The influence of soul music pointed in the direction of where I was going to go after that, but it was very much our sound, we were trying to expand it and do something else with the Jam sound."
The re-release box-set comes in a lavish, expanded form, including bonus tracks from later singles and a DVD featuring performances from the final Jam tour and clips from TV interviews and performances from the era.