My Top 1000 Songs #513: One More Time

 [I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]

When Joe Jackson first arrived with the 1978 single "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" it was almost too perfect. That bassline, the deadpan call-and response vocals, the pointed tale of the jealous guy left behind--my generation's "Mr. Brightside," one might say. It was the song that came on the radio and you'd stop everything to listen, the one we'd all shout all with back in summer camp.

Alas, that sort of instant saturation leads to the kinda overplay that makes it a song I don't feel much need to reach for these days. In contrast, "One More Time," the opening track of 1979's (under-appreciated) debut LP Look Sharp, still excites me. A couple seconds in and you're hooked, Jackson immediately establishing himself as the skinny-tie power-pop version of Elvis Costello & Graham Parker's angrier post-pub-rock new wave. It's a great riff, signaling not just the beginning of a killer song, but an amazing album side that zips right into the darkly funny ska of "Sunday Papers" and the afore-referenced single--damn, what an opening triad!

Live 1980:
Live 1986: