Part of the Backlot series from A&M featuring newly-designed artwork, digital remastering, unreleased tracks and extensive liner notes. Tracks include “Is She Really Going Out with Him?,” “Look Sharp!,” “Sunday Papers,” “Steppin’ Out,” “Nineteen Forever” and more, plus live versions of “A Slow Song” and “Memphis.”
1982 will forever be known as the year that the punks got class – or at least when Joe Jackson and Elvis Costello, rivals for the title of Britain's reigning Angry Young Man – decided that they were not just rockers, but really songwriters in the Tin Pan Alley tradition. (Graham Parker, fellow angry Brit, sat this battle out, choosing to work with Aerosmith producer Jack Douglas instead.) Both had been genre-hopping prior to 1982, but Jackson's Night and Day and Costello's Imperial Bedroom announced to the world that both were "serious songwriters," standing far apart from the clamoring punkers and silly new wavers. In retrospect, the ambitions of these two 27-year-olds (both born in August 1954, just two weeks apart) seem a little grandiose, and if Imperial Bedroom didn't live up to its masterpiece marketing campaign (stalling at number 30 on the charts without generating a hit), it has garnered a stronger reputation than Night and Day, which was a much more popular album, climbing all the way to number four on the U.S. charts, thanks to the Top Ten single "Steppin' Out".
A brilliant, accomplished debut, Look Sharp! established Joe Jackson as part of that camp of angry, intelligent young new wavers (i.e., Elvis Costello, Graham Parker) who approached pop music with the sardonic attitude and tense, aggressive energy of punk. Not as indebted to pub rock as Parker and Costello, and much more lyrically straightforward than the latter, Jackson delivers a set of bristling, insanely catchy pop songs that seethe with energy and frustration.
2 DVD set of Joe Jackson's 1980 and 1983 (three separate concerts!) performances on German TV. The first ""Rockpalast"" performance in March 1980 features Jackson and band performing songs from his new wave punk era as well as hints of things to come. The 1983 shows focus on his classic album ""Night and Day"" and its jazz, pop sound as well as revisiting his previous hits. Top notch songwriting and performances. Joe Jackson (born David Ian Jackson, 11 August 1954) is an English musician and singer-songwriter now living in Berlin, whose five Grammy Award nominations span from 1979 to 2001. He is probably best known for the 1979 hit song and first single "Is She Really Going Out with Him?", which still gets extensive US FM radio airplay; for his 1982 Top 10 hit, "Steppin' Out"; and for his 1984 success with "You Can't Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want)". He was popular for his pop/rock and New Wave music early on before moving to more eclectic, though less commercially successful, pop/jazz/classical hybrids. Joe Jackson has been nominated for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame numerous times.
In his 1999 memoir, A Cure for Gravity: A Musical Pilgrimage, Joe Jackson writes approvingly of George Gershwin as a musician who kept one foot in the popular and one in the classical realms of music. Like Gershwin, Jackson possesses a restless musical imagination that has found him straddling musical genres unapologetically, disinclined to pick one style and stick to it. The word "chameleon" often crops up in descriptions of him, but Jackson prefers to be thought of as "eclectic." Is he the Joe Jackson he appeared to be upon his popular emergence in 1979, a new wave singer/songwriter with a belligerent attitude derisively asking…