Sunday, 21 February 2016

Opposite songs: a Joe Jackson special

Last week I had the pleasure of seeing Joe Jackson in concert in London, so let's commemorate that fact with an opposites-based review of his work.

Jackson's best-charting album in the US and UK was an opposite one: Night and Day (1982). And then he tried again 18 years later with Night and Day II (2000).

Night and Day has the song Steppin' Out (how I love glockenspiels in pop music; the live version was more subdued, but still lovely) with the line we are young but getting old before our time and the repeated contrast between night and light.

Two more oppositey album titles were Body and Soul (1984) and Heaven and Hell (1997):

No wonder I'm a fan.

I will leave it to you to decide whether the title of his 1991 album Laughter and Lust is also an opposite.

His song Right and Wrong from 1986's Big World made it to the birthday opposites playlist, but not into the concert.

The man is definitely into binary oppositions and contrast, with lots of songs with two or other or negation in the titles, and of course different.

In his album of jazz covers Joe Jackson's Jumpin' Jive are a few oppositey gems, most particularly What's the use of getting sober (when you're gonna get drunk again?) and the negation-fuelled Is you is or is you ain't my baby?. 

I'd be up all night if I tried to find all the opposite lyrics within non-oppositely titled songs, so let's leave it there. But Joe Jackson, I do love you.

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