Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Song of the Day - July 28, 2009

Joe Jackson - the angry, angular white musician from Britain, not Michael Jackson's father - came to public prominence with several other angry, melodic and witty young Brits in era of New Wave, specifically Graham Parker and Elvis Costello. He was probably the most successful of the lot in terms of sales, at least for a spell, though his critical rep has never quite been their equal. Like Parker, he has a tendency to sound hectoring, particularly given his rather brusque, sneering vocals. Like Costello, he has a fatal tendency to dabble that dilutes his best material and his song craft.

I'm particularly partial to Body and Soul, but the first album is the one that, in many ways, is his best. Not just because it was free of exceedingly lofty ideals or ham-fisted lecturing or any other reason you care to cite. It was the clarity of his vision, the energy of his attack, and the hooks. Sure, he was a little rough and a little belligerent, but those songs...

I could have opted for Is She Really Going Out With Him, but I thought I'd select Got The Time, a very punky number that pogos with vigor through a hectic lyric about trying to get by in a busy, chock-a-block day. Here's Joe's version, albeit a more recent live one:

Anthrax did a version as well. Note how the inherent aggression of the song suits the band well. I had to use the Lego version because the Universal version wouldn't let me embed it.

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