Song of the Day #2,424: ‘Fifty Dollar Love Affair’ – Joe Jackson

joe_jackson_big_worldJoe Jackson’s Big World is an album I want to know much better than I do.

Released in 1986, it’s an album of original material that was recorded and mixed live with no added overdubs or post-production. The audience was asked not to applaud during or immediately after the performances. Stew used a similar tactic on his great album, The Naked Dutch Painter and Other Songs.

Jackson cleared up a couple of misconceptions about the album:

‘I want to clear up two myths about this record which still crop up all the time. Myth 1: During the live recording of the album, the audience was forbidden to applaud. Fact: There was plenty of applause. We were just playing a lot of unfamiliar material, and recording it for an album, so the audience were asked to hold it until they were sure a song was finished. They understood this and there was no problem. Myth 2: It’s a double album with a side missing. Fact: This was my first album to be released on CD, where the running time was not an issue. I was having a hard time deciding what to leave out for the LP, though, and I suggested making a 3-sided one, and selling it for the price of a regular album. Much to my surprise, the record company said yes. So rather than a side missing, you got an extra side. Critics, of course, hadn’t had to pay for it.’

Oh, the romance of these harbor towns
Lights that shimmer on canals
And in the bottom of your glass
The air buzzing with foreign tongues
And the occasional cries
Of sailors, tramps and rock n’ rollers

Hey babe, you look so hot tonight
Hey hey, come on over here
I’ll treat you right ’cause

A man’s a man, alright
Just like any other man
He’ll search the town tonight
For a fifty dollar love affair

Another taste of cheap delight
Street food sizzling outside
Washed down with the local poison
These back alleys with their pinkish lights
And the occasional cries
Of smugglers, bums and credit card holders

Hey babe, I feel so good tonight
I got shore leave and I sure ain’t leavin’
Here till I prove that

A man’s a man, alright
Just like any other man
He’ll search the town tonight
For a fifty dollar love affair

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One thought on “Song of the Day #2,424: ‘Fifty Dollar Love Affair’ – Joe Jackson

  1. Dana says:

    I haven’t played this album in years, but back in the day, it was one of my favorites. Thanks for putting it back on my radar.

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