The shoes on the front cover of his debut album Look Sharp were exquisitely pointed,the footwear of a spin,but their was absolutely nothing nothing fly-by-night about Joe Jackson’s songwriting.From the outset,he crafted songs that cut through norms ,hidden voices like “Is she really going out with him?However,although I’m The Man followed in tHe same vein,Jackson’s other musical interests began to show through the outer layer and revealed the ocean of Jazz coupled with a rigorous understanding of the palette of musical elements and colours,Reall,when you factor in that Joe had played in the National youth Jazz orchestra along with his studies at the Royal college of music,you get a good idea of the musical pedigree of this man.
He would go on to reveal his influences of Cab Calloway and Louis Jordan on Jumpin’ Jive.With a move to NYC ,he took up residence in Manhattan.steeping himself in the jazz and Latin vibe for Night And Day and the crystalline hit ‘Stepping Out’.By 1991’s Laughter And Lust a sense that pop was too predictable was overt in tracks like ‘Obvious Song’ and ‘Hit Single’.
This later Joe Jackson was mature,but the spiky youngsters had been more original.
To quote Joe :”What I did was take a very long detour through the pop world,and had a great time and hits.But that was never all there was”
Joe always had musical depths,ideas,attitude,but he had something worthwhile to say and he had the ability to say it.