Friday, March 14, 2014

Joe Jackson - Body and Soul

Today (March 14th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Body and Soul, the seventh studio album from Joe Jackson. This 1984 release went to number 20 on the US Billboard Album chart (with twenty-nine weeks total on the chart) and number 14 in the UK.

Joining Jackson on this record were Tony Aiello (saxophone and flute), Gary Burke (drums), Graham Maby (bass), Michael Morreale (trumpet and flugelhorn), Ed Roynsdal (keyboards and violin) and Vinnie Zummo (guitar). Backing vocals were provided by Ellen Foley.

Side one begins with "The Verdict". The horns and the percussion create a big opening, only to be countered by Jackson at the piano with his heart on his sleeve.

Next up, Jackson and his cohorts serve up a little bit of salsa with “Cha Cha Loco”.

Things then slow down with the beautiful piano ballad "Not Here, Not Now". The saxophone solo has a very melancholy feel to it.

The first single was "You Can't Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want)". It rose to number 96 in Australia, number 30 in Canada, and number 15 on the US Billboard Hot 100. I have always liked this song; the sound is big and bold which puts me in a positive mood whenever I hear it.

"Go For It" keeps things pumping with a big beat. These last two songs provide two pillars of a “think positive” seminar.

Side two starts with sweet horns of the instrumental "Loisaida". They further underscore the amazing arrangements Jackson put together for this album.

"Happy Ending" is a duet with Elaine Caswell. As the second single, it went to number 58 in the UK, number 57 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 47 in Australia and number 19 in New Zealand. The lyrics liken life to a movie.

Jackson goes back to the piano for the next track. "Be My Number Two" was released as a single in the UK, where it peaked at number 70.

"Heart of Ice" closes out the record with the longest track (almost seven minutes in length). The track is nearly all instrumental, laying down a long jazz opening that covers the first five minutes.

I knew a couple of the tracks from Body and Soul, thanks to a greatest hits compilation. I certainly like the big sound that Joe Jackson and his band achieve on the record. I understand that they recorded it in a theatre which helped them get an added acoustics element into the mix.

For 1979's Look Sharp!, click here.

For 1982's Night and Day, click here.

For 1983's Mike's Murder soundtrack, click here.

1 comment:

HERC said...

We are in complete agreement on the wonderful, uplifting "You Can't Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want)".

Just added that track to the que for my planned listening later this afternoon and though it is sunny with an expected high of 69 today, it just got a lot brighter up in here.