Home Read Classic Album Review: Joe Jackson | Night and Day: Deluxe Edition

Classic Album Review: Joe Jackson | Night and Day: Deluxe Edition

The pop sophisticate's pivotal 1982 release returns with bonus tracks & rarities.


This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Night and Day obviously wasn’t Joe Jackson’s first album. Arguably, it isn’t even his best album. So why does it deserve the Deluxe Edition treatment? Because it’s undeniably a pivotal album in his career.

This 1982 release found Jackson purposefully leaving behind the shallow pop of his earlier work in favour of the sophisticated, intelligent compositions that he continues to favour. A concept-album song cycle about life in his adopted home of New York City, N&D is a superb pastiche of musical sounds and styles, with spicy salsa melodies and Latin rhythms at the forefront. Amid all the cosmopolitan hipness, it also held two memorable singles in Steppin’ Out and Breaking Us in Two.

This reissue — the latest in Universal’s exceptional Deluxe Edition series — appends the remastered original album with a second CD of goodies. First, you get a handful of Jackson’s surprisingly intricate demos, which sound impressively close to the final product. Then you get five cuts from the long-out-of-print Mike’s Murder soundtrack, recorded during the same period and with the same band. Finally, you get another five tracks from Jackson’s Live 1980/86 disc. Admittedly, there are a few flaws, mostly with the selection and packaging — a couple of tracks are listed in the wrong order; the essay isn’t especially informative, and the live cuts aren’t exactly rare. Still, the difference between the original and this edition is like … well, you know.


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