Find out how Joe Jackson made most unique live album of all time
Joe Jackson was the ultimate non-conformist in the ‘80s delivering seven solo albums and two soundtrack albums without ever repeating the same musical style twice.
After new wave, jive, pop and big band ventures, Jackson showed his eccentric side by deciding to record a live album with one catch - the audience could not make any noise. Recorded over three nights in his adopted hometown, New York City, the English-born Jackson, along with producer David Kershenbaum, recorded a three-sided album (the fourth side was blank with a warning sticker!) and picked the best performances of the new material to give birth to the 1986 LP Big World. One of my favorite albums of the ‘80s, all songs on Big World appear on the album with no post-recording mixing or overdubs.
Loaded with an eclectic mix of song styles, one of my favorites is Hometown, a beautiful sentimental tune about fond memories of the town you grew up in with the sounds of "waves, seagulls, football crowds and church bells." While Hometown never charted, the video captures the unusual process that Jackson and Kershenbaum went through to record the song.
Kershenbaum produced many of Jackson's best selling albums and his many accomplishments in the ‘80s include the remixing of the Duran Duran songs off their Carnival dance EP album that would be expanded and renamed Rio for American audiences. In tying it all together, Kershenbaum and I also share the same hometown too of Springfield, Missouri. While I graduated from the local state university, Kershenbaum graduated from the private Drury University, whose alumni includes Bob Barker who will celebrate his 90th birthday in December with a special return to The Price Is Right.
Jackson's lastest album was released in 2012 and was a cover album of Duke Ellington tunes entitled The Duke.