As bass player for the Jam, Bruce Foxton had the enviable role of backing one of England's most respected singer/songwriters, Paul Weller. Foxton's deft playing and harmonies certainly added to the Jam's winning sound, although his own songwriting (usually a track per album) fell below the standard set by Weller. Only "Smithers-Jones" (rock version: B-side to "When You're Young"/string version: "Setting Sons") stands out as an equal to Weller's output. When Weller put an end to the Jam in the early '80s, no one expected Foxton to rebound with a solo career, but he certainly gave it a shot. Foxton signed a deal with Arista Records and began putting together a band. Enlisting the help of former Hitmen guitarist Pete Glennister, former Hitmen keyboardist Stan Shaw, and drummer Adrian Lillywhite (brother of producer Steve), Foxton went back to work. In 1984, his rock/funk "Freak" single was released and did some very respectable business in the U.K. charts. Unfortunately, none of his other singles made a mark on the charts, nor did his Touch Sensitive album, and Foxton was dropped from the label. Shortly after his contract was terminated, Foxton hooked up with former Jam drummer Rick Buckler and vocalist Jimmy Edwards (both of whom had been members of Time UK while Foxton was struggling with his solo career) and formed the short-lived Sharp, who released a sole 7" single. After a few more years of disappointments, Foxton hooked up old friend Jake Burns and joined his legendary outfit Stiff Little Fingers in the late '80s, where he remained an integral part of the band for years.
Even if Foxton was firmly part of Stiff Little Fingers, he never entirely left the Jam behind. In the '90s, just after Paul Weller's comeback started to take hold, Foxton wrote a joint autobiography with Jam drummer Rick Buckler called Our Story, detailing their time with Weller. The bassist returned to Stiff Little Fingers, but in 2007 Foxton re-teamed with Buckler in the Jam tribute group called From the Jam, an expansion of Buckler's then-current Jam tribute band the Gift. From the Jam toured in 2007 and 2008, with a live concert set appearing in 2008, all to the reported displeasure of Paul Weller. Fate, however, has a way of intervening, and in 2009 Foxton lost his wife Pat to cancer and Weller lost his father John, the two deaths spurring a reconciliation between Bruce and Paul. Weller had Foxton in to guest on the 2010 album Wake Up the Nation, a move that jump-started Foxton's career. Soon, he assembled his own band and recorded Back in the Room, his first solo album in nearly 30 years. Weller returned the favor to Foxton by guesting on Back in the Room. ~ Steve "Spaz" Schnee