-30- in the newspaper business once meant the end of the story.

Today is the 30th of September, the last night of the month.

So why not go for a 30-year-old record for tonight’s side on The Midnight Tracker?

It’s a record that, even though released in 1979, scarcely sounds dated. It’s one of our favorites, a record my wife and I had in our individual collections long before we ever merged them.

“Look Sharp” by Joe Jackson was — and is — a wonderfully intelligent though cynical mashup of pop, rock, ska, reggae and jazz.

Our copies of “Look Sharp” are among the early pressings — a package that consisted of two 10-inch EPs with a small “Look Sharp!” pin. Mine still has the pin. Janet’s pin is gone, and the picture of Joe Jackson on the flip side of her album has light blue crop marks from where she once used it to illustrate a review of the album.


One of the first shows we ever saw together was Joe Jackson. We were sooooo sophisticated then, heading to Minneapolis to see him at the Guthrie Theater on a Sunday night in October 1979. That ticket cost $7.50, or about $22 in today’s dollars. A bargain either way.

The lineup we saw that delightful night is the one you hear on this side: Jackson on piano, Graham Maby on bass, Gary Sanford on guitar and Dave Houghton on drums, with all on vocals.

Dig it!


“Happy Loving Couples,” “Throw It Away” and “Baby Stick Around,” Joe Jackson, from “Look Sharp,” 1979. This is Side 2 of the first 10-inch EP. It runs 8:24.

Explore posts in the same categories: September 2009

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2 Comments on “30-30-30”

  1. Meat Says:

    And of course the question everyone asked when they saw you walk into the Guthrie, “Is she really . . . . “

  2. Alex Says:

    There must be something in the air… I was just thinking about Joe Jackson as well and remembering how nearly perfect his first two albums were.

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