Not a forgotten track by a long measure, given that it’s always been held in pretty high regard, but a b-side nonetheless. The Butterfly Collector was the flipside to 1979 single Strange Town, before going on to make an appearance on the greatest hits collection Snap! in 1983, and various Jam collections ever since.
What can we learn from The Butterfly Collector? Is it an example of how b-sides used to matter to bands, or how bands had enough pride in their work to make sure the reverse didn’t shame the obverse? Do we conclude that bands, in their early flowering, often have so much good material stored up that it’s no wonder it all spills out all over their singles? Perhaps all we learn is that I’m just ridiculous enough to use a word like obverse while writing about The Jam.
One thing I’ve learned is that while I don’t really miss singles, I do rather miss b-sides.