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(Credit: Bryan Ledgard)


The first album Graham Coxon ever bought


When searching for the pillars of modern rock and roll, it is easy to become distracted by the seismic columns that emanate from the 1960s and ’70s. Such was the huge impact of artists like The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin that it can be all too easy to forget the important figures of rock and roll that followed. One such figure is Blur’s premier guitarist Graham Coxon.

Often defined as the aforementioned member of the Britpop icons, some of Coxon’s finest work actually came as an idiosyncratic solo artist. Across a ream of tracks, Coxon continuously proved that he was one of the most desirable guitarists in the land, delivering angular scythes of six-string brilliance as he was able to deliver a dollop of hot, steaming power chord riffery. Another asset Coxon has always possessed is a sincere and succinct music taste.

It can be incredibly embarrassing to read up about one of your favourite performers only to find out that their favourite album by The Who is the greatest hits selection, or that someone preferred Sid Vicious to Glen Matlock as a musician. Luckily, even when Coxon was just a nipper, he had seemingly impeccable taste, as he once proved by sharing the first album he ever bought with the NME.

Perhaps we should have expected a great album from Coxon; such is his comfortability with musicality at large. Furthermore, perhaps the biggest shock of all comes from us not realising that, of course, an artist like Coxon would have a special spot in his heart for the Modfather, Paul Weller and his furious punk outfit, The Jam. In fact, it is their oft-forgotten fourth studio record Setting Sons that Coxon claims is the first he ever bought.

Released on Polydor in 1979, the album isn’t as well regarded as some of The Jam’s earlier work, however, it still bristles with every creative intent and can be easily seen as a blueprint for the Britpop explosion that would hold the 1990s hostage. “The first single I ever bought was ‘Roxanne’ by The Police, and then my first album was Setting Sons by The Jam,” the guitarist told the publication.

“I bought it with some birthday money. It has soldiers on the front and it’s got Union Jacks and a bulldog and it’s got ‘Little Boy Soldiers’ on it… it’s a pretty good record.” Based on Coxon’s non-plus reaction to most things, we’ll take that as a glowing endorsement of one of The Jam’s unsung heroes.

Listen to The Jam’s 1979 album Setting Sons below.