I'm The Man
LP | 1979 | US | Reissue (Intervention)
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Release:1979 / US – Reissue
Astonishingly released within months of Jackson's 1979 debut album "Look Sharp!“, "I’m The Man“ is another tight and inspired set of power-pop that features some of Jackson’s best and most timeless tunes. Many of the songs here like “On Your Radio”, “Kinda Kute”, and the title track “I’m The Man” fall right in line with the punchy guitar riffs and pounding bass that made "Look Sharp!" such a driving force. Jackson followed "I’m The Man" with only one more album featuring the tight ensemble featured here and creatively restless soul that he is didn’t return to this brand of power pop until reuniting that lineup for 2003’s underrated "Volume 4". I doubt it was possible to listen to "I’m The Man" in 1979, and predict the subsequent ska-inspired "Beat Crazy" or 1982’s ode to jazz, "Night And Day". But we do hear the songwriter growing into his powers with “It’s Different For Girls”, one of his strongest and most lyrically perceptive songs, and one with decades of staying power; one of Jackson’s great live set pieces today is a solo piano arrangement of that song that’s as arresting as the original in some ways. Jackson would famously broaden his influences in later albums and his catalog is nothing if not diverse. While Jackson’s greatest commercial success was "Night And Day", "Look Sharp!" and "I’m The Man" are new-wave classics that improve with every listen!"I'm The Man" is sourced from the best analog tape currently available, a beautifully preserved ½” 'safety copy' of the original stereo master. When mastering this LP we compared what we were getting off the tape to an original A&M UK LP. While great sounding overall, the original LP is of course a very edgy sounding New Wave, post-punk record with a brashness that borders on being outright bright sounding. Where the aggressive top-end energy is concerned, the tapes showed no discenible age! We were able to maintain that grungy edge, but also restore the driving bass lines and bottom-end foundation that were on these tapes. The result is the best-sounding "I'm The Man" anyone's ever heard, with all the drive and pop of the original UK release, but with superb tonal balance, imaging and clarity. The definitive issue of this iconic New Wave classic!