Joe Jackson (musician)

Last updated

Joe Jackson
Joe-Jackson3.jpg
Jackson performing in Arizona, November 1982
Background information
Birth nameDavid Ian Jackson
Born (1954-08-11) 11 August 1954 (age 68)
Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, England
Genres
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
Instrument(s)
  • Vocals
  • keyboards
  • saxophone
Years active1970–present
Labels A&M, Sony Classical, Virgin/EMI, Rykodisc, E1/Koch
Website joejackson.com

David Ian "Joe" Jackson (born 11 August 1954) [1] is an English musician, singer and songwriter. Having spent years studying music and playing clubs, he scored a hit with his first release, "Is She Really Going Out with Him?", in 1979. It was followed by a number of new wave singles, before he moved to more jazz-inflected pop music and had a top 10 hit in 1982 with "Steppin' Out". Jackson is associated with the 1980s Second British Invasion of the US. [3] He has also composed classical music. He has recorded 20 studio albums and received five Grammy Award nominations. [4]

Contents

Biography

Early years

Born in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, England, [5] David Jackson spent his first year in nearby Swadlincote, Derbyshire. He grew up in the Paulsgrove area of Portsmouth, where he attended the Portsmouth Technical High School. Jackson's parents moved to nearby Gosport when he was a teenager. He learned to play the violin but soon switched to piano, and prevailed on his father to install one in the hall of their Paulsgrove council house. Jackson began playing piano in bars at the age of 16, and also won a scholarship to study musical composition at London's Royal Academy of Music. [5]

Jackson's first band, formed in Gosport, was called Edward Bear, [note 1] later renamed Arms and Legs. [5] The band broke up in 1976 after two unsuccessful singles. He was still known as David Jackson when he joined Arms and Legs, but he picked up the nickname "Joe", based on his perceived resemblance to the British television puppet character Joe 90, a genius child spy. Jackson legally changed his name to Joe at age 20. [6] [7] Jackson then spent some time performing on the cabaret circuit to make money to record a demo.

Joe Jackson Band

In 1978, a record producer heard Jackson's demo tape and signed him to A&M Records. [5] The next year the newly formed Joe Jackson Band released their debut album Look Sharp! . [5] A mix of rock, melodic jazz, and new wave, it mined a vein similar to contemporaries Elvis Costello and Graham Parker. The album enjoyed wide critical success: in 2013, Rolling Stone magazine named Look Sharp! number 98 in a list of the 100 best debut albums of all time. Some commercial success also followed, as the debut single "Is She Really Going Out with Him?" reached the top 40 in five countries, and No. 9 in Canada.

The Joe Jackson Band released I'm the Man in 1979. [5] The album followed a similar musical pattern, and received good, though not as strong, reviews. It did produce the single "It's Different for Girls", which became Jackson's highest charting UK single, peaking at no. 5. [8] Beat Crazy followed in 1980. [5] Jackson also collaborated with Lincoln Thompson in reggae crossover. [4]

Jackson at El Mocambo, Toronto, 21 May 1979 Joe Jackson2.jpg
Jackson at El Mocambo, Toronto, 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. [9] The Joe Jackson Band toured extensively until it broke up. Jackson subsequently recorded an album of old-style swing and blues tunes, Jumpin' Jive , with songs by Cab Calloway, Lester Young, Glenn Miller, and Louis Jordan. [5] The album, and associated single release, was credited to the band "Joe Jackson's Jumpin' Jive". [4]

Jackson's 1982 album, Night and Day , [5] was his only studio album to chart in the UK and US Top 10, peaking at No. 3 (UK) [8] and at No. 4 (US). [10] Two singles released from the album, "Steppin' Out" and "Breaking Us in Two", were US top 20 hits. The tracks "Real Men" and "A Slow Song" referred obliquely to New York City's early 1980s gay culture, critiquing its exclusiveness and asking for a slow song in the disco respectively. [11] "Real Men" also became a top 10 hit in Australia. [12]

By 1984, New York had become Jackson's home base, [5] and he recorded Body and Soul there, [5] an album he later said was "from the point of view of a relative newcomer". [13] Heavily influenced by pop and jazz standards and salsa, it had the US No. 15 hit single "You Can't Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want)". [14]

In 1985, Jackson played piano on Joan Armatrading's album Secret Secrets , and in 1986 he collaborated with Suzanne Vega on the single "Left of Center" from Pretty in Pink 's soundtrack. Jackson's next album was Big World , with all-new songs recorded live in front of an audience instructed to remain silent while music was playing. 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 . [5] In 1995, Jackson contributed his version of "Statue of Liberty" on a tribute album for the English band XTC called A Testimonial Dinner: The Songs of XTC .

Post-pop

In the late 1990s, Jackson expanded into classical music; he signed with Sony Classical in 1997 and released Symphony No. 1 in 1999, for which he received a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Album in 2001. [15] In 2000, he released a follow-up album, Night and Day II. [16]

In 2003, he reunited his original quartet [4] for the album Volume 4 , and a lengthy tour. In 2004, he contributed a cover of Pulp's "Common People" with William Shatner for Shatner's album Has Been . In 2005, he teamed up with Todd Rundgren and the string quartet ETHEL for a tour of the US and Europe. A dedicated smoker, he gave up his New York apartment in 2006 partly in protest over the ascendancy of smoking bans, and made the Berlin neighbourhood Kreuzberg his new home. It was there that he recorded, with longtime collaborators Graham Maby and Dave Houghton, his eighteenth studio album, Rain (Rykodisc, January 2008); the album was followed by a five-month tour. [17]

In 2015, Jackson announced the completion of his follow-up to 2012's The Duke via his official website. The album's title, Fast Forward , and track list were confirmed in addition to North American tour dates. The titular first single was released for streaming via his official SoundCloud page. The entire record was briefly posted before being taken down a day later. [18]

On 18 January 2019, Jackson released the album Fool , preceded by the songs "Fabulously Absolute", "Strange Land" and "Friend Better".[ citation needed ] Jackson said about the album on his website: "One of my inspirations for this album was the band I've been touring with on and off for the last 3 years. I've had many different line-ups but this one is special." Jackson and the band performed "Fabulously Absolute" on Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show on 21 January 2019.[ citation needed ]Fool debuted in the top 20 album charts in Holland, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. In the US, it debuted at No. 25 on Billboard's Top Album Sales Chart. In the UK, it entered the Indie Albums Chart at No. 13.

Personal life

Jackson spent a number of years living in New York City, which served as an inspiration for his 1982 song "Steppin' Out". In a 2018 interview, Jackson said "I don't like New York much these days. It's as if the city and I had a hot love affair and now we're just friends, but we still have to see each other to remain friends. Today I live in Berlin. The New York I knew in late '81 and '82 is gone." [19] Jackson currently resides in Berlin, but also owns homes in New York and Portsmouth. [20]

Jackson was married to his wife, Ruth, for two years, but the marriage ended in divorce and was later called a "disaster" by Jackson. In a 2001 interview with the Irish Independent , Jackson stated that he was in a relationship with a male partner. [21] Jackson had previously discussed his bisexuality in his autobiography A Cure for Gravity. [22] His questioning of potential homosexuality and same-sex attraction is explored in the 1982 single "Real Men". [23]

Other activities

Jackson has actively campaigned against smoking bans in both the United States and the United Kingdom, publishing a 2005 pamphlet (The Smoking Issue) [24] and a 2007 essay (Smoke, Lies and the Nanny State), [25] and recording a satirical song ("In 20-0-3") on the subject. [26]

Jackson wrote an autobiography titled A Cure for Gravity, published in 1999, which he 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 24th birthday. Life as a pop star, he said, was hardly worth writing about. [27]

Material loss

Jackson was among hundreds of artists whose material was destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire. [28]

Discography

Bibliography

Notes

  1. Not to be confused with the band of the same name, which disbanded in 1974.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The Cure</span> English rock band

The Cure are an English rock band formed in 1978 in Crawley, West Sussex. Throughout numerous lineup changes since the band's formation, guitarist, lead vocalist, and songwriter Robert Smith has remained the only constant member. The band's debut album, Three Imaginary Boys (1979), along with several early singles, placed the band in the post-punk and new wave movements that had sprung up in the United Kingdom. Beginning with their second album, Seventeen Seconds (1980), the band adopted a new, increasingly dark and tormented style, which, together with Smith's stage look, had a strong influence on the emerging genre of gothic rock as well as the subculture that eventually formed around the genre.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Def Leppard</span> British rock band

Def Leppard are an English rock band formed in 1976 in Sheffield. Since 1992, the band has consisted of Rick Savage, Joe Elliott, Rick Allen, Phil Collen, and Vivian Campbell. They established themselves as part of the new wave of British heavy metal movement of the early 1980s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jumpin' Jack Flash</span> 1968 single by The Rolling Stones

"Jumpin' Jack Flash" is a song by the English rock band the Rolling Stones, released as a non-album single in 1968. Called "supernatural Delta blues by way of Swinging London" by Rolling Stone magazine, the song was perceived by some as the band's return to their blues roots after the baroque pop and psychedelia heard on their preceding albums Aftermath (1966), Between the Buttons (1967) and especially Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967). One of the group's most popular and recognisable songs, it has featured in films and been covered by numerous performers, notably Thelma Houston, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Peter Frampton, Johnny Winter, Leon Russell and Alex Chilton. To date, it is the band's most-performed song: they have played it over 1,100 times in concert.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pat Benatar</span> American rock singer and songwriter

Patricia Mae Giraldo, known professionally as Pat Benatar, is an American rock singer and songwriter. In the United States, she has had two multi-platinum albums, five platinum albums, and 15 Billboard top 40 singles, while in Canada she had eight straight platinum albums, and she has sold over 35 million albums worldwide. She is also a four-time Grammy Award winner. She will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in November 2022.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cleopatra (group)</span> British girl group

Cleopatra are an English girl group, consisting of sisters Cleo and Yonah Higgins. Originally a trio, Zainam Higgins departed from the group in 2017. Their debut single, "Cleopatra's Theme" entered the UK Singles Chart at number 3, and the Billboard Hot 100 at number 26. They parted ways with WEA after the release of their second album.

<i>Night and Day</i> (Joe Jackson album) 1982 studio album by Joe Jackson

Night and Day is the fifth studio album by English musician Joe Jackson, released in June 1982 by A&M Records. It reached the top five in both the United Kingdom and United States, Jackson's only studio album to do so in either country. The album has been certified gold in the UK and US, and achieved platinum status in Canada. It has sold over one million copies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Peter Wolf</span> American musician

Peter Wolf is an American musician best known as the lead vocalist of the J. Geils Band from 1967 to 1983 and as a solo artist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Graham Maby</span> English musical artist

Graham Maby, is an English bass guitar player. He has recorded and toured with Joe Jackson since his first album, appearing on most of Jackson's albums and tours. He has continued to record and tour with Jackson even while working with other artists.

<i>Body and Soul</i> (Joe Jackson album) 1984 studio album by Joe Jackson

Body and Soul is the seventh studio album by English singer-songwriter Joe Jackson, released on 14 March 1984 by A&M Records. Jackson's first fully digital project, it peaked at No. 14 in the UK, while in the US it reached No. 20. Described by one reviewer as a sophisti-pop album, the tracks are a mix of pop, jazz and Latin music, showcasing the hit single "You Can't Get What You Want ". Two other singles fared well, with "Happy Ending" charting in five countries, and "Be My Number Two" enjoying moderate success in the UK.

"Jumpin' Jive" is a famous jazz/swing composition, written by Cab Calloway, Frank Froeba, and Jack Palmer. Originally recorded on 17 July 1939, on Vocalion Records, it sold over a million copies and reached #2 on the Pop chart. Calloway performs the song with his orchestra and the Nicholas Brothers in the 1943 musical film Stormy Weather.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Is She Really Going Out with Him?</span> 1978 single by Joe Jackson

"Is She Really Going Out with Him?" is a song written and performed by British musician Joe Jackson. It was released in October 1978 as his debut single and was later included on Jackson's debut album, Look Sharp! The track was one of the first Jackson recorded with his new backing band, a band he would perform with for his first three albums. Written as a humorous commentary on women dating unattractive men, the song contains a prominent bass line and a chorus praised by critics as memorable. Jackson has since stated that the song's reputation for being angry was untrue.

<i>Live 1980/86</i> Live album by Joe Jackson

Live 1980/86 is a Joe Jackson double live album, released in May 1988. It was recorded during the 1980 Beat Crazy tour, the 1982-83 Night and Day tour, the 1984 Body & Soul tour, and the 1986 Big World tour. Notably, the album contains three different versions of "Is She Really Going Out with Him?"

<i>Laughter & Lust</i> 1991 studio album by Joe Jackson

Laughter & Lust is the 11th studio album by Joe Jackson, released in 1991. A year before, he left A&M Records, which soon released Steppin' Out: The Very Best of Joe Jackson, which became a Top Ten hit in the UK. Jackson subsequently signed a recording contract with Virgin Records.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby</span> Song written and performed by Louis Jordan

"Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby" is a song written by Louis Jordan and Billy Austin. The song's first recording, by Jordan, was made on October 4, 1943. It was released as the B-side of a single with "G.I. Jive" with the title "Is You Is or Is You Ain't ". The song reached No. 1 on the US folk/country charts, number two for three weeks on the pop chart, and number three on the R&B chart.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Steppin' Out (Joe Jackson song)</span> 1982 single by Joe Jackson

"Steppin' Out" is a song by English musician Joe Jackson, originally included on his 1982 album Night and Day. The song, inspired by Jackson's time in New York City, was his highest-charting single in America, where it peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. It reached the same position in Jackson's native UK.

David Kershenbaum is an American record producer and entrepreneur, born in Springfield, Missouri. He has worked with many artists including Duran Duran, Tracy Chapman, Joe Jackson, Laura Branigan, Bryan Adams, Supertramp, Cat Stevens, Elkie Brooks, and Tori Amos. As a producer he has earned 75 international gold and platinum albums. His work has yielded multiple Grammys and an Oscar nomination.

"Got the Time" is a song written and performed by the British new wave musician Joe Jackson, appearing as the closing track on his 1979 debut album, Look Sharp!. The song has since been performed frequently in live concerts by Jackson.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nineteen Forever</span> 1989 single by Joe Jackson

"Nineteen Forever" is a song by British singer-songwriter and musician Joe Jackson, which was released in 1989 as the lead single from his eighth studio album Blaze of Glory. It was written and produced by Jackson. "Nineteen Forever" reached No. 4 on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks and No. 16 on Billboard Album Rock Tracks charts.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joe Jackson discography</span>

This page lists albums, singles, and compilations by the musician Joe Jackson. Jackson's recording career as a solo artist began in 1979, with the release of his debut album Look Sharp!. The album was recorded with the Joe Jackson Band, with whom he would release two more albums, I'm the Man and Beat Crazy, the latter of which was credited to the full band rather than simply Jackson.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Memphis (Joe Jackson song)</span> 1983 song by Joe Jackson

"Memphis" is a song by English singer-songwriter and musician Joe Jackson, which was released in 1983 as a single from the soundtrack album of the American film Mike's Murder. The song was written by Jackson, and produced by Jackson and David Kershenbaum. "Memphis" reached No. 85 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

References

  1. 1 2 "Allmusic biography". AllMusic . Retrieved 11 August 2010.
  2. "The Duke". Rolling Stone . Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  3. Chiu, David (4 July 2013). "A look back at 1983: The year of the second British Invasion". CBS News . Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 274. ISBN   1-904994-10-5.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 1247. ISBN   0-85112-939-0.
  6. Jackson, Joe. "A Cure for Gravity: A Musical Journey" 1 October 1999
  7. McGuinn, Jim (15 February 2019). "Catching up with Joe Jackson". The Current . Minnesota Public Radio . Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  8. 1 2 "Official Charts > Joe Jackson". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  9. Mike Paulsen (2009). "The Keys : The Keys Album". New Wave Outpost. Archived from the original on 22 December 2010. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
  10. "Chart runs for Joe Jackson: US albums". UKmix.org. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  11. ""NPR Weekend Edition Sunday: Gay Pop Music", 22 June 2003". Npr.org. 22 June 2003. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
  12. Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 . St Ives, N.S.W., Australia: Australian Chart Book. ISBN   0-646-11917-6.
  13. Bessman, Jim (14 October 2000). "Artists & Music: New York Inspires Joe Jackson Again on Night and Day II". Billboard . p. 24. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  14. "Billboard > Artists / Joe Jackson > Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 4 December 2015. N.B. Peaks for albums released prior to "Big World" are not listed.
  15. "Allmusic ((( Joe Jackson > Charts & Awards > Grammy Awards )))".
  16. "CD REVIEWS: Lenny Kravitz, Megadeth, Ron Hawkins and more". Chart Attack, 24 October 2000, By: Debbie Bento
  17. McNair, James (11 February 2008). "Joe Jackson: Catching up with the maverick singer-songwriter" . The Independent . Archived from the original on 9 June 2022. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  18. "FAST FORWARD: A NEW ALBUM + US TOUR DATES". Official Joe Jackson. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  19. Myers, Marc (13 June 2018). "The Story Behind Joe Jackson's 'Steppin' Out'; A night on the town in a vanished New York City inspired Joe Jackson's hit 'Steppin' Out'". The Wall Street Journal . Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  20. "Official Joe Jackson Website". Joejackson.com.
  21. Jackson, Joe (24 June 2001). "Is Joe Jackson really going out with him?" Irish Independent . Retrieved 30 December 2014. Author is not to be confused with the subject of the article.
  22. Allen, Jim (26 June 2017). "35 Years Ago: Joe Jackson Reinvents Himself on 'Night and Day'". Diffuser. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  23. Molloy, Susan (30 August 1982). "Joe forgets Billy". The Sydney Morning Herald .
  24. "The Smoking Issue". 8 May 2008. Archived from the original on 8 May 2008. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  25. "Smoke, Lies and the Nanny State" (PDF). Joejackson.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 December 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  26. "Joe Jackson.com". Joe Jackson.com. Archived from the original on 11 April 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
  27. A Cure for Gravity, 1999, ISBN   1-86230-083-6
  28. Rosen, Jody (25 June 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times . Retrieved 28 June 2019.