In the late 1970s, three British songwriters challenged the punk-scene and helped usher in the new wave sound: Elvis Costello, Graham Parker, and Joe Jackson. Like Costello and Parker, Jackson's lyrics were intelligent and brimming with creative wit and like his counterparts, he had a killer band that was critical in developing his sound.
The lineup was simple: piano, guitar, bass, and drums, but the results were striking. On his debut album, Look Sharp, Jackson harnessed the raw energy of punk, but made it more compelling by applying his pungent melody lines and eternally yearning vocals. On his second album, I'm The Man, Jackson's fascination with jazzier textures began to blossom, which he would further pursue with great success in the years to come.