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10 Albums That Changed My Life: The Jam's Rick Buckler

Rick Buckler’s terrific and crisp drumming has always been highlighted on such Jam tracks as “Town Called Malice” and “The Modern World.” Here are the 10 Albums That Changed Rick Buckler's Life!
 Rick Buckler. Photo © Derek D'Souza/Courtesy of Derek D'

Rick Buckler. Photo © Derek D'Souza/Courtesy of Derek D'

When drummer Rick Buckler joined the Woking, Surrey, England-based band The Jam in 1973, they were playing mostly local gigs in venues like working man’s clubs. But through hard work and persistence, the band, which also included singer-guitarist Paul Weller and bassist Bruce Foxton, broke through and released their debut album In The City in 1977. From that point, the next six years for The Jam were packed with activity that included five more studio albums, many TV appearances, and concerts all over the map from London to New York to Tokyo. Buckler’s terrific and crisp drumming is highlighted on such Jam tracks as “Town Called Malice” and “The Modern World.”

Following The Jam’s breakup in December 1982, Buckler performed with the bands Time UK, The Gift and From The Jam. He has co-authored three books with the writer Ian Snowball: That’s Entertainment: My Life In The Jam, The Dead Straight Guide To The Jam and The Jam: The Start To ’77.

Here are the 10 Albums That Changed Rick Buckler's Life!

— John Curley

The Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night

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I heard this album when it first came out and it was given to my older brother as a Christmas present. He was playing it all the time while my twin brother and I played with our Scalextric set on the floor. The songs have stayed with me and always remind me of those days. Music, and so, particular songs, always has the power to invoke memories.

Dr. Feelgood, Down By The Jetty

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This band had such an influence on us. Wilko (Johnson)’s style of guitar playing solved a problem for Paul (Weller); that you did not have to be a ‘Ritchie Blackmore’ virtuoso to be a guitarist. They also reaffirmed that strong R&B songs and a straightforward approach could work for us.

Deep Purple, Deep Purple In Rock

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This came out when I was still at school. When I first started to play drums, I would always listen to the drummer of whatever band, and Ian Paice was an idol of mine when I was growing up and trying so hard to improve my skills. At times, it seemed to me to be an impossible task to try and be as inventive as he was. Nevertheless, I learned a great deal from just listening to him play.

The Beatles, Revolver

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In my opinion, the best album The Beatles ever made. You just have to listen to it. If it’s not in your collection, be very ashamed!

The Who, Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy

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This album is full of great, short and to-the-point songs. Storytelling songs in a very British style before they got into the “enormadome” (to quote Spinal Tap) mindset of later albums.

The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds

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Again, this was an album I first heard from my older brother but I never really appreciated it until I was older. The production and recording ideas are just groundbreaking. Even today it stands out, fabulous vocals arrangements and I just love the songs. Although I have always disliked the front cover.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Are You Experienced

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Like most music lovers, discovering new things was a pleasure. Especially when you found something like this. At first, I did not understand it. How could anything appear to be so free of structure yet so powerful? It still surprises me to this day!

Fleetwood Mac, Rumours

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In 1977, the mantra in Britain was rebel against everything that had gone before. So to find an album that was full of great songs, all under five minutes long, an album that was sweeping America from a band only known to us at that time because of one song (“Albatross”) was a wake-up call as we first went to America to tour. It was on every radio station along with songs from the newly released Star Wars film.

XTC, Drums and Wires

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I always felt an affinity with XTC. They were not really a punk band and did not seem to rebel against anything but they were very inventive and musically non-conforming to a still chart-based industry. One of Britain’s great studio bands with strong production. (Loved the drumming!)

The Jam, All Mod Cons

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I have to put this in my list as it was a game changer for us on the global market. More importantly, this was a studio album created by a predominantly live band. A coming of age in a modern recording studio. We had always approached recording in a live way, getting the instruments down and then overdubbing vocals, percussion, etc. But here, it was stripped back to the drum track and overdub nearly everything else.

Rick Buckler does well writing about The Jam