Tuesday, November 08, 2016
Joe Jackson: Big World (1986)
Big World is an odd record. Firstly, it extends to three sides, with the fourth being blank, though there is one groove with nothing recorded on it. The way Jackson presented it was that it came with a bonus side, since the record cost the same as a regular record. Secondly, it's a live record with no audience noise. Jackson asked the crowd to remain silent until each song was completely over. I've read that he wanted to capture the spirit of the live recording without the audience participation. It's interesting that he invited people to attend, rather than just playing to an empty hall. Amazingly, it seems that no one coughed or opened a piece of candy wrapped in cellophane. Apparently, there were no re-recordings to fix anything and no overdubbing.
I have a vague memory of buying this record when it came out, after having heard two tracks: Wild West and Right and Wrong, two genuine politics tunes. I'd say that this is a good record, and perhaps one that causal Joe Jackson fans probably don't know much about.
The LP that followed this record was Will Power, his foray into classical music. I was not interested in it, which is probably a good thing. Allmusic said this: "Joe Jackson finally becomes the "serious composer" on Will Power. A good exercise in self-indulgence but little of anything else."[source]