Sound — 4
'Extras' was basically The Jam's extra songs they have recorded, and most of it was completely different to any of their previous work. There was more orchestral backing and less punk-rock on this album that made it below average. This should not be your first Jam album. However, this album starts off well. The opening track, named 'The Dreams Of Children' contains a blazing guitar riff from Paul Weller (lead guitarist and vocalist) and was originally the b-side of The Jam's first no.1 hit 'Going Underground'. The next track was also successful, another b-side named 'Tales From The Riverbank', it was a dreamy shimmer of psychedelic guitars and wistful vocals. The next track, 'Liza Radley', was not bad either. This time it was a Syd Barrett influenced song, an acoustical and evocative ballad that made up the 'b' side to The Jam's second no.1 hit 'Start!'. You could see that The Jam had put a lot of thought into their b-sides, and this album started off really well. But suddenly, the next few tracks were more orchestral, and they were diabolical. From Tracks 3-26, only eight of them were impressive. That meant 15 of them were bad. The worst examples are 'Stoned Out Of My Mind', an awful orchestral sound, and a cover of James Brown's 'I Got You (I Feel Good)'. How can you expect The Jam who were previously one of the greatest punk-rock bands in the '70s compose a song like this? But what even made this album more strange was the last track 'The Eton Rifles'. 'The Eton Rifles' was one of The Jam's greatest hits, and should not be included in this album. In fact, it is the only a-side in the entire album! Overall, the sound of this album is bad, but at least it starts well and ends well.
Lyrics — 7
Paul Weller is one of the finest song writers in the UK, but this album made him less prolific. Paul Weller wrote many classic songs, but on this album, you can see why The Jam never released some of the songs on this album, or even put them on their previous albums. Except for the unexpected 'The Eton Rifles'. Even his singing skills weren't as good as before.
Overall Impression — 4
'Extras' was by far the worst Jam album. Also some of the choice of songs were poor, because 'The Eton Rifles' should not feature on this album. It should feature on some of their 'greatest hits' albums. Also, if you buy this album, you will waste your money, because you should get a different Jam album named 'The Sound Of The Jam' (the two-disc and DVD version) which contains every song from 'Extras' plus some of their greatest hits. What I like about this album was that it started well. What I hate about this album was that it contains a lot of poor songs. If it got stolen/lost, I would never buy it again. Instead, I will either get 'The Sound Of The Jam', or a different CD. To end this review, avoid buying 'Extras'. It should never be included in your Jam collection.