Saturday, January 24, 2015

"Steppin' Out" by Joe Jackson

Top 10 Alert!
Rated 10 Alert!
Song#:  1146
Date:  08/21/1982
Debut:  88
Peak:  6
Weeks:  27
Genre:  Pop, New Wave

Pop Bits:  Englishman Jackson began playing in bars when he was 16 and two years later he receive a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music. By the time he left school, he was in a signed band that would issue a couple of singles. Nothing came from the singles and the band split. He picked up some cabaret work that earned him enough money to record his own demo. That demo got the attention of A&M Records who signed him. His 1978 debut album, "Look Sharp!," was not an immediate success. It's initial singles failed and the album appeared to be fizzling. But a re-release of the albums first single, "Is She Really Going Out with Him?," finally caught on (#21) and sent the album to #20. It eventually went gold. His next three albums, while all selling well, did not feature any chart singles. That changed when he released this first single from his LP "Night and Day." It was a slow climber that finally found it's way to #6 (#4 AC), his first and only Top 10 appearance. It was a major success for Jackson that lead to two Grammy nominations - one for Record of the Year and one for Pop Male Vocalist.

ReduxReview:  "Night and Day" is one of my favorite albums of the 80s (actually, one of my all-time faves as well). It's meant to represent a 24-hr period in New York City with side 1 being the "Night" side and the flip the "Day" side. This song, which is about the anticipation of heading out on the town, plays like great cab ride through the city. The low keyboard chugs like wheels while the bright piano/bells chime in reflecting the exciting city lights. It's just brilliant. Everyone should play this in the car as they leave for an awesome night on the town.


Trivia:  Jackson's given first name is David. Joe was a nickname that he acquired in the mid-70s. He got the nickname due to his resemblance to the lead character in the marionette-based British TV show "Joe 90." The sci-fi show revolved around nine-year-old Joe who was a schoolboy that turned into a superspy thanks to an invention of his father's. It lasted for 30 episodes between 1968-1969.


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