A Musical A-Z: J

‘J’ already? Don’t forget to play along. Any singer, song, group, or album. As long as the name begins with ‘J’.

I’m not going to miss the chance of starting off with a double ‘J’. Who else, but Janis Joplin? She died young, but still left a great body of work behind her. My choice is from her solo album, ‘Pearl’. It has been on this blog before, but it can never be heard enough, in my opinion. It really doesn’t get much better than this, believe me. Pass that spliff, and the bottle of Jack Daniels. Please.
Trust Me

I recently mentioned Jackie Wilson, and the tribute song from Van Morrison, ‘Jackie Wilson Said’. That song was later covered by Dexy’s Midnight runners, and was actually just as good. So, here are both versions. The song is that good, it’s worth it. Honest.
Jackie Wilson Said

I always liked the British band, The Jam. Paul Weller was a real talent, and has remained so to this day. His retro ‘Mod’ style appealed to the ‘me’ of my younger days, and his hard-edged political songs caught the imagination of the public in the 1980s. There are many to choose from, but this will do.
Going Underground.

Jackson Browne is actually older than me. That’s hard to believe, as his voice and youthful looks are stuck in my past memories. I didn’t buy a lot of his records, I admit. But I really loved this one. And still do.
Doctor My Eyes

Given that this is my blog, ‘J’ wouldn’t be ‘J’ without Jamiroquai now, would it? So many to think about, and a wonderful back catalogue to peruse. Because I have written about this British band so much, I should perhaps have given them a miss. But I couldn’t. It would not have been right. So, here we go again. Jazz-funk at its best. Never equalled. Go for it, Jay Kay.
The Return of The Space Cowboy.

Janet Jackson lives in the shadow of her brother, Michael. Here’s a shocking revelation, I actually prefer her records! And she is a double ‘J’ to boot! Whatever you think about the Jacksons, they produced a massive body of work in the Tamla/Soul genre. To be honest, I got fed up of Michael becoming too precious, and unnecessarily ‘white’. But his sister grabbed the baton, and produced some wonderful stuff indeed. From ‘The Velvet Rope’ album, this sublime track. Ever been lonely? I have.
Magical stuff, and she looks hot too.
I Get So Lonely

The top pick for today was cast in stone from the start. Corinne Bailey Rae is a wonderful British soul singer. Her sad life is reflected in her heartbreaking songs, and there is nothing better than this one, which speaks to everyone who has ever loved anyone. If someone else has a better tone to their voice, or sings with more feeling, then let me know. I doubt I will have to eat my hat.
Just Like A Star

44 thoughts on “A Musical A-Z: J

  1. For some reason, “J” has me listing all “Americana”. If someone wanted to know a bit about life in the U.S.A., they could listen to: Jayhawks, a truly great band, that just did an album with Ray Davies (never saw that one coming!), Johnny Cash, and James McMurtry (“Choctaw Bingo”). J.D. Souther, a great songwriter. Harry James (big band) and Billy Joel (I don’t like his voice particularly, or his backup band, but he’s an excellent songwriter). I enjoy reading your picks, and you’ve got great contributors, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Robert. I don’t know some of those names, but I do agree about Billy Joel, and your comment on my contributors. (Including you!) That’s why I enjoy doing series like these, as they bring out that community feel of blogging that I enjoy so much.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A few I can think of:
    Just Like Heaven-The Cure
    July, July!-The Decembrists
    Jesus Alone-Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
    (Joe Gets Kicked Out of School for Doing) Drugs with Friends (But Says this Isn’t a Problem)-Car Seat Headrest
    Jetstream-New Order
    Joan of Arc-Arcade Fire

    As far as bands/musicians, the first that came to my mind were Jack White and James. I also have a friend who just started releasing music who goes by Jac with no K.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Another great selection. I love your choice of Van Marrison’s song (I love Jackie Wilson too) but had never heard the other version that is indeed great. Great to see Jamiroquai here again. It’s home for them, isn’t it? I can’t think of anybody not mentioned already (I’m also a big fan of Joe Cocker… I like crooked voices) and look forward to more suggestions. Thanks so much, Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Olga. Joe Cocker was a powerful singer indeed. I love his version of the song, ‘You are so beautiful’. His death lost us one of the great voices.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  4. I knew your list would have Janis Joplin and Jamiroquai Pete. You really do have impeccable taste in music. So I know you’ll be so, so disappointed, but my list is going to be a bit short tonight. For artists, my list would include: Janis, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Journey, Julie Andrews, Elton John (I can’t remember if I already listed him under ‘E’), Jill Scott, J. Geils Band, John Lennon, Jewel, John Mellencamp, Norah Jones, and the Piano Man himself-Billy Joel. My songs would include the aforementioned Janie’s Got A Gun, as well as:
    Jack & Diane – John Mellencamp
    Jaded – Aerosmith
    Jacob’s Ladder – Rush
    Jamie’s Cryin’/Jump – Van Halen
    Jane Doe – Alicia Keys
    Jar of Hearts – Christina Perrie
    Jennifer Juniper – Donovan
    Jeremy – Pearl Jam ( If you haven’t seen the video Pete, you should.)
    Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield
    Jesus Christ – Woody Guthrie
    Jimmy Collin’s Wake – Dropkick Murphys
    Joy To the World – Three Dog Night and Whitney Houston versions
    Jukebox Hero – Foreigner
    Judas – Lady Gaga
    Just the Way You Are – Bruno Mars

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Three Dog Night were very big in the USA , obviously. They had a few hits here too, ‘back in the day’.
      Perhaps a little too ‘country’ for me, but thanks for playing along.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  5. I saw Janis Joplin in San Francisco in 1967 with Big Brother and the Holding Company. I thought she had an awful voice! As for my choice “Jump, Jive and Wail” which my grandkids used in a dance recital.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth. I get you about some live performances. I loved Otis Redding, but when I saw him live, I was desperately disappointed. Janis is definitely better on record than performing live. She was drunk on stage most of the time anyway. I much prefer her slow songs, like the one featured.
      I had never heard of your choice, but I see it won a Grammy. I played the track, and really enjoyed the retro jive style. Brian Setzer was in the Stray Cats, and they had some hits in the UK.
      Best wishes, Pete.


      1. I bet you were right about her being drunk. It was the “summer of love” and most of the audience was high on something or other and probably loved her anyway. Me, being stone cold sober, thought her a bad singer.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. She was famous for getting through a lot of Jack Daniels during her performances, as well as enjoying all those drugs that were popular back then. Sad of course, as it all contributed to her very early death.
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I like all your choices, Pete. You’ve picked some favs of mine like DMR and Janis Joplin. She’s gold. My choice off the top of my head would be songs by Journey, James Taylor, Joe Cocker, John Lennon, Judy Garland. “Jambalaya” by Van Morrison and “Jazz Man” by Carol King. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I knew one group would make it….LOL….group/artists is so easy…..J. Geils Band, JJ Cale, James Taylor, Joan Jett, Jello Biafra….now the songs were a bit harder….”Just My imagination”-Temptations, “Joy To The World”–Three Dog Night, “Jessica” Allman Bros. band, “Jumping Jack Flash”..the Stones……it is beer thirty….see ya later….chuq

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Pete, another great list – and I smiled when the first graphic for Janis Joplin came up! There is a terrific documentary about her – here is the link if you want to check it out:


    As for my own “J” songs, Journey’s greatest hits album is a pleasure of pure pop rock goodness, but I’d go with “The Girl Can’t Help It”.

    Jamiroquai indeed! And one last one: Aerosmith’s comeback was complete when they released “Janie’s Got A Gun” – they had a nice run after this cemented their return.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks as always for your suggestions, John. I think that the band Journey must have been much bigger in the US than they were here, judging by all the comments from Americans so far..
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Do you guys have sex over there? I don’t go anywhere where I can’t have sex.
    Oh.. wait.. nevermind, that’s not important anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Doug, as I have said to all my American friends. If you hadn’t had Independence, you would never have got Trump! Perhaps you would like a re-think?
      Enjoy those beers and burgers, my friend across the water.
      Best wishes to you and your partner. Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh dear. You are correct. My beer and burgers will now have a sour taste.
        I’m still considering defection to the UK. I should merge right in there considering I am more Anglo than the average Brit. Hey… does that give me any royal bloodline?
        King Doug.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Like most people here, if you try hard enough, you will discover some distant connection to the Throne. I would vote for John Goodman, and ‘King Ralph’, myself. 🙂


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