Song of the Day #3,870: ‘Friend Better’ – Joe Jackson

Singer-songwriter and all-around cool guy Joe Jackson has released his first new album in four years. Titled Fool, the record is receiving some of his best reviews in years.

I was actually surprised to see Jackson has been relatively prolific over the past couple of decades. Fool is his sixth release of the 2000s, which isn’t exactly a torrid pace but more than I would have guessed, likely due to a lack of publicity.

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Song of the Day #3,161: ‘The Other Me’ – Joe Jackson

joe_jackson_laughter_lustMy #4 album of 1990 is Joe Jackson’s Laughter & Lust, the signer-songwriter’s 12th studio album and the last to have any kind of chart success. This is the first Jackson album I owned and I played it quite a bit during my early college years.

My favorite track on Laughter & Lust is today’s SOTD, ‘The Other Me.’ It’s a brazenly romantic song about regretting the loss of an old love, but not quite enough to end your current relationship.

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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.

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Song of the Day #1,682: ‘Tomorrow’s World’ – Joe Jackson

blaze_of_gloryThere is something about much of Joe Jackson’s music that keeps me at arm’s length. A broad, theatrical quality merged with a braininess that makes it difficult to form an emotional connection.

I don’t feel that way about all of his songs but I feel that way about enough of them to keep me from listening to him very often.

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Song of the Day #1,661: ‘The Old Songs’ – Joe Jackson

joe_jackson_laughter_lust1991’s Laughter & Lust was the last “traditional” album Joe Jackson released, and it was my first exposure to him (apart from knowing ‘Steppin’ Out’ and ‘Breaking Us in Two’ from the radio).

I remember buying the album because the cover and general vibe reminded me of Elvis Costello’s Spike, and having recently discovered Mr. Costello, I thought maybe I’d luck into another great discovery.

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Song of the Day #1,633: ‘How Long Must I Wait For You’ – Joe Jackson

joe_jackson_jumpin_jiveFifteen years before swing music hit mainstream pop culture through bands such as the Brian Setzer Orchestra, Squirrel Nut Zippers and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Joe Jackson put out his own album of swing covers called Jumpin’ Jive.

Jumpin’ Jive was Jacksin’s fourth album and it was released just three years after his debut. It was followed a year later (in 1982) by Night and Day, his most successful record (which featured ‘Steppin’ Out’ and ‘Breaking Us in Two’).

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Song of the Day #666: ‘Steppin’ Out’ – Joe Jackson

I recently had a request for a Joe Jackson song on the blog, so here it is.

I’m actually surprised this is the first time I’ve featured Jackson. I like his music a lot, own several of his albums and consider him a uniquely talented artist. In fact, he’s not just worthy of a SOTD, he’s worthy of his own theme week.

I’m guessing the reason I’ve avoided Jackson is that for all his talent he tends to leave me a little bit cold. There’s a studied quality to his music that I don’t find all that inviting.

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