THE JAM - 'The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had To Swallow)'/'Pity Poor Alfie'/'Fever' (Polydor POSP 505) Sept 1982

I watched the final episode of 'This Is England 86' last night and this Jam tune played out as the end credits rolled. A nostalgic burst of memories came fooding back as soon as I heard the opening guitar riff and I dug out the 45 for the first time in decades.
Back in '82 I never cared much for the song because it sounded way too souly for me. But I bought it anyway as it was the new Jam single and I'd bought every new record on the day of release since 'Down In The Tube Station At Midnight', those were the days.

Listening to the song today now that I'm older and wiser, I can appreciate the 'sound' Weller was after. His vocals sound excelent and that guitar riff is maybe short but it sounds rather good don't you think.
It's more or less the first Style Council single in truth. Around this time, bass player Bruce Foxton complained that The Jam had become The Paul Weller Show.

'The Bitterest Pill' was recorded at Maison Rouge Studios in Fulham, London during the early part of 1982 and released this month 28 years ago. It's notable for the ornate string accompaniment arranged by Paul Weller and producer Peter Wilson.

Vaughn Toulouse from Department S posed on the single's front cover. He was standing in what looks like a medieval prison cell possibly awaiting execution. 

THE JAM - The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had To Swallow)   

Here's a picture of me taken in 1982 (aged 17) and would have been around the time this single was released. Note The Jam posters on the wall. Don't remember what happened to those wraparound shades!!!


  1. Never really a Jam fan, although thought they got better as they went on and loved this tune. I'll swap you that pic for one of me in King's Road 1980

  2. I don't really like The Jam at all really, my dream is to throw actual Jam at Weller, particularly his hair.

    I do however like your blogs and enjoy the personal touches in each of your posts.

  3. Blast from my past. I actually loved this record then, though all my friends hated it because of the strings.......still do.


Post a comment