By his own admission (in The Jam’s official 1983 Biography 'A Beat Concerto', written by Paolo Hewitt) Weller was influenced into forming The Jam after going to a concert of London Punk band The Clash. The name of the group came from Weller’s sister who suggested the title at breakfast one day. The first Album ‘In The City’ (1977) reflected the period of New Wave Punk that was happening in London at that time. Other songs on the album, which reflected Weller’s Punk influences, are the frantic 'Slow Down' and the equally fast paced 'Batman Theme'.
Possibly the key to the groups overwhelming success was not only Weller's outstanding ability as a songwriter and musician but also his ability to move with the times. Punk faded away in 1979 and whilst the group’s second album 'This Is The Modern World' contained elements of the Post-Punk songwriting that appeared on the previous Album, a new audience began to associate themselves with the group; the early 80s Mod Revival or 'Jam Boys' as they became known. Famously, the first draft of the 'All Mod Cons' album was scrapped in a trying period for the band with Weller temporarily lacking motivation. However the revised version of the album was well received and three more successful albums followed: 'Setting Sons', 'Sound Affects' and 'The Gift'. The group became synonymous with the 70s/80s mod scene (partly against their will), influencing other bands in the process. Weller himself came from a musical background which consisted of Northern Soul, Motown and 60s Pop bands such as The Who and The Kinks and this was reflected within the music on all of those albums. The release of 'The Gift' coincided with the band’s most successful period and contained two number one singles.
By the turn of the 1980s, The Jam was the biggest UK Singles band. All in all they scored five number one singles, the first one being 'Going Underground' which alongside 'Town Called Malice' is arguably their most famous release. When the band split it was one of a small number of their singles re-released early in 1983 that saw chart entries in the UK Top 40 with three re-releases all at once. These were 'Beat Surrender', 'Going Underground' and 'All Around The World'. Along with The Beatles, The Jam remain the only other band in the UK to have simultaneously played both sides of a 'AA' release live on the BBC music show 'Top Of The Pops', this occurring with the 1981 No. 1 single 'Town Called Malice/Precious'.
In 1982 and to the dismay of millions of their fans, Paul Weller made the shock announcement that the band was to split up. The next and final single released in December 1982 'Beat Surrender' went straight in at No. 1 and remains a lasting legacy from one of the most successful British bands ever.