- Audio CD (2 Oct. 2006)
- Limited Edition edition
- Number of Discs: 2
- Format: Limited Edition
- Label: ADA Global
- ASIN: B00008J2F7
- Other Editions: Audio CD | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 156,926 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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LTD.2CD LIVE 2002-DIGIPACK
Volume IV finds Joe Jackson back where he belongs. In the late-1970s and early-80s, Jackson was a skinny-tied child of New Wave, peddling a wordy and venomous strain of pop and generally resembling Elvis Costello's even more anti-social cousin. During this period, Jackson and his tremendous backing group made three fine albums: Look Sharp!, I'm the Man and Beat Crazy. Jackson then wandered off the reservation, and kept right on going from soul to jazz to classical to film to books. Volume IV is where Jackson completes his circuit, reuniting with his original band and reacquainting himself with his original working methods (Volume IV is recorded live to tape).
What could have been a colossal self-indulgence proves a startlingly vital album. Volume IV is faithful to the ethos of early Joe Jackson hits such as "One More Time" and "Is She Really Going Out with Him?", built as it is from clattering drums, jarring guitar, hyperactive keyboards, snarling vocals and lyrics riddled with puns and double entendres. But Jackson is too clever to get suckered by nostalgia, and instead contemplates, with his usual wry intelligence, his middle-aged present from inside his old clothes; the best of the resulting songs, "Blue Flame" and "Still Alive", are as good as anything he's ever done. Indeed, the only clunker here is "Thugz R Us" proof, were it needed, that scathing social commentary and ska are not natural bedfellows. --Andrew Mueller
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Awkward Age is one such, a song I can definitely identify with as it's where I've always been. There's plenty of feeling in the original, but live, Jackson gives it just that extra bit of edge. Similarly, Fairy Dust has a little more vehemence about it on Afterlife. Somewhat less ambiguous than Real Men from Night And Day, Jackson shows himself to be the thinking man's metrosexual, infusing this song, as so many others, with a post-modern masculinity. As he does in Love At First Light, a touching waltz which could almost be a vampire's love song. The "wish I could remember your name" line, as he watches his new friend sleep, always gets me sentimental. No, really! There's something about that feeling. If you never felt it you never lived.
Of the other songs, Chrome is the stand out, a tender love song, and Dirty Martini is a drinking song that could have been covered by Pink. Even Thugs R Us, probably the weakest offering, is passable, and definitely not as shoddy as some have made out.
Talking of live material, the additional CD that goes with this package is great for giving a flavour of JJ on stage.
Joe Jackson's still touring, and whilst I whole-heartedly concur with the current Kate Bush interest when considering other overrated drivel available, I think some media attention should be directed towards him.
Brilliant song-writer; and the live 2nd CD of "Tonight and Forever" is refreshing, with a nice little bit of crowd-interaction. Hope to go and see him soon.
so top tunes;
Take It Like a Man - brilliant ska new wave early Joe Jackson band with energy of a 20 year old
Still Alive - West coast/Beatles feel with 12 string rickys great tune
Chrome - Equal favourite song on album - A star Is Born envy theme with arrangement and tune is just top draw
Fairy Dust - a showcase for amazing piano an incredible groove and clever lyrics -This does remind me of early JJ but piano is off the charts incredible possibly best track!!!
Love at First Sight - a song i can imagine Ben Folds doing but it is very Joe Jackson about the awkward morning after very touching
Blue Flame - love song about falling with someone who is incredibly closed and damaged having come from I assume a harsh regime- real melancholy and all the JJ traits you need for, beautiful and broken like the protagonist.
These are my favs and in my opinion best tunes and energy since Night and Day. If you like him more new ave era mixed with a little more polish this is a no brainer
Volume 4 is the first album by the reformed classic line-up of the JJ Band since 1980. Although the playing by these excellent musicians is good throughout, the songs and rather clunky mid-life crisis lyrics don't really recapture former glories with the new-wave settings sometimes sounding forced. Having said this, it's not a bad album with Take It Like A Man and Awkward Age good enough to be included on any JJ compilation.
Much better though is the bonus CD with blistering live versions of six classic songs from the band's earlier repertoire. The playing here is superb with Graham Maby's lead bass lines being supported by Gary Sanford's effectively sparing rhythm guitar and Dave Houghton's tight drumming to terrific exciting effect. On top of all this is JJ himself on vocals and keyboards leading the band through thrilling versions of One More Time, On Your Radio and I'm Your Man as well as the big hits Is She Really Going Out With Him and a slightly slower It's Different For Girls.
Admirable as it is for the highly principled Jackson to refuse to reform his original band without releasing new material, it's the bonus disc to which most buyers will return. Three stars for the studio album, five for the bonus disc making four overall...
Try to get your hands on this double-CD version as the extra disc is 6-tracks of blistering live performances of old Jackson faves recorded in 2002 in the UK.
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