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A LAZY STROLL DOWN MEMORY LANE : 45 45s AT 45 (42)

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ORIGINALLY POSTED ON THURSDAY 27 MARCH 2008

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It’s 1979. 4th Year at School. It’s that time of your life when you stop going on holiday with your parents and your younger brothers and sisters. And you use the freedom of being at home on your own to throw a party. It’s all part of being a teenager….well it was in those days.

There were parties every weekend in July and August 1979 at someone or others house. And every week, I’d walk home alone frustrated at my inabilities to not get tongue-tied when trying to converse with an attractive member of the opposite sex. It didn’t help that at the age of 16 , I looked at least two years younger….while most of the guys in school looked two years older and boasted of being able to get into pubs. And they had no problems in getting girlfriends….

Aside from being a song that perfectly captures my life at a particular point in time, I really was a fan of Joe Jackson when he burst onto the scene. His early records were infectiously catchy in many places, and his lyrics were angst-ridden enough to strike a chord. The fact he was classically-trained made a big difference in what was very much a DIY-dominated industry at the point in history. Joe looked and sounded different.

His was one of the first concerts I ever went to at an over-18s venue – it was at Glasgow Tiffany’s (long gone, but a favourite stop-off point before Barrowlands became popular round about 1984/5). Anyway, the Joe Jackson gig was in 1980 when he was touring his third LP, Beat Crazy. I went along on my own with a false ID of a friend’s big brother just in case I got stopped on the door. I needn’t have worried – the stewards (they weren’t bouncers in those days) were completely relaxed and probably had a good laugh as they watched me pace up and down outside the venue plucking up the courage to try my luck…

It was a great gig – on the same tour BBC Radio 1 recorded the London gig and broadcast it one Saturday evening – somewhere in a box I still have the C120 cassette tape I made that night – and there’s a 1980 gig by The Jam on the other side.

Incidentally, I no longer have this particular single, and therein lies a sad but stupid tale.

It was 1986, and I was living with friends in a bedsit flat in Edinburgh. All of us had issues with the landlord, and we were withholding rent. After three months, things were threatening to turn nasty with threats of court action, so we collectively did a runner, which in our case was gather up all our possessions, load them into a hired van and head off to our new abodes. We did this around midnight one evening.

The next morning was when I realised I had left behind, in my haste, crates of 7″ singles – maybe amounting to 500 records in all. I had taken all the 12″ singles and LPs in boxes, all my books and my clothes…..but somehow left behind booty that had a value well in excess of the amount of rent that we all owed. These days, I still scour second-hand shops, e-bay etc trying to piece it all back together again….but I know I’ll never ever fully succeed.

So…the picture that illustrates this entry is in fact of a record I never owned as it is the US release of the single. The UK cover was totally different. And the b-side of the UK single wasn’t on the original LP, but I have tracked it down, thanks to it being included on a re-issued version more than two decades later:-

mp3 : Joe Jackson – Is She Really Going Out With Him?
mp3 : Joe Jackson – You Got The Fever

This single was first released in late 1978 but flopped. Re-released in July 1979, it reached #13 in the UK charts.

To this day, Joe still plays it live, but every tour sees a different version altogether and many of these can be tracked down all over the internet.

I HOPE YOU LIKE THIS SONG COS HERE’S FOUR VERSIONS OF IT

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This single from 1979 sneaked into the lower echelons of my 45 45s at 45 series back in 2008:-

mp3 : Joe Jackson – Is She Really Going Out With Him?

My love for the song is as much to do with the memories it brings back and that was the end of 4th Year at Secondary School, turning sixteen years of age and feeling you know everything there is to know about life. It’s a time when you feel of an age that you don’t want to go on holiday with your family and wee brothers and instead you want to stay at home and throw a party for all your mates. I wasn’t alone in trying to do this as it seemed there were parties every weekend in July and August 1979 at someone or others house.

The thing is….every single one of those weeks, I’d end up walking home alone frustrated at my inabilities to not get tongue-tied when trying to converse with an attractive member of the opposite sex. It didn’t help that at the age of 16 , I looked at least two years younger….while most of the guys in school looked two years older and boasted of being able to get into pubs. And they had no problems in getting girlfriends….

Aside from this being a song that perfectly captures my life at a particular point in time, I really was a fan of Joe Jackson when he burst onto the scene. His early records were infectiously catchy in many places, and his lyrics were angst-ridden enough to strike a chord. The fact he was classically-trained made a big difference in what was very much a DIY-dominated industry at the point in history. Joe looked and sounded different.

His was one of the first concerts I ever went to at an over-18s venue – it was at Glasgow Tiffany’s (long gone, but a favourite stop-off point before Barrowlands became popular round about 1984/5). Anyway, the Joe Jackson gig was in 1980 when he was touring his third LP, Beat Crazy. I went along on my own with a false ID of a friend’s big brother just in case I got stopped on the door. I needn’t have worried – the stewards (they weren’t bouncers in those days) were completely relaxed and probably had a good laugh as they watched me pace up and down outside the venue plucking up the courage to try my luck…

It was a great gig – on the same tour BBC Radio 1 recorded the London gig and broadcast it one Saturday evening – somewhere in a box I still have the C120 cassette tape I made that night – and there’s a 1980 gig by The Jam on the other side.

That tour was the end of a chapter for Joe as come the end of it he had disbanded the band that had recorded the first three of his albums. Their last gig was in Utrecht in the Netherlands on 15 December 1980, and so this was would have been the final time they played the signature tune:-

mp3 : Joe Jackson – Is She Really Going Out With Him? (live, 1980)

The song however, remained a constant throughout the many tours that Joe Jackson would undertake during the 80s although to avoid getting bored with it he would arrange completely different versions making the best use of the talents of the singers and musicians in his backing band. For instance, the Night & Day Tour of 1983 saw an a capella version as recorded in Sydney on 7th May:-

mp3 : Joe Jackson – Is She Really Going Out With Him? (a capella, 1983)

The following year, it was given an acoustic unplugged sort of treatment, with this version taken from a show in Melbourne on 24th July 1984:-

mp3 : Joe Jackson – Is She Really Going Out With Him? (acoustic, 1984)

The three live versions are all lifted from a double live LP that was released back in 1988 and which devoted one side of vinyl to each of four tours between 1980 and 1986. It is worth noting that bass player Graham Maby sings and plays on all four of these versions.

Enjoy