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Joe Jackson

A restless performer who loves to explore different styles of music, Joe Jackson was initially associated with power-pop and new wave but cannot be classified that easily. Born David Ian Jackson in England in 1954, he started playing music on violin but soon settled on piano. Although he studied musical composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London, rock music was his main interest. Jackson’s first group was Edward Bear, which switched its name to Arms and Legs before breaking up in 1976. Around this time, he became known as Joe Jackson, and in 1978 he signed with A&M. He recorded three albums in two years, scoring a hit with “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” While the Joe Jackson Band toured quite regularly, it broke up in the early 1980s. Jackson took a left turn and recorded Jumpin’ Jive, a set of swing tunes inspired by Cab Calloway and Louis Jordan. 1982’s Night and Day, which paid tribute to the style of Cole Porter, was a big hit, particularly the cuts “Steppin’ Out” and “Breaking Us in Two.” Its follow-up was Body and Soul, which included the single “You Can’t Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want).” Since then Jackson has released many other albums, written film scores and, in 1999, his Symphony No. 1 was released by Sony Classical.