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Joe Jackson

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Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, UK (1978 – present)

Joe Jackson (born 11 August 1954 in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, UK, as David Ian Jackson) is a British musician. Jackson is probably best known for the hit singles Is She Really Going Out With Him? (1979) and Steppin’ Out (1982). Although born in Staffordshire, Jackson grew up in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England.

He started off learning to play the violin but soon switched to piano. From the age of 16 he played in bars, and won a scholarship to study musical composition at London’s Royal Academy of Music. Jackson did not like the prospect of being a serious composer, and moved towards pop and rock.

His first band was Arms and Legs which collapsed after two unsuccessful singles. He then spent some time in the cabaret circuit to make money to record his own demos.

In 1978 a producer heard his tape, and got him signed to A&M Records. The album Look Sharp! was recorded straight away, and was released in 1979, quickly followed by I’m The Man and Beat Crazy in 1980. He also collaborated with Lincoln Thompson in reggae crossover.

The Joe Jackson Band was very successful and toured extensively. After the breakup of the band, Joe took a break and recorded an album of old-style swing and blues tunes, Jumpin’ Jive, featuring songs of Cab Calloway, Lester Young, Glenn Miller, and most prominently, Louis Jordan. He went on to record Night And Day, an album that paid tribute to the wit and style of Cole Porter (and less directly, to New York City) and was his last album to hit the Top 10, peaking at #4.

He recorded another record that was heavily influenced by jazz, pop and jazz standards, and salsa, Body And Soul, which hit #20, containing the hit You Can’t Get What You Want (‘til You Know What You Want).

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