Discord & Rhyme: An Album Podcast

Discord and Rhyme is a podcast where we discuss the albums we love, song by song.

027: The Jam - Setting Sons (1979)

“People say, ‘Why don’t you write any more political songs?’ But I would just write exactly the same f***ing things I wrote thirty-odd years ago.”

—Paul Weller (in 2015)

Get jammed by Discord & Rhyme! This week, we spotlight British punk rockers the Jam, specifically their 1979 post-punk opus Setting Sons. John, Rich, Dan, and host Ben unpack Paul Weller's dark subject matter and make the case that it can still result in fun — and even uplifting — music. It doesn't hurt that the band's spare, crackling energy makes even the dourest songs danceable, and that the 20-year-old Weller's worldview — cynical and biting, but somehow still hopeful — transcends the grimy streets of late-1970s England. Join four Yanks (plus one expat in an edifying guest appearance) as we discuss how Paul Weller's message resonates with us — even 40 years later, even Over Here, and even in our decidedly un-punky mid-thirties.


  • Rich notes Paul Weller's inexplicable participation in the 1984 charity mega-single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" In the video, amongst Phil Collins and Bono, Weller looks like he'd rather be in line at the MMV (Ministry of Motor Vehicles).

  • Ben mentions — and Rich confirms — that the guitar riff in the Sex Pistols' "Holidays in the Sun" is lifted from the Jam's debut single "In the City". Not that the Jam were above that sort of thing: their hit "Start!" steals the riff from the Beatles' "Taxman"; and "Town Called Malice" does the same with the Supremes' "You Can't Hurry Love" (incidentally, Discord & Rhyme co-host Phil Maddox's favorite Motown song).

  • We reference a number of Kinks songs in the episode. If you're seeking them out, "Party Line" is on 1966's Face to Face; "Do You Remember Walter?" is on 1968's The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society; and "Some Mother's Son" is on 1969's Arthur (or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire). You can also hear them on our Spotify playlist for this episode.

  • We forgot to mention Weller's most high-profile modern appearance: he sings backing vocals and plays one of the morass of guitars on Oasis's monster 1995 hit "Champagne Supernova". Noel Gallagher is a well-known fan of Weller's biting misanthropy ("You're a musician??").

  • Points to anyone who catches the How I Met Your Mother reference during our discussion of track three.

  • Here's an example of then-Leader of the Opposition David Cameron going full Paul Weller on then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown during Prime Minister's Questions. You can almost believe Cameron's claim that he was a Jam fan in his teens. 

  • We quote the band's use of the word "f*gs" in "The Eton Rifles,” as it was 40 years ago and Weller was using the British slang for "cigarettes.” It goes without saying, but we're not down with any, any, any other use of that word. 

  • Ben pretends he knows how to pronounce "Eton.” But he doesn't, not in the slightest.

Other links

Discord and Rhyme Roll Call

  • Ben Marlin (host)

  • Rich Bunnell (moderator)

  • John McFerrin

  • Dan Watkins (birthday boy)

  • Amanda Rodgers (special guest Eliot consultant)

Setting Sons tracklist

  1. Girl on the Phone

  2. Thick as Thieves

  3. Private Hell

  4. Little Boy Soldiers

  5. Wasteland

  6. Burning Sky

  7. Smithers-Jones

  8. Saturday’s Kids

  9. The Eton Rifles

  10. Heat Wave

Other clips used

The Jam:

  • The Modern World

  • Monday

  • In the City

  • All Mod Cons

  • Smithers-Jones (original)

  • That’s Entertainment

  • Ghosts

  • Going Underground

  • Town Called Malice


  • Paul Weller and Pete Townshend - So Sad About Us

  • Paul Weller - Private Hell (Live on Radio 2)

  • Electric Six - Getting Into the Jam

  • The Kinks - Party Line

  • The Kinks - Do You Remember Walter?

  • J.S. Bach/Andras Csaki - Lute Suite in E Minor, BWV 996 (Arr. for Guitar) - V. Bourrée

  • Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - The High Party

  • The Kinks - Arthur

  • Rather Rum - Eton Style

  • Martha and the Vandellas - Heatwave

Songs we mentioned but didn’t clip

The Jam:

  • When You’re Young

  • Strange Town

  • Absolute Beginners


  • The Who - So Sad About Us

  • Band Aid - Do They Know It’s Christmas?

  • The Beatles - I Want to Hold Your Hand

  • The Beatles - She Loves You

  • The Beatles - I Should Have Known Better

  • Genesis - Watcher of the Skies

  • Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Karn Evil 9, 1st Impression, Pt. 2

  • Blondie - Hanging On the Telephone

  • The Cure - Just Like Heaven

  • Buzzcocks - I Don’t Mind

  • Sex Pistols - Holidays in the Sun

  • The Who - My Generation

  • The Kinks - Some Mother’s Son

  • Joni Mitchell - The Last Time I Saw Richard

  • The Byrds - Turn! Turn! Turn!

  • The Monkees - Pleasant Valley Sunday

  • The Kinks - A Well Respected Man

  • The Beatles - Eleanor Rigby

  • Randy Newman - I Love L.A.

  • Jethro Tull - Bourée

  • Lee Greenwood - God Bless the USA

  • Bruce Springsteen - Born in the USA

  • PSY - Gangnam Style

  • The Who - Heat Wave

  • Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Ghosts

Band/album personnel

The Jam:

  • Paul Weller - vocals, guitar

  • Bruce Foxton - bass, vocals

  • Rick Buckler - drums

Additional personnel:

  • "Merton" Mick – piano

  • Rudi – saxophone

  • The Jam Philharmonic Orchestra – cello, timpani, recorder

  • Pete Solley – score for strings

  • Vic Coppersmith-Heaven - Producer

  • Alan Douglas - Engineer


“Discord & Rhyme (theme),” composed by the Other Leading Brand, contains elements of:

  • Amon Düül II - Dehypnotized Toothpaste

  • The Dukes of Stratosphear - What in the World?? ...

  • Faith No More - Midlife Crisis

  • Herbie Hancock - Hornets

  • Kraftwerk - Autobahn

  • Talking Heads - Seen and Not Seen

  • The Jam - Private Hell (this episode only)

You can buy or stream Setting Sons and other albums by The Jam at the usual suspects such as Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, and Amazon. Follow Discord & Rhyme on Twitter @DiscordPod for news, updates, and other random stuff. Ben @BenjaminM1019, Rich @zonetrope, Dan @DanSWatkins, and John @tarkus1980. Editing is by Rich, and special thanks to our own Mike DeFabio, the Other Leading Brand, for production. See you next album, and be ever wonderful.

This website and all episodes' discussion/commentary © 2018—2019 Discord & Rhyme. Excerpts from recordings appearing in episodes are included for purposes of review only, and all rights to such material remain property of their copyright holders. Please note that we make a good-faith effort to ensure all information included in these episodes is accurate, but if we get something wrong, let us know at discordpod@gmail.com and we will print a correction in the show notes. Website design by Amanda Rodgers. Thank you for visiting, and be ever wonderful.

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