Friday, May 16, 2008
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Joe Jackson
Joe Jackson started out as a new wave singer songwriter similar to Elvis Costello or Graham Parker, but like Costello he has experimented with all kinds of music though a lot of us still like his early music. He was born David Ian Jackson Aug. 11, 1954 in Burton-upon-Trent, England. He suffered from asthma as a child and became interested in music because he couldn't do sports. He was classically trained but became interested in jazz as a teen and started playing piano in pubs. He joined a band called Edward Bear. Because there was already a Canadian group with that name, they changed their name to Arms & Legs but split after a couple of failed singles in 1976. It was at this time that David was nicknamed Joe because of his resemblance to a TV puppet. In 1977, he formed his own band with guitarist Gary Sanford, bassist Graham Maby & drummer Dave Houghton. The idea was to save enough money to record & release his own album. One of his demos got the attention of A & M Records producer David Kershenbaum and Jackson was signed. Look Sharp! was released in Jan. 1979 and though it didn't chart initially, it got enough attention on FM radio to turn Is She Really Going Out With Him into a top 20 hit when it was releleased in May and then the album went gold. Sunday Papers was the follow up single. Of course it's about the British tabloids and has a pretty good ska beat. Look Sharp! was released on CD with two bonus tracks in 2001. So Joe Jackson was now a pop star but would soon grow weary of new wave and started to try other kinds of music. People thought he was nuts when he released the Louis Jordan inspired Jumpin Jive in 1981. He's still trying different things today and his latest Rykodisc CD Rain was released in Jan. and features most of his original band. But Joe Jackson's Look Sharp! still holds up well today. Here's Joe Jackson performing Sunday Papers on The Old Grey Whistle Test 1979.