Jackson Reforms Band For 'Look Sharp' Anniversary
Pop veteran Joe Jackson is going back on his word. Even though he had said it would never happen, he is reforming the original Joe Jackson Band to record an album and tour in celebration of next year'Pop veteran Joe Jackson is going back on his word. Even though he had said it would never happen, he is reforming the original Joe Jackson Band to record an album and tour in celebration of next year's 25th anniversary of his debut album, "Look Sharp!"
The band -- bassist Graham Maby, guitarist Gary Sanford, drummer Dave Houghton, and Jackson on vocals and piano -- formed in 1978 and stayed together through constant recording and touring until Dec. 15, 1980, when that lineup played its final gig together in Utrecht, Holland. Along with "Look Sharp!," the outfit produced two of Jackson's subsequent classic albums, 1979's "I'm the Man" and 1980's "Beat Crazy," all on A&M.
In the years since, Maby has continued to perform and record with Jackson, as well as with such artists as Natalie Merchant, Marshall Crenshaw, and They Might Be Giants, while Sanford has worked with the likes of Joan Armatrading, Aztec Camera, and the late Kirsty MacColl. Houghton "has been staying out of the spotlight," according to Jackson's official Web site, performing locally in the south of England and teaching drumming.
Jackson has a dozen songs written for the as-yet-untitled album, which will be recorded in the U.K. in October, following a month or so of rehearsals and warm-up performances in the region. The album is due out in spring 2003, with a full tour to follow.
"High-energy, fun, and in the spirit of the first couple of albums, but more mature," is how Jackson describes the new material. "I'm a better writer now, and a better singer. But I've still got a 32-inch waist."
In the U.S., Jackson is signed to Sony Classics, which released his last four albums -- the instrumental ventures "Heaven & Hell" (1997) and the Grammy-winning "Symphony No. 1" (1999), the concert set "Summer in the City: Live in New York" (2000), and the pop-oriented "Night & Day II," a sequel to the similarly titled 1982 album that was the highest charting of his career. That A&M set peaked at No. 4 on The Billboard 200 and spawned the hits "Steppin' Out" and "Breaking Us in Two," which peaked at No. 6 and No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively.
As previously reported, last year's tour in support of "Night & Day II" spawned the concert set "Two Rainy Nights - Live in the Northwest - The Official Bootleg." Only available via Jackson's site, the album was recorded in April 2001 in Seattle and Portland, Ore., and boasts both old favorites and newer material.