CD-3908 Will Power
Produced by Joe Jackson
Released on April 1987
US CHART POSITION #131
Find it at GEMM
CD-3908 cover
[high resolution scan]

J oe Jackson further confounded fans by showcasing his skill as a film composer with this album of light classical music. The impetus for this would appear to be his score for the Japanese film, Shijin No Ie (as in “you’ve gotta be shijin no ie”). That score was reworked as “Symphony in One Movement” (it’s technically an overture), which took up most of side two on the vinyl elpee (assuming you hadn’t already hurled this against the wall midway through side one). Will Power does contain one very good track, “Nocturne,” which is surprisingly the only track to feature Jackson as a performer (he plays piano). The melody sticks in your head and, by not piling an orchestra on top of it, you almost get the feeling you’re listening to a Joe Jackson record. For the rest of the way, no such illusion endures. Horns and strings and flutes and timpanis creep and crash in predictable waves, the music forms and dissipates, and the listener is neither richer nor wiser for the event. Despite the temptation to see this as a new album of music, Will Power should be approached as a soundtrack. It’s a very different journey than Mike’s Murder, which sought to make a film score with a regular working band. Will Power cocoons his working band in an orchestra and takes Jackson out of the creation equation; his is the invention not the execution. I wouldn’t call Will Power a creative misstep, just a misrepresentation. If this had been the soundtrack to a film called Will Power, I’d feel you were getting what you deserved. But as an album of new music from the guy who brought you Night And Day, Look Sharp and Body And Soul? No, this will not do.

TRACK LISTING

  1. NO PASARAN    6:03
  2. SOLITUDE    (incl. quotation from "Solitude" by Eddie De Lange/Irving Mills)    9:35
  3. WILL POWER    5:50
  4. NOCTURNE    4:24
  5. SYMPHONY IN ONE MOVEMENT    16:14

    All music written and orchestrated by Joe Jackson unless noted

CREDITS

JOE JACKSON -- piano (4) and a few small keyboard and percussion overdubs, mixing, sleeve design
TONY AIELLO -- soprano and alto sax, solo clarinet on (5)
GARY BURKE -- drums
CHRIS HUNTER -- alto and tenor sax
ED ROYNESDAL -- Kurzweil K250 synthesizer, synthesizer programming, sampling, sequencing and electric piano
PAT REBILLOT -- piano except on (4)
VINNIE ZUMMO -- guitar
Lamar Alsop, Ted Israel, Maureen Gallagher, Carol Landon, Julien Barber, Harrya Zaratzian, Sol Greitzer, Sue Pray, Jean Dane -- violas
John Campo -- bassoon
Sue Evans, Dave Carey, David Freidman -- percussion
Paul Ingraham, Jerry Peel, John Clark, Donald Corrado -- French horn
Anthony Jackson -- bass guitar (2)
Neil Jason -- bass guitar (3)
Charles Libove, Barry Finclair, John Pintavalle, Jan Mullen, Marti Sweet, Arnold Eidus, Richard Sortomme, Matthew Raimondi, Marin Alsop, Gerald Tarack, Regis Iandiorio, Jospeh Rabushka, Lew Eley, Jean Ingraham, Marilyn Wright, Masako Yanagita, Al Rogers, Louanne Montesi, Richard Henrickson, David Davis -- violins
George Manahan -- conductor
Charles McCracken, Richard Locker, Warren Lash, Seymour Barab, Jacqueline Mullen, Fred Zlotkin, Jean Leblanc, Diane Barrere, Alla Goldberg -- cellos
Homer Mensch, John Miller, John Beal, Joe Tamosaitas -- double-bass
Michael Morreale, Tom Malone -- trombone
David Nadien -- violin, concertmaster
Michael Parloff, Laura Conwesser, Andrew Lolya -- flute and piccolo
Roger Rosenberg, Ray Beckenstein, Charles Russo, Dave Tofani -- clarinet and bass clarinet
Henry Schuman -- oboe
Steve Slagle -- soprano sax (2)
Susan Trainer -- piccolo (2)
Andrew Zurcher -- voice (2)
Dennis Ferrante -- additional engineering
Michael Frondelli -- engineer, mixing
Paul Goodman -- engineer, mixing
Laura Levine -- photography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK April 1987 A&M LP/CS AMA/AMC-3908  
US April 1987 A&M LP/CD/CS SP/CD/CS-3908  
AUSL 1987 A&M LP L-38746  
GER 1987 A&M LP 393 908-1  
JPN 1987 A&M LP C28Y-3090  
US 1987 Mobile Fidelity CD UDCD-503 gold disc

 

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