9/13/2007

You Gotta Look Sharp

I’ve been thinking for a few weeks that I needed to post some Joe Jackson. His first two albums, Look Sharp! and I’m the Man, are among my all-time favorites. Both are filled with catchy songs containing just enough sneer to keep them from being too poppy.

Several years ago I read Jackson’s autobiography, “A Cure for Gravity.” I learned Joe had studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. There, he studied composition, orchestration, and piano, while playing pop music in pubs to earn money.

I mention this because I was surprised to learn of Joe Jackson’s formal musical background. He came to the U.S. sort of lumped in with those other “angry Brits,” Graham Parker and Elvis Costello, and it wasn’t until I read his memoir that I realized he was a little different.

After I’m the Man, Jackson took his career in a different direction, exploring genres ranging from jump jazz to symphonic compositions. Unfortunately, other than the 1982 single “Steppin’ Out,” Joe’s career has yet to return to its earlier heights.

These days Jackson keeps busy fighting smoking bans. In 2003, after New York enacted its ban, he moved back to Portsmouth, England. He’s also working again as part of a piano-bass-drums trio, planning an album for release next year.

These tracks are from a May 14, 1979, show at the Old Waldorf in San Francisco.

One More Time.mp3
Pretty Girls.mp3
Look Sharp.mp3
Friday.mp3
Sunday Papers.mp3
Baby Stick Around.mp3
Is She Really Going Out With Him.mp3
Fools in Love.mp3
Life is a Bowl of Cherries.mp3
Kinda Cute.mp3
Happy Loving Couples.mp3
I’m the Man.mp3
Throw It Away.mp3
I Got the Time.mp3
Pressure Drop.mp3
Ain’t That a Shame.mp3

and ‘cuz I’m nice like that, you can unzip all the tracks here.

Also, check out the Joe Jackson archive for quite a many other cool things.

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12 Comments:

At 12:09 AM , Blogger The Idea Of Progress said...

I was listening to some Graham Parker today and reflecting on all of the Angry Young Men of Music.

Syncronicity.

 
At 2:37 PM , Blogger Nazz Nomad said...

Joe also spends some time in drag as chanteuse Dale De Vere

http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=811632

 
At 2:16 PM , Blogger samilou said...

The music looks interesting.... I'll listen to his songs one day. Feel free to view my blog.

 
At 9:35 PM , Blogger Virginia Green said...

Don't forget Common People, with William Shatner

 
At 10:07 PM , Blogger whim said...

Hi, I came across your blog while exiting my own blog.

Was impressed by the sound of Joe Jackson Band - granted, I've only listened to the first song so far.

Have downloaded the lot and will proceed to listen to it on my commute.

Great work on publicising "forgetten" or "under-rated" musicians & music!

I'll be keeping an eye on your blog. :)

from whim in Singapore
(check out my blog if you want to know what a 20-something girl-woman in Singapore thinks abt)

 
At 11:14 PM , Blogger aikin said...

Idea of Progress - yeah, I think. I often rotate through the "Angry Brits"!!

Nazz - I checked those pictures. That is pretty weird stuff I didn't know about. He left that out of his book!

Samilou - His stuff is great! You listen to the songs and I'll check out your blog! Sound fair?!? LOL

Virginia - I'm not familiar with that. Fill me in?

Whim - thanks! These are some great songs from what I think is Joe Jackson's best period. I hope you enjoy them. I'll check your blog - I'm always interested in seeing what people in other parts of the world are up to.

 
At 3:12 AM , Blogger Chaneljcoco said...

These songs are pretty awesome. Thanks for introducing me to something new.

 
At 12:20 AM , Blogger Zinternet said...

nice blog...very nice and informative

 
At 3:59 PM , Blogger leelee said...

leelee likes! BIG Fan of Joe J...

cool blog!

 
At 11:36 PM , Blogger idol-girl said...

Love Joe Jackson! Thanks for the update on him...cool blog.

 
At 12:31 PM , Blogger ron said...

Sounds interesting

 
At 1:51 AM , Blogger Cucumber Jones said...

You'll be happy to know that Joe has a new album released on January 28th 2008 called Rain. Click here for more info -

http://www.noblepr.co.uk/Press_Releases/ada/joe_jackson.htm

 

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