I first heard of Joe Jackson in 1979, specifically due to the pop genius of the deservedly massive hit:* 'Different For Girls'. This collection comprises tracks from that time through to 1989. He is often compared to Elvis Costello, since their careers started at a very similar time. While both artists put a lot of intelligence into what they do, Joe Jackson's work comes across as a lot more personal, like songs are written from life experiences, rather than issue based. He was classically trained, and the beautiful piano piece that introduces this album'Nocturne'* lays his cards on the table in a particularly good way. 'Is She Really Going Out With Him', 'Fools In Love' *and'Different For Girls'are melodically and lyrically brilliant, with a crisp,tight and intimate sound that stops them from sounding dated. There's a lot of really cool rhythms on this record, from tight mod-punk to reggae to swing to latin and funk.. and here I'd draw parallels with Talking Heads. His biggest international hit, ''Steppin' Out'* has a brilliant driving-song rhythm, and a great soaring melody. I love the Tori Amos piano and vocal simplicity of 'Be My Number Two', (well… until the stuck-on cheesy instrumental finale - Just say NO to Sax!.). The closing track'Me and You (Against The World)' satisfyingly drives along like Synchronicity-era Police…
This is a low-priced anthology, and as such I would say go and buy it straight away. Several of these songs are ESSENTIAL to any music lover's record collection. …and for those about to rock…maybe you should know that Anthrax were into JJ enough to cover his song 'Got The Time'…..SLOWER than the original, I might add!
Track Listing: 'Nocturne'(1987), 'Is She Really Going Out With Him'(1979),'Happy Loving Couples'(1979),'Fools In Love'(1979), 'Friday' (1979), 'It's Different For Girls' (1979), 'Mad At You'(1980), 'Kinda Kute' (1979), 'Tuxedo Junction'(1981), 'Another World'(1982), 'Target'(1982), 'Steppin' Out'(1982), 'Breaking Us In Two'(1982), 'Be My Number Two'(1984), 'You Can't Get What You Want(Till You Know What You Want)'(1984), 'Soul Kiss'(1986), 'Tonight and Forever'(1986), 'Me and You (Against The World)'(1989).
10Chris Nettleton's Score