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.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Joe Jackson - Big World (1986)


German Import

Note: this release was originally purchased as a 2 LP set, later replaced by a CD.  The 2 LPs only had music on three sides; the fourth side had a label that stated "there is no music on this side" and a groove that quickly took to the needle to the center of the record. If you're like me, you played side 4 once, just to be sure. Sure enough, turns out there was no music on that side.

One my all-time favorite albums is Jackson's Night and Day so I unfairly compare all his albums to that one. As such, this one doesn't measure up. However, it's got a few good songs on it.  Unfortunately, at this point in Jackson's career, he was apparently more interested in how things were recorded than what things were recorded.  From the liner notes:

(click to enlarge)
It was an ambitious trend that Jackson had started with his Body and Soul album and, to be honest, it turned me off because I preferred the highly refined sounds of Night And Day.  I didn't buy any future Jackson albums for a while.  Except for the Tucker soundtrack, I've never heard any of his releases between 1987-1999.  Now that I've written that, I realize how petulant it sounds. 

The album is titled Big World because Jackson tries to tackle a different world genres (French, spaghetti western, surf rock, Middle Eastern, etc.) and the lyrics namecheck countries and cities.  This album is out of print in the US but is available as an inexpensive import.  As you can tell, it's not my favorite, but I'll still give it the occasional listen.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #34

Tracks:  15 tracks over 61 minutes.
  • Good: Wild West, Tonight And Forever, Forty Years, Survival, The Jet Set, Home Town
  • Meh:  Right And Wrong, Precious Time, Shanghai Sky, Fifty Dollar Love Affair, Soul Kiss
  • Skip:  (It's A) Big World, We Can't Live Together, Tango Atlantico, Man In The Street
Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  In the summer of 1986, I came "home" from college to a new city as my parents had moved to San Antonio earlier that year.  I had a great time that summer exploring the city even though I had a typically miserable summer job as a bus boy/dishwasher at Sizzler.  I bought this LP in May of that year and had high hopes of it soundtracking my summer.  It didn't, so I turned to other albums, most notably Bring On The Night, The Bridge, Magnetic, Back In The High Life, and a little later, Lifes Rich Pageant.

Previously revisited for the blog:
Rain (2008)
Volume 4 (2003)
Night And Day II (2000)
Tucker: The Man And His Dream Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1988)
Body and Soul (1984)
Night and Day (1982)
Look Sharp! (1979)

note: all tracks not currently available

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