Joe Jackson | Zoom 78-91

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Joe Jackson | #joejackson |
(David Ian Jackson)
[1954-…], Burton-Upon-Trent, Staffordshire, United Kingdom |
Wiki#094 |


David Ian “Joe” Jackson is an English musician and singer-songwriter.

Born in England, Joe Jackson lived in New York before moving to Berlin.

His career, during which he recorded nineteen studio albums and garnered five Grammy Award nominations, spans from 1979 to today.

In 1978 a record producer heard his demo tape, and got him signed to A&M Records. The next year the newly formed Joe Jackson Band released their debut album, Look Sharp!. Its mix of energetic New Wave rock and bitter British punk was in a similar style to the music of Elvis Costello and Graham Parker. The album enjoyed wide critical success: in 2013 Rolling Stone magazine named Look Sharp! number 98 in a list of the 100 best debut albums of all time. Some commercial success also followed, as the debut single “Is She Really Going Out with Him?” reached the top 40 in 5 countries, and no. 9 in Canada.

The Joe Jackson Band released I’m the Man in 1979. The album followed a similar musical pattern, and received good, though not as strong, reviews. It did produce the single “It’s Different for Girls”, which became Jackson’s highest charting UK single, peaking at no. 5.

Beat Crazy followed in 1980. Jackson also collaborated with Lincoln Thompson in reggae crossover.

The Joe Jackson Band toured extensively until it broke up. Jackson subsequently recorded an album of old-style swing and blues tunes, Jumpin’ Jive, with songs by Cab Calloway, Lester Young, Glenn Miller, and Louis Jordan. The album, and associated single release, was credited to the band Joe Jackson’s Jumpin’ Jive.

Jackson’s 1982 album Night and Day was his only studio album to reach either the UK or US Top 10, peaking at No. 3 (UK) and at No. 4 (US), and the cuts “Steppin’ Out” and “Breaking Us in Two” were both top 20 hits. The tracks “Real Men” and “A Slow Song” referred obliquely to New York City’s early 1980s gay culture.

By 1984, New York had become Jackson’s home base, and he recorded Body and Soul there, an album he later said was “from the point of view of a relative newcomer”. Heavily influenced by pop and jazz standards and salsa, it had the US No. 15 hit single “You Can’t Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want)”.

In 1985 Jackson played piano on Joan Armatrading’s 1985 album Secret Secrets, and in 1986 he collaborated with Suzanne Vega on the single “Left of Center” from Pretty in Pink’s soundtrack.

Jackson’s next album was Big World, with all-new songs recorded live in front of an audience instructed to remain silent while music was playing. Released in 1986, it was a three-sided double record; the fourth side consisted of a single centering groove and a label stating “there is no music on this side”. The instrumental album Will Power (1987), with heavy classical and jazz influences, set the stage for things to come later, but before he left pop behind, he put out two more albums, Blaze of Glory (which he performed in its entirety during the subsequent tour) and Laughter & Lust. In 1995, Jackson contributed his version of “Statue of Liberty” on a tribute album for the English band XTC called A Testimonial Dinner: The Songs of XTC.

Good session! Enjoy!


44 – Joe Jackson – Obvious Song – 1991
41 – Joe Jackson – Stranger Than Fiction – 1991
38 – Joe Jackson – Down to London – 1989
37 – Joe Jackson – Nineteen Forever – 1989
34 – Joe Jackson & Suzanne Vega – Left of Center – 1986
31 – Joe Jackson – Home Town – 1986
30 – Joe Jackson – Right and Wrong – 1986
28 – Joe Jackson – You Can’t Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want) [Live] – 1984
26 – Joe Jackson & Elaine Caswell – Happy Ending – 1984
19 – Joe Jackson – Steppin’ Out – 1982
18 – Joe Jackson – Breaking Us in Two – 1982
17 – Joe Jackson – Real Men – 1982
10 – Joe Jackson Band – Mad at You – 1980
7 – Joe Jackson – It’s Different for Girls – 1979
6 – Joe Jackson – I’m the Man – 1979
3 – Joe Jackson – Sunday Papers – 1979
2 – Joe Jackson – Is She Really Going Out With Him? – 1978

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