In 1986, Joe Jackson recorded an album that was sort-of a live album and a studio album. Let me explain.

1984s Body And Soul found Joe experimenting with reducing the complexity of studio recording. Big World continued that trend by being recorded live over 3 days in January at the Roundabout Theatre in New York City. The rehearsals were carefully monitored, and instruments and amplifiers placed just so, and the sound of the theatre was recorded with two microphones direct to a two-track digital master. Unlike most albums, there was absolutely no mixing.

To make the best performances possible, Joe had the theatre filled with an audience who was instructed to remain absolutely silent through the recording and well after the songs had ended so the album could be edited together with absolutely no crowd noise. The audience also affects hall acoustics in a big way.

It's a great album, a bit more rocking than the last few. Many of the songs are about travel and international culture and things like that, and was a good feel for the mid 80s. The song Right And Wrong summed up the Reagan era rather well.

Another interesting thing about this album is that the vinyl had three sides--it was two discs but the back of the second disc just had a big spiral and the label said "This side contains no music". If you have the CD you miss out on that subtlety. The cassette also had a different track order than the album or CD.

Tracks are:

< Body And Soul | Will Power >

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