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Joe Jackson (born David Ian Jackson, 11 August 1954[1]) is an English musician and singer-songwriter now living in Berlin, whose five Grammy Awardnominations span from 1979 to 2001.[2] He is probably best known for the 1979 hit song and first single "Is She Really Going Out with Him?", which still gets extensive US FM radio airplay; for his 1982 Top 10 hit, "Steppin' Out"; and for his 1984 success with "You Can't Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want)". He was popular for his pop/rock and New Wave music early on before moving to more eclectic, though less commercially successful, pop/jazz/classical hybrids. Joe Jackson has been nominated for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame numerous times.

Biography[edit source | editbeta]Edit

The album Look Sharp! was released in 1979, followed by I'm the Man (also 1979) and Beat Crazy in 1980. He also collaborated with Lincoln Thompson in reggaecrossover.

[1][2]Jackson at the El MocamboToronto, 21 May 1979

In 1981, Jackson produced an album for the British power pop group The Keys. The Keys Album was the group's only LP.[3]

The Joe Jackson Band toured extensively. After the break-up of the band, Jackson took a break and recorded an album of old-style swing and blues tunes, Jumpin' Jive, featuring songs of Cab CallowayLester YoungGlenn Miller, and most prominently, Louis Jordan. The album, and associated single release, was credited to Joe Jackson's Jumpin' Jive.[2]

Jackson's 1982 album Night and Day was Jackson's only studio album to reach either the United States or UK Top 10, peaking at No. 4 (US) and at No. 3 (UK), and the cuts "Steppin' Out" and "Breaking Us In Two" were chart hits. The tracks "Real Men" and "A Slow Song" pointed obliquely to New York City's early 1980s gay culture.[4]

Almost two years later, Jackson recorded the UK No. 14 album Body and Soul, also heavily influenced by pop and jazz standards and salsa, showcasing the US No. 15 hit single "You Can't Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want)".

In 1986, he collaborated with Suzanne Vega on the single "Left of Center" from Pretty in Pink'soundtrack (with Vega singing and Jackson playing piano).

Jackson followed with the album Big World, with all-new songs recorded live in front of an audience instructed to remain silent while music was playing (they slip up once during the breakdown of "Soul Kiss"). Released in 1986, it was a three-sided double record – the fourth side consisted of a single centering groove and a label stating "there is no music on this side". The instrumental album "Will Power" (1987), with heavy classical and jazz influences, set the stage for things to come later, but before he left pop behind, he put out two more albums, Blaze of Glory (which he performed in its entirety during the subsequent tour) and Laughter & Lust.

Sony Classical released his Symphony No. 1 in 1999, for which he received a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album in 2001.[5]

In 1995, Joe Jackson contributed his version of "Statue of Liberty" on a tribute album to the English band XTC called "A Testimonial Dinner".

In 2003, he reunited his original quartet[2] for the album Volume 4, and a lengthy tour.

In 2004, Jackson performed a cover of Pulp's "Common People", with William Shatner for Shatner's album Has Been.

Jackson's album, Rain was released by Rykodisc on 28 January 2008 in the UK and one day later in the US.[6]

Joe Jackson and the Bigger Band featuring Regina Carter played fourteen shows in the USA and 21 show is Europe from September to November 2012.[7]

Other activities[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Jackson has actively campaigned against smoking bans in both the United States and the United Kingdom,[8] writing a 2005 pamphlet The Smoking Issue, a 2007 essaySmoke, lies and the nanny state[9][10] and issuing a satirical song ("In 20-0-3") on the subject.[11]

He described his enthusiasm for real ale in his autobiography, A Cure For Gravity, published in 1999, which Jackson has described as a "book about music, thinly disguised as a memoir". It traces his working class upbringing in Portsmouth and charts his musical life from childhood until his twenty-fourth birthday. Life as a pop star, he insisted, was hardly worth writing about.[12]

Discography[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Original albums[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Live albums[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Compilation albums[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Video albums[edit source | editbeta]Edit

  • Steppin' Out: The Videos (The Very Best of Joe Jackson) (2001, A&M)[15]
  • Joe Jackson – 25th Anniversary Special (2003, Image Entertainment)[16]

Singles[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Year Title Chart positions Album
UK[2] AUS CAN GER NL[17] NZ[18] US Hot 100[19] US Alt.[19] US Rock[19]
1978 "Is She Really Going Out with Him?" Look Sharp!
1979 "Is She Really Going Out with Him?" (re-issue) 13 15 9 46 18 21
"Sunday Papers"
"One More Time"
"Fools in Love"
"I'm the Man" 23 I'm the Man
"It's Different for Girls" 5 85
1980 "Kinda Kute" 91
"The Harder They Come" 34 (Extended play)
1981 "Jumpin' Jive" 43 61 32 Jumpin' Jive
1982 "Real Men" 6 17 48 Night and Day
"Steppin' Out" 6 30 5 28 21 6 7
1983 "Breaking Us in Two" 59 90 40 35 18
"Memphis" 85 Mike's Murder (soundtrack)
1984 "You Can't Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want)" 96 30 15 Body & Soul
"Happy Ending" (featuring Elaine Caswell) 58 47 19 57
"Be My Number Two" 70
1986 "Left of Centre" (Suzanne Vega featuring Joe Jackson) 32 35 Pretty in Pink (soundtrack)
"Right and Wrong" 64 11 Big World
1988 "Is She Really Going Out with Him? (Live)" 5 Live 1980/86
1989 "(He's a) Shape in a Drape" 87 73 35 Tucker (soundtrack)
"Nineteen Forever" 79 58 44 4 16 Blaze of Glory
1991 "Obvious Song" 64 2 28 Laughter & Lust
"Stranger Than Fiction" 79 53 71
"Oh Well" 20 25
2001 "Stranger Than You" 91 Night and Day II
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.