Friday, March 17, 2017

"Happy Ending" by Joe Jackson

Song#:  1976
Date:  07/14/1984
Debut:  89
Peak:  57
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Jackson's more jazz-flavored album Body and Soul got off to a good start with the #15 single "You Can't Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want)." This follow-up tune wouldn't be able to get that far. It stalled before it could get into the top half of the Pop chart. Without a solid second hit, the album ended up peaking at #20 and missed the gold mark. This song would also be Jackson's last to reach the Pop chart, however he'd remain a bit active on the Rock chart and later in the decade he would score a couple of Top 10's. Jackson would also dabble in classical music and in 1999 he composed his Symphony No. 1. Although it was more of a jazz-leaning classical work, it would win Jackson the Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Album.

ReduxReviewBody and Soul was a terrific album, but it wasn't loaded with single candidates to follow-up "You Can't Get." This one probably had the best shot, but it still wasn't something that was going to click at Pop. The Motown-ish workout "Go for It" might have had a little more potential, but I don't think it would have hit big either. Still, this is a solid tune with a lovely vocal turn by Elaine Caswell (see below). Sadly, Jackson would not hit the Pop chart again. However, he had a pair of really good albums at the end of the decade that got him a few Rock hits.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Jackson's next album, 1986's Big World, was an unusual recording. It featured Jackson and his band playing a set of brand new songs in front of a live audience. However, the audience was directed to not make any noise during the songs and refrain from applause until the song was fully finished. The elimination of this noise made the live performances nearly sound like studio recordings. Jackson said he wanted to try and capture the feel of a live performance without all the distracting crowd noise. Also odd was that it got issued as a double-album, but with only three sides of music. The fourth side had "there is no music on this side" printed on it and just a lone groove of silence that quickly moved the needle across the LP. This came about due to this album being Jackson's first to be released on CD. CDs had longer running times, so Jackson could include more songs. However, there would be too many song for an LP version. Jackson didn't want to cut any tunes so he asked the record company to release them all on a double LP, but keep it at the same price as a single LP. They did and Big World became a three-sided double disc.  2) Jackson's duet partner on this song is Elaine Caswell. Caswell was an in-demand session and tour singer who supported many headliners. She also worked quite a bit with songwriter/producer Jim Steinman. In 1989, Steinman created a female vocal group called Pandora's Box, which included Caswell. The group recorded one album titled Original Sin. While it wasn't a hit, the album did feature songs that others would later record. The most famous one would be "It's All Coming Back to Me Now," which became a #2 hit for Celine Dion in 1996. Caswell supplied the lead vocals for the original Pandora's Box version.


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