Still, even with all the different venues and eras in their short five years, it holds together as an album. It is sequenced somewhat chronologically, but the emphasis is on songs as opposed to “live greatest hits”. While a few singles are played, many of the songs are deep album tracks, with the exception of the cover of Eddie Floyd’s “Big Bird”, an obscure Stax cut.
The original LP issue of Dig The New Breed had a unique design, with a hole in the cover to show off the special labels. It was a decent gesture, but hardly compensation for fans who were mourning the loss of their favorite band. At least the horn section doesn’t get too much in the way.
Both albums are essential for the fan, and educational for those wondering what all the fuss about. Thankfully, the BBC had saved a few of the band’s performances, so the now-hard-to-find The Jam At The BBC delivers three discs worth of radio performances, including lengthy sets from 1978 and 1981, plus a full hour-long show from—where else?—the Rainbow in 1979.