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"I can sell you anything" Post-punk power pop performed perfectly

This wasn’t Joe Jackson’s biggest hit but it was his defining song in the early days. And by early days, I mean before he went old-school in 1981 with Jumpin’ Jive and the songs of Glenn Miller. But you can certainly see in this clip how he comes by his “jumpin’” honestly.

A powerhouse of positive energy, if this song doesn’t put a smile on your face you probably need to up your meds. Jackson and his wave-mates did to stagnant late-70s music what Little Richard did to Pat Boone 25 years earlier. Suddenly there was a bounce in the step of contemporary music again. Not only is this a new kind of pop, but it’s also not delivered by a long-hair on ‘ludes in a buckskin jacket. Not since the imposition of The Beatles' Brian Epstein had a cool act worn a suit and tie on stage. Not only does it seem natural, but the guy doesn’t break a sweat even though he’s bouncing at breakneck speed.

This is in a long line of eye-poking songs that skewer the marketing and “star maker machinery behind the popular song.” From Zappa’s I Am The Slime before it, to Neil Young’s This Note’s For You after it, some of the best and most successful songwriters have happily taken on the marketing departments that are part of the industry that employs them.

Don’t miss Joe taking a Jerry Lee Lewis-meets-Keith Moon turn on the keyboards during the only instrumental break. A born showman with a big-picture grasp of music –– he gels a myriad of influences into a uniquely original comic crazy rock n roll dance party.

And if some part of your body isn’t bouncing along to this song, you need to kick it up a notch.


= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =


I'm the Man
(words & music by Joe Jackson)

Pretty soon now

Y'know I'm gonna make a comeback

And like the birds and the bees in the trees

It's a sure-fire smash


I'll speak 

To the masses throughout the media

And if you got anything to say to me

You can say it with cash

'Cause I got the trash and you got the cash

So baby we should get along fine

So give me all your money 'cause I know you think I'm funny

Can't you hear me laughing

Can't you see me smile

I'm the man

I'm the man that gave you the hula-hoop

I'm the man

I'm the man that gave you the yo-yo

Kung fu

That was one of my good ones

Well what's a few broken bones

When we all know it's good clean fun

Skateboards

I've almost made them respectable

You see I can't always get through to you

So I go for your son


I had a giant rubber shark and it really made a mark

Didja looka looka lookit alla blood

Give me all your money 'cause I know you think I'm funny

Can't you hear me laughing


Can't you see me smile

I'm the man

I'm the man that gave you the hula-hoop

I'm the man

I'm the man that gave you the yo-yo

Right now

I think I'm gonna plan a new trend

Because the line on the graph's getting low

And we can't have that

And you think you're immune

But I can sell you anything

Anything from a thin safety pin

To a pork pie hat

'Cause I got the trash and you got the cash

So baby we should get along fine

So give me all your money 'cause I know you think I'm funny

Can't you hear me laughing

Can't you see me smile

I'm the man

I'm the man that gave you the hula-hoop

I'm the man

I'm the man that gave you the yo-yo

YouTube Uploader: thecatkeaton
thecatkeaton

"Rock Goes To College" 1979.

Retrieved from Wikipedia:
I'm the Man on Wikipedia
"I'm the Man"
I'm the Man - Joe Jackson (song).jpg
Single by Joe Jackson
from the album I'm the Man
B-side"Come On"
ReleasedSeptember 1979
Format7" 45-RPM single
RecordedMarch 1979
TW Studios, Fulham, London
GenreNew wave
Length3:42
LabelA&M Records
Writer(s)Joe Jackson
Producer(s)David Kershenbaum
Joe Jackson singles chronology

"I'm the Man" is a song written and performed by Joe Jackson, appearing on the album of the same name.

Contents

  • 1 Background
  • 2 Release
  • 3 Charts
    • 3.1 Weekly charts
    • 3.2 Year-end charts
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links

Background

"I'm the Man" is a fast paced rocker, described by AllMusic critic Tom Maginnis as "a ball of nervy new wave pop, tumbling straight ahead at breakneck speeds, while Jackson plays the role of media-savvy flimflam man, willing to promote any latest fad for a buck, like the shady street vendor of trinkets he portrays on the front cover."[1] He also said that the song "follows squarely in the footprints of "Got the Time" and "Throw It Away" from Look Sharp!".

Critic Mike DeGagne of AllMusic said that "the frantic "I'm the Man" showcases Jackson at his most frenzied, as a freight train's worth of lyrics pile haphazardly into one another alongside a wonderfully hysteric rhythm. Not only does the track show off Jackson's free-range ability, but his sense of humor arises once again, following in the footsteps of Look Sharp!'s 'Is She Really Going Out With Him.'"[2]

Release

"I'm the Man" was released as the lead single from I'm the Man in 1979, backed with the Chuck Berry track, "Come On." The song, despite hitting #23 in Canada, did not find much chart success, failing to chart in both America and Britain. Its follow-up, "It's Different for Girls," was more successful, becoming a top 10 hit for Jackson.

Despite not being a commercial hit, the song has appeared on multiple compilation albums, including Stepping Out: The Very Best of Joe Jackson and This Is It! (The A&M Years 1979–1989). It appeared in live form on the album Live 1980/86.

References

  1. ^ Tom Maginnis. "I'm the Man - Joe Jackson | Song Info". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-10-15. 
  2. ^ Mike DeGagne. "I'm the Man - Joe Jackson | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-10-15. 
  3. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-15. 

External links

  • Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
   

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