Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Joe Jackson - Body and Soul (1984)


Note: this release was originally purchased as a LP, later replaced by a CD.

As I've mentioned before, Jackson's Night and Day album is one of my all-time favorites, so expectations were high for this official follow-up (Jackson had recorded a soundtrack for the movie Mike's Murder in 1983). The music isn't as smooth as Night and Day, but some of the influences are the same: pop, standards, and salsa music. Jackson also continued his transition into his soundtrack/serious music stage with two instrumental tracks. Many critics think this album has jazz influences, but I don't hear it. It's certainly not as jazzy as Night and Day. I think the critics were just fooled by the album cover, a copy of a 1957 Sonny Rollins album (see below). While Night and Day was more influenced by Cole Porter, this album has a '60s Brill Building feel to it. Is it fair to constantly compare this album to Night and Day? Probably not, but I do anyway. Not exactly what I was hoping for in 1984, but a solid effort that I listened to quite a bit.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #20
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #12

Tracks: While nothing comes close to Steppin' Out, there are a few good tunes here. You Can't Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want) was the US single from this album and is probably the best tune. Also good are Cha Cha Loco, Go For It, Happy Ending, and Be My Number Two. I want to like that ballad Not Here, Not Now because the chorus is hauntingly beautiful, but the verses are so bad they just ruin it for me. The instrumental Loisaida is forgettable; I would have rather had a pop tune instead.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: Released 27 years ago this month, I'm sure I bought the LP immediately after its release. I remember listening to a tape dub of this album on my walkman that spring as I travelled around South Texas for UIL One Act Play competitions. Back then, riding on a yellow school bus with my friends was something I looked forward to. Now, I'd rather suffer through a Gilmore Girls marathon than ride one of those things.

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