Bruce Foxton

From Academic Kids

Bruce Foxton is a British rock and roll musician born on September 1st 1955 in Woking, Surrey who is best remembered as the bass player in new wave trio The Jam. He currently plays in Stiff Little Fingers.

In The Jam, he and drummer Rick Buckler played a subordinate role behind singer, guitarist, and songwriter Paul Weller. However, Bruce's deft, melodic bass playing and sweet vocal harmonies were indisputably crucial components of The Jam's sound.

Bruce did take lead vocals on a few tracks, most notably the singles David Watts (a cover of a Kinks track) and News of the World, which was his own composition. Unsurprisingly, aside from Funeral Pyre, the lone Foxton-Buckler-Weller credit in the group's catalogue, those were the only Jam A-sides not written by Weller. Bruce did pen a few other tracks, but they were relegated to B-sides and album tracks; he was considered a vastly inferior songwriter to Weller. Critics and fans alike agree almost unanimously that his best contribution as a songwriter is Smithers-Jones, done as a straightforward rock take for the B-side of When You're Young and later reworked with strings for the now-classic Setting Sons LP. Stiff Little Fingers would regularly perform the song live after Foxton joined.

While in The Jam, Bruce discovered and managed The Vapors, who ironically enjoyed a bigger hit in the U.S. (Turning Japanese) than The Jam would ever have.

After Paul Weller broke up The Jam in 1982 over the protests of Foxton and Buckler to follow his own muse in The Style Council, Foxton pursued a brief solo career. He had a minor UK hit with the single Freak before his solo album bombed, and he bounced from small-time group to small-time group until he got the call from Stiff Little Fingers' Jake Burns.

In the early '90s, Foxton and Buckler notably collaborated on Our Story, a biography of their years in The Jam which is often dismissed as one protracted attack on Paul Weller. Many have adduced this to jealousy, as Weller enjoys continued success and celebrity even into the 21st century. Either way, The Jam reunion many in Britain still clamor for remains extremely unlikely to Foxton


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