Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Raindrops keep falling on Joe Jackson

One of the best singer songwriters from the heyday of 1979, is back with a new studio album in January 08. The new album, "Rain" is Jackson's best album since 1982's milestone "Night and Day", which featured the infectious "Steppin' Out".

Joe Jackson, best known for his 1979 debut album "Look Sharp", which was recently voted as one of the "1000 Most Important Albums to Hear Before You Die" in the UK's Guardian newspaper, is set to release his first studio album in four years, "Rain". Back in the late seventies Jackson and the Police were the big selling artists on the now defunct A&M Records (home of The Carpenters).

I've been fortunate to have a listen to an advance copy of the new Rykodisc album. It's a welcome return to Joe's original stripped down no-nonsense sound of piano, vocals, drums and bass guitar.

If you thought the songs on 1979's "Look Sharp" were a fluke, think again, because Joe is the true master of singer/songwriting. What's more, for the album he brought in a little help from Graham Maby (bass) and Dave Houghton (drums) - the same musicians who played on his first three albums; "Look Sharp" (1979), "Im The Man" (1979) and "Beat Crazy" (1980).

Released by Rykodisc, standout tracks include the opening number the emotive opener "Invisible Man", the rockin' "Citizen Sane" and the stunning ballad "Wasted Time".

Joe's last studio album, "Volume 4", was released back in 2003, so getting this new platter has been a long time coming, but worth the wait. Joe is still looking sharp, and lyrically, he cuts through popular culture with a swiss army knife.

It will be wonderful to see Joe in concert at the London Sheperd's Bush Empire on Sunday 2nd March 2008. Hopefully, it won't be raining, but seeing that it rains practically every day in London, I'll try to remember to bring my umbrella.


idol-girl said...

Joe Jackson has always been completely under-rated as a musician. I love his stuff from back in the day.

TerminalMF said...

Joe has been a consistent force to be reckoned with from his first release on. Many people left him for dead when he started wandering towards more of an eclectic sound, but I'll vouch for Night Music and Symphony #1 just as much as I will for Night and Day and Big World. A brilliant man, this bloke is. I can barely contain my excitement about the new album! Good words!

Cucumber Jones said...

Thanks for your comments about Joe Jackson - the GREAT Joe Jackson. Rock on!

Lola said...

I've loved Joe Jackson's music since 1979, when I heard "Look Sharp!" on KMET 94.7, which is now the Wave. I have all of his albums, and have made his music part of the soundtrack of my family's life. I am really enjoying every song on "Rain", and look forward to seeing him when he comes to Los Angeles on May 13th. If you miss this show, you have really missed something great, so LA Joe Jackson fans, come on out!


Kiko Jones said...

Considering I'm more partial to the more guitar-inclusive tracks from his catalog, it's kinda funny I enjoyed Rain way more than Vol. 4, which I found a bit lackluster overall.
I still would've enjoyed hearing some six-string on Rain--especially since it's quite live-sounding sounding and Paul Kolderie and Sean Slade were involved--but enjoyed the album, nonetheless.

Kudos, CJ.