This week we’re going to look at the work of Joe Jackson (the musician, not the patriarch of the Jackson 5). Jackson began his career as a New Wave sensation, then showed his versatility by braninching out into Swing Music, sophisticated pop, Jazz and Classical music, while maintaining his sense of style and top-notch songwriting skills.
The top clip above shows Jackson performing live with his band in Tokyo in 1986. It’s a killer live show, and shows how big his catalog of terrifec songs had already become over thirty years ago.
The second clip above presents his latest single, “Friend Better,” from his upcoming album, Fool, which will be released later this week. A straight forward toast to friendship, “Friend Better” builds on the assumption that whereas love is fleeting, friendship endures.
Fool, the 20th studio album celebrating the artist’s 40th anniversary, is going to be released as CD Digipak, 1LP+download, Limited 1LP+7inch Vinyl+download (incl. 2 previously unreleased songs) and Digital album on January 18th, 2019 on earMUSIC.
The album was co-produced by Jackson and producer Pat Dillett (David Byrne, Sufjan Stevens, Glen Hansard, etc.) The band in question was the same group that Jackson has played live with ever since the release of “Fast Forward”: Teddy Kumpel on guitar, Doug Yowell on drums, and long-time collaborator Graham Maby on bass (Maby was on that first recording session 40 years ago as well).
Starting February 2019, Jackson and the band will embark on a new world tour, playing shows throughout the US and Europe and performing material drawn off five albums (“Look Sharp (1979)”, “Night And Day (1982)”, “Laughter And Lust (1991)”, “Rain (2008)” and “Fool (2019)”) as well as a couple of songs from other albums and some new covers. The US leg of the tour is largely sold out, but there are still seats available in Washington DC and Richmond, Virginia, on February 9 and 10.
It’s great having new music from Joe Jackson, who in recent years has been splitting time between his music career, and his acting career, which he does under the name “Tilda Swinton.”