Look Sharp! (Bonus Tracks) CD (2001)

Artist: Joe Jackson

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Product Overview

Upon its original release in January 1979, Joe Jackson's debut LP Look Sharp! emerged as a timely bridge between punk's confrontational aggression and the melodic accessibility of traditional pop. Particularly impressive was the album's popularity in America, where the edgy British acts that had risen in the wake of the punk explosion had thus far made little commercial headway. In that respect, Look Sharp!'s success can be seen as a pivotal cultural event, helping to open the door for the commercial breakthroughs of any number of left-of-center rock acts from both sides of the Atlantic. It isn't hard to see why listeners embraced Look Sharp!'s seamless blend of raw immediacy and savvy songcraft. "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" which eventually became a pop hit, remains a definitive outsider anthem, exemplifying the combination of seething anger and poignant humor that defined Jackson's early lyrical persona. "Sunday Papers" and "Pretty Girls" demonstrate the singer's knack for acid-laced social commentary, while "Happy Loving Couples" and the slinky, reggae-inflected "Fools In Love" encapsulate his acerbic-verging-on-misanthropic view of romance. The album sessions also yielded a pair of worthy outtakes, "You've Got The Fever" and "Don't Ask Me," which appeared, respectively, as the b-sides of the singles "Is She Really Going Out With Him" and "One More Time." Joe Jackson's evolution from Angry Young Man to inventive, boundary-crossing adult artist has yielded a remarkably diverse yet wholly distinctive body of music. But the stylistic and compositional innovations of the artist's work in the '80s and '90s doesn't negate the enduring impact of his earlier rock-based releases. Look Sharp! stands as some of the strongest, most personally-charged music of its era.


Label Uni/a&m
SKU 60495557
UPC 731458619420
UPC 14 00731458619420
Format CD
Release Date 8/14/2001
Author Joe Jackson
Associated Artist/Work Original Soundtrack
Technical Info
Engineer "Hot" Rod Hewison
CatalogID 586194
Lable Name A&M (USA)
Released 08/14/2001
Original Release 1979
Number of Discs 1
Length 36m : 40s
Mono/Stereo Stereo
Studio/Live Studio
UPC 00731458619420
Album Notes and Credits
Personnel: Joe Jackson (vocals, harmonica, piano); Gary Sanford (guitar); Graham Maby (bass); Dave Houghton (drums).
Reissue producer: Mike Ragogna.
Recorded at Eden Studio, London, England. Includes liner notes by Scott Schinder.
Digitally remastered by Erick Labson at Universal Mastering Studios West, North Hollywood, California.
Personnel: Joe Jackson (vocals, harmonica, piano); Gary Sanford (guitar); Dave Houghton (drums).
Audio Remasterer: Erick Labson.
Liner Note Author: Scott Schinder.
Recording information: Eden Studios, London, England.
He burst onto the scene a couple of years later than Elvis Costello and Graham Parker, but Joe Jackson completed British rock's Angry Young Man trinity. As evidenced by his '79 debut, Jackson was a bit more eclectic than Parker or (early) Costello, and a touch ahead of both in terms of harmonic sophistication (though he downplayed his compositional chops at the beginning). The straight-ahead guitar-bass-drums trio that backed him on his first three albums was inspired by punk, but clearly more a part of the burgeoning new wave scene, marrying punk's aggression with smart, hooky pop song structures.
True to the spirit of the times, Jackson's irritated by just about everything; tabloids ("Sunday Papers"), his libido ("Pretty Girls"), muzak ("Instant Mash"), you name it. Fortunately, his pop craftsmanship is unerring, so no matter how irate he gets, his anger is backed up with infectious melodies and rhythms. Jackson moves deftly from the punk raving of "Got the Time" to the reggaefied "Fools in Love" and the '60s-ish pop of his first monster hit "Is She Really Going Out With Him" without missing a step.
Professional Reviews
CMJ (1/5/04, p.6) - Ranked #7 in CMJ's "Top 20 Most-Played Albums of 1979".
Disc 1
1 One More Time
2 Sunday Papers
3 Is She Really Going Out With Him?
4 Happy Loving Couples
5 Throw It Away
6 Baby Stick Around
7 Look Sharp!
8 Fools In Love
9 Instant Mash, (Do The)
10 Pretty Girls
11 Got The Time
12 Don't Ask Me - (bonus track)
13 You Got The Fever - (bonus track)

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