Joe Jackson…. an artist whose albums regularly feature in various AWers albums of the year, a writer of a a brilliant blog, yet someone who continues to maintain a relatively low profile (i.e. he probably does not get the recognition he deserves).
Anyway, I have just received a recent reissue of his seventh studio album, Body & Soul. This has just been released by Intervention Records in the US on SACD and features a new mastering. There is a vinyl coming, but has been delayed (apparently most of the vinyl pressing plants have been shut due to the ongoing plague). This is the fourth reissue of the Joe Jackson back catalogue by Intervention – they have previously reissued Look Sharp!, I’m The Man and Night & Day on vinyl only (although they are apparently working on SACD releases and they are being re-pressed on vinyl).
Body & Soul is probably one of my favourite Joe Jackson albums. I loved all his previous albums too – the new wave of Look Sharp! and I’m The Man, the smooth sounds of Night & Day, the “fun” of Jumpin’ Jive….. I was almost a teenager at the time of his debut and so grow up with his albums and his appearances on TOTP, but a “sophisticated” 17 year old doing A levels when Body & Soul was released, something hit the spot. Maybe it was the move into more jazz orientated sounds, the mixture of Latin rhythms (Cha Cha Loco) with confessional ballads (Be My Number Two), the horn heavy tracks, the gorgeous trumpet melodies (the instrumental Loisaida), it was and still remains a favourite album.
I have long felt that Joe Jackson’s early albums were prime candidates for reissues – they seemed to become bargain label staples with poor sound and packaging (and for an artist with such a long and varied career, there doesn’t appear to be much in the way of deluxe editions, extra material etc etc). As I don’t do vinyl, I have not yet sampled the Intervention reissues of the first two albums and Night & Day, but when this SACD was announced, I immediately preordered. I’ve not done a side by side comparison with my old CD yet, but initial reaction after a few listens is very very positive – sounds very clear with a “punchy” bass and horns, and dare I say it – more “analogue”. I definitely look forward to future SACD releases of his catalogue. And for those of a vinyl bent, I read that the vinyl releases have all been positively received.
So, Joe Jackson – where do you stand and what are you favourites ?