SP-4794 I'm The Man
Produced by David Kershenbaum
Released on October 5, 1979
UK CHART POSITION #12 . . . US CHART POSITION #22
Find it at GEMM
SP-4794 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

T he new toad prince wasted no time in releasing another album. I’m The Man sounded petty and small-fisted sometimes (“On You Radio,” “Don’t Wanna Be Like That”), yet also had a beautifully bitter streak that revealed deeper, stiller waters (“It’s Different For Girls”). Essentially a cheap knockoff of the first, if you loved the debut (as I did), you’re bound to at least like the sequel. Jackson is guilty of writing the same song twice, but you were planning to listen to “Fools In Love” (now “Amateur Hour”) and “Happy Loving Couples” (now “Geraldine And John”) more than once anyway, weren’t you? Maybe more important than the music on I’m The Man is the message it sent: Jackson was a creative talent who would not be contained. Elvis Costello’s fertile genius had set the bar improbably high. If you were going to compete on the man’s court, you would need to be in a constant state of motion/creation/evolution. Still, I’m The Man initially struck me as a disappointment; nothing on here was as smart and streamlined as “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” or “Sunday Papers.” These days, I’m just as likely to feel nostalgic for this album, given Jackson’s imminent abandonment of the three-minute pop song. The innocence and optimism behind a “Get That Girl” or “Kinda Kute” would soon be gone, replaced by songs about cancer and middle-aged frustration. Sure it’s a half-baked record, but what came out of the oven early is still very tasty some of the time (“It’s Different For Girls,” “I’m The Man”). Plus, had he waited much longer, he might have been cooking in an entirely different kitchen (swing, tin pan alley), and the world needs more power pop records I say, even the half-baked ones.

SP-4794 back cover SP-4794 lyric sleeve
SP-4794 back cover SP-4794 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. ON YOUR RADIO    4:00
  2. GERALDINE AND JOHN    3:14
  3. KINDA KUTE    3:30
  4. IT'S DIFFERENT FOR GIRLS    3:42
  5. I'M THE MAN    3:56
  6. THE BAND WORE BLUE SHIRTS    5:05
  7. DON'T WANNA BE LIKE THAT    3:41
  8. AMATEUR HOUR    4:03
  9. GET THAT GIRL    3:02
  10. FRIDAY    3:33

    CD reissue bonus track
  11. COME ON (LIVE)

    Tracks 1-10 written by Joe Jackson. Arranged by Joe Jackson (with some help from the band).

CREDITS

JOE JACKSON -- vocals, piano, harmonica, melodica, production assistance, sleeve concept
DAVE HOUGHTON -- drums, vocals
GRAHAM MABY -- bass, vocals
GARY SANFORD -- guitar
Alan Winstanley -- engineer
Aldo Bocca -- mixing engineer
Michael Ross -- art direction
Bruce Rae -- front cover photo
Sheila Rock -- inner sleeve photos

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/GRC/NET October 5, 1979 A&M LP AMLH-64794 lyric sleeve
US/CAN October 5, 1979 A&M LP SP-4794 lyric sleeve
US 1979 A&M 5-7" SP-18000 five boxed 7-inch singles, poster
ARG 1979 A&M LP 8736  
AUSL/NZ 1979 A&M LP L37069 lyric sleeve
JPN 1979 A&M LP AMP-6067  
US   A&M LP SP-3221  
GER/NET 1987 A&M LP/CD 393221 lyric sleeve
NET   A&M LP AMNP-138  
US August 14, 2001 A&M CDX 493089 digital remaster w. bonus track

 

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