My Top 1000 Songs #117: Ghosts

I tend to prefer the upbeat rockers on The Jam's mid-period LPs--that run of All Mod Cons/Setting Sons/Sound Affects is one of rock's great hat tricks, though frankly they never had a bad album--but this mid-tempo number from their final record, 1982's The Gift, is the Jam song that I've always found their most unforgettable. It's deceptively simple, a nifty stripped-down guitar lick with crisp snare & cool bass, with some nice touches--the cheerful hand-claps, the R&B horns that presaged Paul Weller's post-Jam musical directions--and a particularly soulful vocal turn by Weller. It's also one of those songs that doesn't overstay its welcome, almost to a fault; that unexpected fade at the two-minute mark always feels a little disappointing, like they could've carried on for another minute or two without losing any momentum. It almost feels like a shorthand for the band's brief arc--we've said everything we need to say, and we're gonna cut it off while you still want more.
...and live:
Here's Paul Weller live in the studio: