100 Best Debut Albums of All Time

From the Beatles to Nas and beyond

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'Look Sharp!'
Courtesy of A&M Records98/100

98. 'Look Sharp!'

Joe Jackson
A&M, 1979

He didn't have Elvis Costello's way with words, or Graham Parker's blue-eyed-soul-man style. But Joe Jackson's debut showed that he could match his rival angry young Brits where it counted: song-for-song. Look Sharp! is a near-perfect short, sharp New Wave-pop album, toggling from wiry punk ("Got the Time") to witty ballads  ("Is She Really Going Out with Him?"), from social commentary ("Sunday Papers") to bruised romance ("One More Time"). Secret weapon: Jackson's ferocious little four-piece band, especially bassist Graham Maby, who nearly steals the show.

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