I’m only human
Thinking about potential album covers to recreate has led me down various routes. I’ve tended to pick albums that I love and own but I’ve also tried to think about strong images that would make for a good Blip tribute. This is more the latter than the former, although I do have a lot of time for Joe Jackson and think he’s rather under-rated as a songwriter, perhaps suffering from the critical view of him as a ‘cut-price Costello’, which I think is unfair.
To find out more about the full range of the Jackson oeuvre, have a listen to his interview on the ‘Sodajerker on Songwriting’ podcast www.sodajerker.com/episode-81-joe-jackson/ - and if you’re interested in songwriting as an art-form, then have a browse in the podcast’s archives. They’ve spoken to a huge range of songwriters from a wide range of musical genres. I love it!
‘I’m The Man’ was Jackson’s second album, released back in 1979, with a cover photo by Bruce Rae featuring Jackson in full spiv mode https://progrography.com/joe-jackson/joe-jackson-im-man-1979/ Definitely fun to recreate!
It gives me another opportunity to drag up and explore gender presentations - which is something which interests me greatly. All my life I’ve found gender norms and expectations troublesome. I was never a ‘girly’ girl and as a young child I wished that I’d been a boy. As I grew older and became more politicised and educated, I realised that there is no single ‘right’ way to be a girl, or a boy, and that not everyone fits neatly into either category - in fact, the possibilities are endless - and I became much more comfortable with the kind of girl that I am. I also tend to believe that gender is very much about ‘performance’ for all of us, whether we think about it or not, and whether we see ourselves as ‘feminine’, ‘masculine’ or anywhere in between. And I think that putting anyone in a tightly controlled box of gendered expectations is unhelpful and stifling to all of us as individuals. So, I love the opportunity to play around with it.
All of which leads to today’s tune, which was a big hit single from the ‘I’m The Man’ album, and which Joe Jackson has said was an attempt to reverse some gender norms about how women and men are supposed to feel about love, intimacy and relationships. Here’s ‘It’s Different for Girls’ https://youtube.com/watch?v=KLDFG5vm5kA