April 22, 2001 -- In 1979, a young man from Portsmouth, England energized the rock world with the seminal New Wave album, Look Sharp, which included a huge top-40 hit, Is She Really Going Out with Him? But Joe Jackson was anxious to expand his compositions to other genres, incorporating reggae, jump blues, traditional pop and jazz. In 1982, he spurned guitars altogether for his jazzy album Night and Day, which critics raved about, and Jackson's cult status was firmly established.
Singer/writer Joe Jackson signs autographs for his fans at NPR
Photo by Dan Sherman
He continued to branch out, releasing a classical album, Will Power in 1987, and his Symphony No. 1 just won a Grammy Award. He's also written an autobiography, A Cure for Gravity. (More information about his book and other projects can be found at Jackson's Web site, joejackson.com.)
Jackson's latest CD is Night and Day II, which picks up where his 1982 hit album left off, filled with songs of New York City's eccentric characters. Joe Jackson came to NPR's Studio 4A to talk about the new CD, and to perform a selection from it.
Marianne Faithfull plays an NYC eccentric on Night and Day II
Listen to the Weekend Edition Sunday interview with Joe Jackson.
Watch a Real Video excerpt of Joe Jackson playing in NPR's Studio 4A.
This feature was produced by Ned Wharton.