Dave - Joe Jackson

from the album Fool (2019)

A few weeks ago, a funky friend sent me a social media post from one of the This Date In Music History websites that proclaimed it to be the fortieth anniversary of both Joe Jackson's Look Sharp and Elvis Costello's Armed Forces album releases.

In many ways, these two artists - along with Graham Parker, Squeeze, and Nick Lowe - helped to shape my musical identity as I stepped into adulthood.  They were witty and Britty.  They were outsiders who preferred to be on the outside.  They were angry, but not "punch you in the face" angry; rather they might cut you up with an intelligent or sarcastic quip.

They also made better music than anyone else.  Beyond the verbal gymnastics, they had an unequalled sense of melody and an appreciation of classical pop that shined through the speakers of my boombox.

I believe that they also shared a love for the craft of writing, recording, and performing music that connected with their music loving audience.  I find it interesting that all of these artists are still making outstanding music forty years later.  I also find it interesting that their fan base remains music lovers today, while those who trended towards many other subgenres have long since faded away.

I guess it's a love thing.

Joe Jackson's latest album is filled with an assortment of songs that reflect varied "sounds" that he and his band created over the years.  My favorite of these is Dave, the story of an underachiever who just might be more content than the majority of multitaskers, like you and I.

I dig the vibe, the melody, and all the hooks.  The simplicity of the lyrics - "Dave, lives in a cave" - perfectly matches the man that Dave likely is.

But what really makes this song resonate for me is when the chorus kicks in.  As the lyrics sing, "And you and me just keep on rushing 'round the world", the groove shifts on the word rushing with incredible punctuation.  This is something that master musicians can instinctively deliver.  You hear it in lots of R.E.M. songs.

Songs like Dave connect with me in a way that few others do.  I guess that witty, Britty, and melodic never goes out of style.

Click Here to listen to Dave by Joe Jackson.


  1. I’m seeing him in two weeks...love him forever!!! ❤️❤️❤️

    1. Of course! I remember listening to It's Different For Girls together. I love that song.

      I really wanted to see his show Atlanta this week, but a pair of tickets ran over $400. I decided to take a pass and bought a pair Nick Lowe tickets for $60 instead.

      I am sure that it will be a great show. Let me know if he plays Dave!

  2. I’d love to see Nick Lowe too. Wonder why Joe was so expensive there!! I can’t wait. I’ve missed him a couple of times he’s been to town. He rarely comes to the states.

    I need to listen to the new album, but hoping he plays some oldies too.

    I will definitely tell you what he plays!!


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