"Extras" back in the heyday of the compact disc, was usually just a quicker way for the major labels to say, "We found some more crap in the vault and we're going to make you buy your favorite CDs all over again for twice the price." The "bonus disc" much of the time was hardly a bonus at all. There were some exceptions, but even the best outtakes usually offered only an immediate thrill and rarely did I find myself longing to hear "Otro Mundo," the Spanish verison of "Another World" from Joe Jackson's "Night & Day."
Which brings me to The Jam's "Extras," a stand alone release that was not a bonus attached to any of the band's proper releases. "Extras" was released within weeks of Paul Weller's solo debut, and it collects stray tracks, demos, covers and b-sides. It is so perfectly sequenced, that I was thinking through most of it, "This feels like The Jam's 'White Album."
The mood changes effortlessly from the band's special brand of mod punk to acoustic British folk to jangly pop and R&B. "Extras" plays so well, it feels more like a thought out concept than a collection of leftovers.
I was chatting with a new friend on Instagram and he said, "Extras came at a time when we were starved of material and Weller was on his way back ...for me it was a good as any Jam album and a reminder of why they were so fondly remembered."
I play my Jam records often, and though I never quite got on the Style Council bus, Weller's solo work continues to slay me. But "Extras" seems to get the most attention, I think deservedly so.