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Classic Album Review: Joe Jackson | Two Rainy Nights: Live in Seattle & Portland

The sophisticated popster's glorified bootleg isn't bad, but it's for completists only.

This came out in 2004 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Joe Jackson fans, beware: This is not the forthcoming (and much-anticipated) live album of Jackson and his ’70s band’s stellar reunion tour last year.

That disc is Afterlife and it comes out in March. Two Rainy Nights, which seems like a blatant, slightly shady bid to take advantage of confused fans and completists, is essentially a glorified bootleg: It was taped about three years ago on his Night and Day II tour and seems to have been a radio broadcast, judging by the compressed dynamic range and dodgy, sometimes-distorted sound. The performance, admittedly, is decent enough — Jackson has always been an inventive live artist who prefers to rework his hits instead of just repeating them. Here, though, that means adding Latin percussion to everything, inadvertantly turning classics like Is She Really Going Out With Him? and Got the Time into Santana-style groovefests. Which is kind of neat for a while, but quite frankly gets old pretty fast. If you must have everything Jackson, go for it — but if you’re looking for primo live Jackson, pick up 2000’s Summer In The City or wait for Afterlife instead.