The Joe Jackson Archive
Wonder what the critics have to say...

Record reviews 1978-1984

This page was last updated 15 Dec 2009. To send additions/corrections go to the contact page.


By the number of stars I try to give an idea how well the album (or single) was received by the reviewer:

 ***** = very positive
 **** = positive
 *** = lukewarm
 ** = negative
 * = very negative

* Quotes marked with a blue asterisk have been translated from foreign-language publications. If you would like to read these quotes in the original language (Dutch, German, Italian) please refer to this page.


Album "Body And Soul"

Rolling Stone (US) 10 May 1984 (*****)

“‘Body and Soul’ is a breakthrough. It establishes him as the first of the British postpunks to show an interest in bridging the gap between pop music and serious music.”

Hi Fi for Pleasure (UK) Nov 1984 (*****)

“While the [sound] quality is superb, this is only secondary to the music. It is rare to hear an album that flows as well and as naturally as this. This disc is worth selling others just to buy it!”

Ciao 2001 (IT) 1 April 1984 (*****)

“Body and Soul is the masterpiece of a thirty-year-old boy who doesn't know how to be a rock star and doesn't want to; an ‘out of time’ musician able to charm with a few piano notes.” *

Audio (DE) May 1984 (*****)

Hi-Fi News & Record Review (UK) June 1984 (****)

Musik Szene (DE) April 1984 (****)

“‘Body And Soul’ – although very sophisticated, this is music for both head and body with heart and soul.” *

Down Beat (US) July 1984 (*)

“Dilettante Jackson's new effort is pompous, unintentional goofiness of the highest order.”

Billboard (US) 17 March 1984

Melody Maker (UK) 31 March 1984

New Musical Express (UK) 31 March 1984 (with a caricature of Joe by Ian Wright)

New York Times (US) 29 April 1984

Stereo Review (US) July 1984

Musik-Express/Sounds (DE) May 1984

Stereoplay (DE) May 1984

Album "Mike's Murder"

Crawdaddy! (US) 29 Nov 2009 (****)

“‘Mike’s Murder’ could have been a solid follow-up to Jackson’s 1982 chart-topper ‘Night and Day.’ Instead, it sunk along with the movie it accompanied. [...] Musically, the record shines.”

Rolling Stone (US) 24 Nov 1983 (****)

“Balancing the urgent shouting of a wrought-up rocker against a lounge singer's more intimate confessions, Joe Jackson continues to feel his way around the outer limits of pop music.”

Hi-Fi News & Record Review (UK) Dec 1983 (****)

Stereo Review (US) Jan 1984

Stereoplay (DE) Nov 1983

Album "Night And Day"

Mucchio Selvaggio (IT) Sep 1982 (*****)

“Thanks to this album Joe Jackson can be called a ‘great musician’; he shows us his eclecticism, intelligence and respect for the New York musical history. A real sound poet.” *

Rolling Stone (US) 19 Aug 1982 (****)

“‘Night and Day’ is Joe Jackson's strongest album, the first on which his ambition, craft and feistiness have fused into a coherent, emotionally charged statement.”

Billboard (US) 17 July 1982

Billboard (US) 3 July 1982

New Musical Express (UK) 26 June 1982

Trouser Press (UK) Nov 1982

Audio (DE) Aug 1982

Musik-Express (DE) Aug 1982

Sounds (DE) Aug 1982

Stereoplay (DE) Sep 1982

Album "Jumpin' Jive"

Mucchio Selvaggio (IT) Nov 1981 (*****)

“An eclectic, ingenious artist. JJ singing jazz could be compared with Wilko Johnson playing the blues.” *

Hi-Fi News & Record Review (UK) Sep 1981 (****)

“He obviously loves and understands the music with which he is dealing and is not merely content to employ it as this year's gimmick.”

Billboard (US) 25 July 1981

Down Beat (US) Jan 1982

Melody Maker (UK) 27 June 1981

New Musical Express (UK) 11 July 1981

Musik-Express (DE) Sep 1981

Sounds (DE) Aug 1981

Album "Beat Crazy"

Muziekkrant Oor (NL) 8 Oct 1980 (*****)
(with a caricature of Joe by Serge Clerc)

“Jackson's music is deceiving. When you hear it for the first time it sounds simple and solidly set up around a striking chorus or verse but if you listen more closely it reveals a biting depth.” *

Rolling Stone (US) 27 Nov 1980 (***)

“Jackson skips deftly across shifting sonic currents to create an LP that's about the interplay between opposites: black and white, male and female, mugger and muggee. Though the singer is by no means entirely surefooted, when he connects, he's uncommonly graceful and engaging.”

Billboard (US) 25 Oct 1980

New Musical Express (UK) 11 Oct 1980

Musik-Express (DE) Dec 1980

Single "Mad At You"

New Musical Express (UK) 11 Oct 1980

Album "I'm The Man"

New Musical Express (UK) 6 Oct 1979 (*****)

“An excellent debut album has been chased back home by a sequel which refines, expands, extends and finally surpasses its creator's opening gambit.”

Rolling Stone (US) 13 Dec 1979 (****)

“Joe sounds more convincing and likable than ever.”

Melody Maker (UK) 13 Oct 1979 (****)

“An album that's cutting and articulate.”

Mucchio Selvaggio (IT) March 1980 (***)

“The album is well done, easy to listen to and full of the characteristics of a best-selling record.” *

Billboard (US) 20 Oct 1979

Stereo Review (US) Jan 1980

Sounds (UK) 6 Oct 1979

Sounds (DE) Dec 1979 (****)

Stereoplay (DE) Jan 1980 (***)

Album "Look Sharp!"

Hi-Fi News & Record Review (UK) May 1979 (*****)

“A debut album that could end on many ‘best of 79’ listings.”

Melody Maker (UK) 3 Feb 1979 (*****)

Billboard (US) 24 March 1979

New Musical Express (UK) 3 Feb 1979

Rolling Stone (US) 31 May 1979 (****)

Sounds (UK) 27 Jan 1979

Musik-Express (DE) July 1979

Sounds (DE) May 1979 (****)

Single "One More Time"

New Musical Express (UK) 2 June 1979 (****)

“Bouncy, catchy, melodic, intelligent, fun... and a flop.”

Melody Maker (UK) 12 May 1979

Single "Sunday Papers"

Melody Maker (UK) 17 Feb 1979

Single "Is She Really Going Out With Him?"

Melody Maker (UK) 28 Oct 1978 (****)

“Joe debuts with modern-ish pop that is carefully structured.”

Lyric quote taken from "The Verdict”

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