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Town Called Malice by The Jam

Updated on October 31, 2014

The Jam Town Called Malice

Town Called Malice is one of the best known hit singles from The Jam, who were an English mod revival band of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Although they shared the angry young men outlook and fast tempos of their punk rock contemporaries, The Jam wore Mod style neatly tailored suits rather than ripped clothes and incorporated a number of mainstream 1960s rock influences, rather than rejecting them. The raw and energetic beat that one identifies with punk rock was consistent throughout their songs.

This song, Town Called Malice is my favourite of all songs by the band.

The band had 18 consecutive Top 40 singles in the United Kingdom, from their debut in 1977 to their breakup in 1982, including 4 number one hits. As of 2007, they remained the best-selling import singles of all time in the UK. They released one live album and six studio albums, the last of which, The Gift, hit number one on the UK album charts. When the group split up, all 18 singles were re-released and all placed within the top 60.

The band drew upon a variety of stylistic influences over the course of their career, including 1960s beat music, soul, rhythm and blues and psychedelic rock, as well as 1970s punk rock, pop punk and new wave. The trio was known for its melodic pop songs, its distinctly English flavour and its mod image.

The Jam launched the career of Paul Weller, who went on to form The Style Council and later had a successful solo career. Weller wrote and sang most of The Jam's original compositions, and he played lead guitar, using a Rickenbacker. Bruce Foxton provided backing vocals and prominent basslines, which were the foundation of many of the band's songs; including the hits Down in the Tube Station at Midnight, The Eton Rifles and Town Called Malice.

See (Wikipedia for more information)

Song Lyrics: Town Called Malice by The Jam

Town Called Malice - The Jam from the Album "The Gift" 1982

Better stop dreaming of the quiet life
Cos it's the one we'll never know
And quit running for that runaway bus
Cos those rosey days are few

And - stop apologising for the things you've never done,
Cos time is short and life is cruel
But it's up to us to change
This town called Malice. Oooh yeah

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. Oooh yeah

Ba ba ba ba bada baa
badaba bada ba ooh
Ba ba ba ba bada baa
badaba bada ba

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. Oooh yeah

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. Oooh yeah

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. Yeaahh

Ooh yeaahh
Town called Malice yeaahh
Ooh yeah
A town called Malice yeaahh

Town Called Malice Videos

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    • profile image

      golfspice 6 years ago

      Good track but I preferred London Calling by the Jam, which is also a good album.

    • Missmerfaery444 profile image

      Missmerfaery444 7 years ago

      This is a great song. Recently got Amy MacDonald singing it on Radio 2 on her new album: good version, but you can't beat the original!

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 8 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      This is a fun lens about a group that I knew nothing about. Blessed. :)

    • WhiteOak50 profile image

      WhiteOak50 8 years ago

      Very good! I am lensrolling it over to my 1960music lens because that is the only music lens I have because this lens needs to be shown more :0)

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      Tony -- have you done a lensography for your music by groups? Would be nice to find it all in one place.

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      Ruth Coffee 9 years ago from Zionsville, Indiana

      I like it, can't say that I've heard them though (in the 80's or now). Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Andy-Po 9 years ago

      Excellent song. I didn't go to Glastonbury this year (I've been more that 10 times in the past, but I have possibly grown out of it), but it would have been good to hear Paul Weller singing this.

    • profile image

      Mayflowerblood 9 years ago

      Sounds pretty good!