Monday, May 25, 2020

Musical Monday - Beat Surrender by the Jam

#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Never.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Never.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: December 4, 1982 through December 11, 1982.

This video is from an appearance by the Jam on, I believe, BBC's Top of the Pops (based in part on the presence of Tracie Young, who joined the band specifically for their Top of the Pops appearance). Even though MTV had debuted in the U.S. a little more than a year and a half prior to this song reaching the top of the U.K. charts, the "band video" format was still kind of primitive in nature, and often not a priority for bands of recording labels. As a result, in many cases, the only real video evidence remaining of some songs is from appearances like this one on one of the various "pop music" television programs. These sorts of shows don't really seem to exist any more - first MTV and VH1 and then websites like YouTube gave music artists another venues to promote their offerings and shows like the Midnight Special, Top of the Pops, Solid Gold, and so on seem to have simply withered away.

This was more or less the Jam's swan song. Beat Surrender was their last major hit, and the band announced their break up two months before this song reached the top of the U.K. charts. This Top of the Pops appearance was one of their last performances as a band. They had bridged the gap from the late 1970s to the early 1980s, and you can see the beginnings of the 1980s in their sound and style, but they didn't make it all the way through the cultural changeover from one decade to another.

Previous Musical Monday: Truly by Lionel Richie
Subsequent Musical Monday: Mickey by Toni Basil

Previous #1 on the U.K. Chart: I Don't Wanna Dance by Eddy Grant
Subsequent #1 on the U.K. Chart: Save Your Love by Renée and Renato

List of #1 Singles from the Billboard Hot 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles from the Cash Box Top 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles on the U.K. Chart for 1980-1989

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