SP-6021 Big World
Produced by David Kershenbaum and Joe Jackson
Released on March 1986
UK CHART POSITION #41 . . . US CHART POSITION #34
Find it at GEMM
SP-6021 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

I t would have to be a big world to house an ego this enormous. The recording process is again reinvented, this time as live direct-to-two-track with the audience omitted. The lyrics and liner notes are written in six languages. The fourteen tracks (written expressly for the CD format) drape over three sides of a double album with no regard for appearance. (Did we learn nothing from The Parkerilla?) All of which would have been incidental in the face of great music, but Big World has little to say on that subject. This could have been condensed to a single elpee and still found wanting. The lesson here is: The bigger they are, the harder they fall. I had tolerated the crazy costume changes (swingman, pret etre cole porter, rock and rollins) because Joe Jackson nailed the performances. He nails very little on Big World and it comes apart at the seams as a result. Jackson puts the weight of the world on his shoulders and then proceeds to shrug it off with a sneer: Americans, the English and continental Europeans are tarred with the same black humor. A few more songs like “Right And Wrong” and I would have indulged him the exercise. But no other big hit is forthcoming. “Tonight and Forever,” “Soul Kiss,” the likeable “Home Town” are all right, just not enough to justify the big deal being made out of Big World. Reminds me of when Reggie Jackson stopped driving the ball hard and everybody realized how annoying he was. Big World’s extraordinary approach to everything underscores the ordinariness of the music. The man is remarkably talented and not likely to tire his fans with this trip, but Big World proves that bigger isn’t necessarily better.

TRACK LISTING

  1. WILD WEST    4:36
  2. RIGHT AND WRONG    4:35
  3. (IT'S A) BIG WORLD    4:43
  4. PRECIOUS TIME    3:23
  5. TONIGHT AND FOREVER    2:29
  6. SHANGHAI SKY    5:10
  7. FIFTY DOLLAR LOVE AFFAIR    3:33
  8. WE CAN'T LIVE TOGETHER    5:27
  9. FORTY YEARS    4:33
  10. SURVIVAL    2:19
  11. SOUL KISS    4:43
  12. THE JET SET    3:50
  13. TANGO ATLANTICO    2:58
  14. HOME TOWN    3:11
  15. MAN IN THE STREET    5:03

    All songs written by Joe Jackson

CREDITS

JOE JACKSON -- vocals, piano, recorder, accordion, melodica, package concept
GARY BURKE -- drums
RICK FORD -- bass, acoustic guitar, vocals
VINNIE ZUMMO -- guitars, vocals
Joy Askew -- extra backup vocals, backup vocals coordinator
Nikki Gergoroff -- extra backup vocals
Peter Hewlett -- extra backup vocals
Curtis King, Jr. -- extra backup vocals
Michael Frondelli -- recording engineer
Guy Charbonneau -- remote recording technician
Dave Roberts -- onstage technician
Dave Hewitt -- remote recording production co-ordinator
Eddie Ciletti -- digital tape technician
Scott Hull -- digital editor
Laurie Rosenwald -- art direction
Serge Clerc -- cover illustration
Gary Green -- photography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK March 1986 A&M 2LP/CD/CS JWA/JWD/JWC-3 lyric booklet
US/CAN March 1986 A&M 2LP/CD/CS SP/CD/CS-6021 lyric booklet
AUSL 1986 A&M 2LP RML-540012 lyric booklet
GER 1986 A&M 2LP/CD 396 021-1/2 lyric booklet
JPN 1986 A&M 2LP AMP-5007/8 lyric booklet

 

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