Sunday, November 15, 2009

Number 367 - Joe Jackson

Number 367

Joe Jackson

"Breaking Us In Two"

................Genre: Alt Pop...............
art by Getty
Heh! ~ I got the honour of writing a guy song.
Why? ‘cause I’m that freaking good or is it because the mighty crowbarred is just to busy or lazy? I’ll let you decide.
When I first started listening to this song, I was in a slightly agitated frame of mind. I read the lyrics which didn’t change the frame of mind, but then my baby touched me and that changed the mind set.
So now we’re ready to write as it should be written.

Joe has an unique voice, one that grates me a little but in a slightly good way.
Some of the words relate to my ‘now’

"Could we be much closer if we tried
We could stay at home and stare
Into each other`s eyes
There have been so many things that have tried to break us in two unsuccessfully.
I highly doubt anything could. No matter what, no matter who, ‘we’ will always be the unbreakable.
Short and sweet this week, got lots to do and little time to do it. Anyways, lets let the man himself finish this off and I’ll talk at you again real soon with some real life insights to me (grins)
~ Tez
Detective David Jackson [AKA: Frank]
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 though 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, "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" The reggae-influenced Joe Jackson of 1980's Beat Crazy? The jump blues revivalist of 1981's Joe Jackson's Jumpin' Jive? The New York salsa-styled singer of 1982's "Steppin' Out"? The R&B/jazz-inflected Jackson of 1984's Body & Soul? Or is he David Ian Jackson, L.R.A.M. (Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music), who composes and conducts instrumental albums of contemporary classical music such as 1987's Will Power and 1999's Grammy-winning Symphony No. 1? He is all of these, Jackson himself no doubt would reply, and a few others besides.
Don't you feel like?
In October 1978, A&M released the first Joe Jackson single, "Is She Really Going Out With Him?," a rhythmic ballad in which the singer ponders why "pretty women" are attracted to "gorillas" and worries about his own inadequacy. The record failed to chart, but Jackson and his band continued to tour around the U.K. and began to attract press attention. Look Sharp!, his debut album, followed in January 1979, again, to no significant sales at first. The LP contained more songs in the vein of "Is She Really Going Out With Him?," many of them uptempo rockers with strong melodies and lyrics full of romantic disappointment and social criticism, bitterly expressed and with more than a touch of self-deprecation. (One, "Got the Time," was sufficiently raucous to be covered by heavy metal band Anthrax in essentially the same arrangement on its Persistence of Time album in 1990.) A&M released "Sunday Papers," an attack on the salaciousness of tabloid newspapers, as a single in February, again without reaction. But in March, Look Sharp! finally broke into the charts, eventually peaking at the bottom of the Top 40. The same month, A&M released the album in the U.S., and it quickly charted, reaching the Top 20 after "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" was released as a single in May (while Jackson toured North America) and became a Top 40 hit; in September, the LP was certified gold in the U.S. In the U.K., "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" was re-released in July and charted in August, making the Top 20. Jackson was nominated for a 1979 Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male, for the single.
I am the man!
Jackson seemed to have abandoned new wave rock for a catchy pop-jazz-salsa-dance hybrid, and he backed the release with a yearlong world tour as A&M put considerable promotional muscle behind the LP. "Steppin' Out" became a multi-format hit, earning airplay on album-oriented rock (AOR) radio before spreading to the pop and adult contemporary charts, placing in the Top Ten all around and eventually earning Grammy nominations for Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male. With that stimulus, the album reached the Top Ten and went gold, spawning a second Top 20 single in "Breaking Us in Two.". The early years of the 21st century found him in a flurry of activity, much of it returning him to the pop music realm. In June 2000, Sony Classical, through Jackson's imprint, Manticore, issued Summer in the City: Live in New York, an album drawn from an August 1999 concert that featured him playing piano and singing, backed only by Maby and drummer Gary Burke, performing some of his old songs along with covers of tunes by the Lovin' Spoonful, Duke Ellington, and the Beatles, among others. Four months later came Night and Day II, a new set of songs in the spirit of his most popular recording. Touring to promote the album in Europe and North America from November to April 2001, Jackson recorded the concert CD Two Rainy Nights: Live in the Northwest (The Official Bootleg), released in January 2002 on his own Great Big Island label through his website, (The album was reissued to retail by Koch in 2004.) ~ [William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide]
Night and Day (album)
Night and Day paid tribute to the wit and style of Cole Porter (and indirectly to New York). Night and Day was Jackson's only studio album to reach the Top 5 in both the UK and U.S. Night and Day sold over one million copies, earning gold disc status. The tracks "Real Men" and "A Slow Song" pointed obliquely to the city's early 1980s gay culture. A&M put considerable promotional muscle behind the album, and the resultant single "Steppin' Out" became a multi-format hit, eventually earning Grammy nominations for Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male. The album also spawned a second Top 20 U.S. hit single in "Breaking Us in Two". Jackson finished his Night and Day touring in May 1983. While "Steppin' Out" was a Top 10 in both the UK and the U.S. (UK #6, U.S. #6); "Breaking Us in Two" was a Top 20 hit in the U.S. (#18), but charted lower in the UK (#59 This was a rare occurrence in which one of his singles charted higher in the U.S. than the UK. ~ [Source: Wikipedia]
For more Joe Jackson see #490
For Beatles see #489, #587, #894, #947
What does Trolling Stoned think of Mr Jackson?
Twenty years before Brian Setzer [Stray Cats] made a mint covering Louis Prima, Jackson was mining the same territory on Jumpin' Jive, one of his best stylistic jaunts. He doesn't really have the pipes for '40s R&B, but he does a fair job of conjuring up the horny "Saturday Night Fish Fry" spirit of Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five. Night and Day takes a dance-floor spin through Spanish Harlem, and oddly enough, the collision of salsafied disco with Jackson's sour-milk worldview catches fire. (It also garnered him his only Top 10 single, "Steppin' Out.") Body and Soul's "Happy Ending" and "Be My Number Two" hark back to the incisive cynicism of Jackson's breakthrough albums; the rest of the record, which incorporates elements of jazz and even musical theater, could do with a little less politeness. Big World was clearly meant to be a big deal -- three sides of all-new material, recorded live in front of a New York audience, with a solid-rocking quartet sound -- but few of Jackson's awkward topical missives find their target, despite the crisp musical accompaniment. ~ [Source: Rolling Stone]
Rolling Stone magazine deemed their '367th Song of all Time' was "White Room" by Cream. Cream has appeared in The Definitive 1000 of All Time @ #554
Other songs with reference to Joe Jackson ~ #907, #975
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (Lets see.....) and the Album ranked at (NO!)
This song has a Definitive rating of 80.3 out of 108
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