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Look Sharp! (Bonus Track Version)

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Editors’ Notes

By 1979, U.S. radio was making room in a bigger way for the new sounds coming from cities in America and Britain. Thanks to that support, England's Joe Jackson scored a gold record with his first album, Look Sharp! While not as densely layered as Elvis Costello's Armed Forces, from the same year, the record provided lots of entertainment value. Like Costello, Jackson worked with a tensile three-piece band attuned to the meld of styles he packed into his music (the reggae of "Fools in Love" and "Sunday Papers," the jittery pop of "Baby Stick Around"). His biggest success would come with the less headlong fusion of genres on Night and Day, but Look Sharp! shows his sophistication and intelligence already in place.

Customer Reviews

First Rate and borderline Iconic

This album meant a lot to me as a high school student in 1980 Los Angeles. It was the album all the "cool guys" listened to. Joe Jackson was the KROQ crowd -- the self-styled edgy punk kids of LA --soon to be eclipsed by the goofy "glam metal" scene. I remember when Joe Jackson appeared on American Bandstand, and lipsynced (of course). However, they did not even bring instruments. Instead, they played pots and pans. It was fab. Every single cut on this album is solid. "Is She Really..." of course, is a classic. However, all the first 8 cuts are solid. This is a "must buy" if you really wish to have an authentic collection of an important era of music.

A Moment in Time

I saw Joe Jackson in concert in 1981 in Nashville. At one point in the concert all seven members of the band lined up along the front of the stage and sang "Is She Really Going Out With Him" a cappella. It was a jaw dropping performance that I still reflect on to this day. This album will forever hold a special place in my music library.

Gotta Have It

One of those seminal albums for me that I've got to always have in my collection. Besides containing some of Joe Jackson's classics, the album starts out on a high note and doesn't go down from there. It has withstood the test of time - play it at a party today and no one will question its quality and style.

Biography

Born: August 11, 1954 in Burton-upon-Trent, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In his 1999 memoir, A Cure for Gravity: A Musical Pilgrimage, Joe Jackson writes approvingly of George Gershwin as a musician who kept one foot in the popular and one in the classical realms of music. Like Gershwin, Jackson possesses a restless musical imagination that has found him straddling musical genres unapologetically, disinclined to pick one style and stick to it. The word "chameleon" often crops up in descriptions of him, but Jackson prefers to be thought of as "eclectic." Is he the Joe...
Full Bio