13 Songs, 42 Minutes

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.

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.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
84 Ratings
84 Ratings
Frank Rad ,

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.

Dojogodi ,

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.

biomince ,

Desert Island Album

If you were stuck on a desert island with only 10 albums, which would you choose? This is for sure in my top ten. Reminds me of driving around with Sal in her mom's car with the eight track tape playing Joe Jackson! Great memories of the eighties. I have nothing insightful to say, just that if you want to hear some really great eighties music, look no further that "Look Sharp". Also take "London Calling" (The Clash) to the island with you. And maybe the Flamin Oh's (not Lips...you'll only know them if you're from Minneapolis). And maybe some Southern Comfort (Whoops, sorry kids!)

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