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"Going Underground" is the first British number-one chart single by The Jam, released in March 1980. It went straight in at number one, a rare feat at the time, and spent three weeks at the top. It was the first of three instant chart-toppers for the group.


Song profile[edit source | editbeta]Edit

"Going Underground" was not released on any of the band's six studio albums, although it has appeared on many compilations and rereleases since then. The single's B-side was "Dreams of Children", which had originally been intended to be the A-side; following a mix-up at the pressing plant, the single became a double-A-side, and DJs tended to choose the more melodic "Going Underground" to play on the radio.

In March 2005, Q magazine placed "Going Underground" at number 73 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks, and in October 2006 placed it at number 98 in their list of the 100 Greatest Songs Ever.

Lyrics[edit source | editbeta]Edit

The song includes several indictments of the British policy on arms, and challenges its relative emphasis compared with social provision. It also points a telling finger at the "public" (i.e. electorate).

You want more money of course I don't mind / To buy nuclear textbooks for Atomic crimes

The song also blasts the idea of using money, that could be spent on healthcare, on weapons:

You'll see kidney machines replaced by rockets and guns==Cultural impact[edit source | editbeta]==

The song has been used as the theme song for Air America Radio's The Majority Report.

The name of the song is also a name of a Stand in "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part8 - Jojolion".

The song is played at the end of the film The Football Factory (2004).

American rock band Buffalo Tom covered the song for the 2000 tribute album Fire and Skill: The Songs of the Jam. Issued as a double A-sided single, with Liam Gallagher and Steve Cradock's cover version of "Carnation", it reached #6 in the UK Singles Chart in October 1999.

Welsh rock band Lostprophets have covered the song both in studio and live. the studio cover appears as a b-side to 4:AM Forever and the Punk The Clock Volume 3 compilation.

Manfred Mann's Earth Band released a cover version as the opening track of their 1986 album Criminal Tango.

It is featured in the video game Rock Band as of September 1st, 2009.

It was featured in the episode "Funhouse" (3x09) of the television program Lie to Me.

I Am the World Trade Center released a cover version on their 2004 album The Cover Up.

The song provided the inspiration for the Nemesis the Warlock character in the weekly comic book 2000 AD.[1][2]

The song was parodied in 2004 by the Amateur Transplants as "London Underground", a humorous song full of abuse at the London Underground Strike.

The song was turned into "Go England" by Virgin Radio for the 2002 FIFA World Cup.[3]

The song was featured in the playlist for the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony.

It is the namesake for a Japanese Rock Band of the same name (Going Under Ground).

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