Sunday Papers

Album: Look Sharp! (1979)

Songfacts®:

  • One of the few songs on Joe Jackson's debut album Look Sharp! that isn't about interpersonal relationships and matters of love, "Sunday Papers" is a takedown of the Fleet Street press, the UK print media that were prone to cover sensationalistic and frightening news stories to boost readership. Jackson had his battles with the press, who often categorized him in ways that weren't to his liking (New Wave?). His message here: don't trust everything you read, and don't let it affect your lifestyle.
  • In 2011, it was revealed that the British newspaper News of the World was involved in phone hacking, and it produced quite a scandal. In 2012, we asked Joe Jackson about this event and if his song was prophetic. His reply: "I think that what applied now applied then. I think that some of the worst people just got busted, that's all. All that stuff with the News of the World, I think it was business as usual. There are certain publications in the UK that have gone down market, that have gotten trashier. And there are some that are still at least trying to maintain a certain dignity. But yeah, I'm not a big fan of the UK media in general."
  • Jackson used a reggae beat on this song, which is something The Clash, The Police, and Elvis Costello were also up to. Another Jackson song with a reggae influence is "Fool in Love."

Comments: 1

  • Brent from Denair, CaI think Joe Jackson had some clear vision about the sensational media in general and now, this song certainly applies to the internet/social media as well. Sensationalism and the first to report the story, even if it's incorrect. Great song!
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