Joe Jackson “Look Sharp!” & “I’m The Man”

Okay, I know this is out of alphabetical order (I alphabetized it under JOE, rather than Jackson– whoops!) By the way, the reason I am into the “J’s” already is because this first crate of records is rather small. I created this crate as kind of a facsimile of the records that I had in high school and then into the next few years after that. Though a lot of those records are gone now. And I didn’t get real precise about it– I had to make them fit this one crate. (After this, I have a BIG crate of stuff I’ve acquired since, or in some cases just like better than this first crate. Then I have another big crate of records I’m just pretty unsure about.)

I put these two Joe Jackson records together because they both came out in 1979. It’s getting so when I see the date 1979 I cringe– why did so much crap come out in that year? I bought these records at the time I was buying anyone reviewed in Rolling Stone who was considered “New Wave.” A good amount of that I can’t listen to now. I really did like Joe Jackson at the time– but I think I liked anyone who played fast once in a while, had remotely interesting and cynical lyrics, or did things like abruptly ending a song because it’s been repeating and repeating the last line of the chorus.

It’s really funny how many songs he has against love and couples. I kind of appreciate his single mindedness– only I wish it was even more extreme. I haven’t thought about or been compelled to listen to these records in years, and I probably won’t ever again. It’s interesting, though, how familiar they still sound. Remember that pukey song, “Is She Really Going Out With Him?”

I guess there are a couple of interesting songs, like, “Look Sharp!” and “Kinda Kute” but overall it sounds like he was just following a trend. I feel like he seemed much happier a few years later doing jazz standards.

I just thought of something– wasn’t there a movie where the ghost of Joe Jackson The Baseball Player came out of a cornfield or something? Wouldn’t it have been cool to have THIS Joe Jackson play him? He kind of looks like he’s from another time period, and he’s all misshapen and pale, and he looks like one of those kids who was going bald in sixth grade. Okay, sorry for that. Clearly I don’t want to write about these records.


5 Responses to “Joe Jackson “Look Sharp!” & “I’m The Man””

  1. August 16, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    God – I can easily say that I have NOT listened to Look Sharp since I was in hi-skool and was ‘hip’ enough to want to get the double-10″ version of the album, that came with a free Joe Jackson pin in it. I could probably get like $5 for it off of eBay now. It’s funny what you say about wanting to get all the records then that Rolling Stone said were “new wave”, I think I was kinda like that too at the time. Joe Jackson was sort of like the ‘poor man’s Elvis Costello’ or something just then. But I think I liked it for the same reasons you did – fast, cynical, good beat, etc. And yeh, I hated that popular single he had too. Nice shoes though. But you know, I do still really like his song he had a few years later, “Stepping Out”. I’m not sure why, it just has a really cool feel to it. And the video for it was made on really cheapo-looking actual film stock instead of videotape, and it still looks really crappy today if you ever see it. I do like that song though. I can guarantee you it’ll be a *long* time before I ever play Look Sharp again, though, if ever. yeesh.

  2. 2 Renato
    August 21, 2007 at 9:36 am

    It would’ve been cool if the musician Joe Jackson was shoeless.

  3. August 23, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    Do you think the shoes on the cover of the Look Sharp album is a reference to Shoeless Joe Jackson? I guess if your name is Joe Jackson, you might be aware of that, at least if you’re an American.

  4. August 23, 2007 at 9:07 pm

    I think he’s a Brit though. Plus my guess is he had nothing to do with the cover art. But maybe whoever did the cover art was aware of Shoeless Joe Jackson.

    Actually the only reason *I’m* aware of Shoeless Joe Jackson is due to a Great Plains song about the Black Sox Scandal!

  5. August 24, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    Yeah, the cover was probably done by the American record company art department. Those are some art deparment guy’s shoes! The British version probably had a plate of fried eel or something on it. For all the “football” fans who don’t know the story of Shoeless Joe Jackson, he played for the White Sox (baseball) and was involved in a big scandal when he took a lot of steroids and his feet grew so large there were no longer shoes that would fit him.

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