Sunday, July 12, 2009

Joe Jackson: Mad At You

Joe Jackson's third album, Beat Crazy, is one of those commercially unsuccessful, artistically problematic follow-up albums; the type that we relish here at MRML. Since the album is sort of in-print (i.e. an unremastered, bonus-track free import is available for $22.00 U.S. on Amazon), we'll look at the singles.

The first single, the wonderful "Beat Crazy", was backed with a live version of "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" an early indication that that bloody song would haunt all his days. The second single, the jagged reggae-rocker "Mad at You", was no more successful on the charts than "Beat Crazy" but it had a non-L.P. track, the pounding yet poppy "Enough is Not Enough", to recommended it.


And for both pop-punk skeptics and devotees here, straight outta New Jersey, are The Ergs (who's selection of covers is impeccable) with their roughed-up version of "Enough is Not Enough".


  1. New to the site, but I wanted to let you know how much I'm lovin' the joe jackson Rarities!!! Please keep 'em comin'!!

  2. Beat Crazy is a bass player's dream. Everybody and their cousin was doing dub and reggae, so Joe piled on too. At the time I knew it wasn't going to sell well, but I suspected it would age well.


  3. Outstanding, thank you!!!

  4. It's a shame that Joe Jackson couldn't grow up gracefully like Costello did. I really like his stuff up to Big World. I think what threw people off was not knowing what was coming next. I'm the Man, Beat Crazy, Jumpin' Jive, Night & Day, Body & Soul. Every album was a different genre and a lot of my friends bailed out after two styles in a row that they didn't like. We wanted to be guided along a little slower and more gracefully. In interviews, Joe got overly defensive of his right to experiment and got nasty about his fan's ability to keep up.

  5. Todd
    I wish I had more rarities - I want to post some Keys stuff (Jackson produced/befriended them)but I'm making sure not to step on other blog's toes.

    yeah it has a great bass sound but that's distinguishing trait of the The Joe Jackson Band even on rockers like "Don't Ask Me" which you might expect to be more guitar-driven.


    It was a bumpy ride. At the time I sneered off such stylistic fiddling but now I find that there's a fascinating discography to be dug into.

  6. Jackson even more than Costello seems a satirist by inclination, & satire requires an active audience or it goes a bit stale ("In 20-03" was worth my $.99, but only because I missed his last date in my Southern state).

    Anyhow he still has skillz I'm sure. I'd listen to new stuff from him any day, though I can only hope his experiments bear fruit.

  7. When Joe dies (or does something really weird) there's gonna be a full-scale re-evaluation of his career.
    He sometimes seems marginalized as the lesser Elvis C. (and I like your assessment of JJ as satirist). However when it comes to those periodically critically-lauded "comeback albums" (Costello has more than Dylan!) I think JJ's may be better then Elvis'.

  8. Thanks a lot for this post!
    yes, more Joe Jackson single B'sides please!!! ('Don't Ask Me' & 'You Got The Fever' as example)


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