Joe Jackson

The Ultimate Collection

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With such an abundance of great tracks that were never issued as singles, in many ways, a single-disc Joe Jackson best-of just doesn't cut it. That's where the extensive, three-disc comp Ultimate Collection comes in handy. While artist collections are usually aimed at the casual fan (in search of strictly an artist's best known tracks), the third disc of Ultimate Collection will definitely appeal to the hardcore fan, as it's the first-ever CD release of Jackson's soundtrack to Mike's Murder. Jackson's early, new wave direction is evident on such standouts as "Sunday Papers," "I'm the Man," "One More Time," and of course, "Is She Really Going Out With Him" (one complaint though -- the omission of "Look Sharp"). But it soon became apparent that Jackson refused to be associated with a single style, as he went on to touch upon gorgeous ballads ("It's Different for Girls"), ska ("Beat Crazy"), swing ("Jumpin' Jive"), piano pop ("Steppin' Out," "Breaking Us in Two"), and even political statements ("Real Men"). Mike's Murder stands up well on its own as well, as the oft-overlooked album was what many fans consider the true "Part II" of the classic Night and Day (both albums were written/recorded around the same time). If you already have a Joe Jackson hits set and you want to dig a bit deeper, you may be better off just buying Jackson's first five albums in their entirety. If not, then Ultimate Collection will do nicely

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