Thursday, January 23, 2014

Curtain Call: Joe Jackson From 1979

I respect the talent of Joe Jackson more than just about any musician out there. I really enjoy his big-band work, film scores and pop music, but those first three records he did with Gary Sanford, Graham Maby and David Houghton are his real tour de force. That's why I'm taking the time machine to the Whisky a Go Go, Hollywood, May 12. There is no way I'm missing this lineup while I'm here in 1979. These songs are taken from the A&M sampler 'Propaganda.' "Come On" is a Chuck Berry song that also appeared as a B-side to the "I'm the Man" single... and I'm sure "Throw It Away" needs no introduction.

Incidentally, this quartet reunited a decade ago on 'Volume 4.' The first run of that album included a second disc of classic live songs as recorded on their 2002 tour of the UK. I don't think it's hyperbole to say they sounded as good as they ever did.

Next stop: The Bottom Line, New York, April 4, 1979.

Joe Jackson - Throw It Away (Live) (mp3)
Joe Jackson - Come On (Live) (mp3)


Echorich said...

Beat Crazy is one fantastic! So many people thought Jackson had lost it with this angry, reggae-tinged album, but man it is imaculately produced. So many of my favorites of his are this album - In Every Dream Home (A Nightmare), Beat Crazy, Biology, Pretty Boys and the tour de force that is One To One.
Lots has been said about how early punk club DJs relied on reggae and dub because there wasn't that much Punk vinyl to play in them and this had a great effect on bands including The Clash, Stiff Little Fingers and even Joe Jackson. Pretty Boys is the New Ska that The Specials had basically cornered the market on, but it sits on the roof of their wheelhouse and shouts down at anything on their first two albums. Even the pub rock influnced tracks like Crime Don't Pay and Evil Eyes seem elevated by the crisp production.

Uncle E said...

Man that Echorich has good taste! When it was released Beat Crazy seemed like a huge disappointment to me after the amazing power pop of the first 2 albums. It wasn't until I revisited BC much, much later that the magic revealed itself, finally, like a genie unleashed after centuries in her little glass prison! OK, maybe that's pushing it, but that doesn't take away from BC in the least. In a way it reminds me of The Beat's own Wha'ppen. That was a bit of a revelation upon revisiting as well.
Nice post!

Echorich said...

@Uncle E - I humbly thank you for the kudo...When I play Beat Crazy, I get really pumped anticipating that opening shreek and twangy guitar as the tuff dub then takes over. It's almost Punk World Music! Or maybe it's just a band fed up with formula...