Preparing a retrospective of an artist as eclectic as Joe Jackson is no easy task. After releasing two literate, angst-ridden rock records at the dawn of the 1980s, he seemed poised to usurp the throne occupied by Elvis Costello. Instead, he opted out of the blossoming new wave scene and developed a signature blend of jazz, Latin, classical, rock, and swing. Spectrum's new collection is an adequate addition to the Jackson compilation canon. Hits like "Stepping Out" and fan favorites such as "Happy Loving Couples" sit well in a mix both familiar and surprising -- the track "Target," from 1982's Night and Day, appears on no other anthology -- making The Collection a nice introduction for the curious, and a treat for longtime fans.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger