During the 1980s and late 70s, there were some cool “Fool”-related songs I consider favorites to this day, like Frank Zappa’s “Dancin’ Fool,” “Find Another Fool” by Quarterflash, “Fool (If You Think It’s Over)” by Chris Rea, Def Leppard’s “Foolin’,” “Fool’s Gold” by The Stone Roses, “Ship Of Fools” by World Party, “What A Fool Believes” by The Doobie Brothers, my favorite Led Zeppelin song of all-time, “Fool In The Rain,” and even a band out of Ipswich, Massachusetts named The Fools, who had a couple of minor hits, including “It’s A Night For Beautiful Girls.” In honor of April Fool’s Day, my “song of the day” is by the amazing Joe Jackson, and is a song I really love – no fooling – “Fools In Love.”
“Fools In Love” is from Joe’s brilliant 1979 debut album, LOOK SHARP!, the same album that features such gems as “One More Time,” “Sunday Papers,” “Got The Time,” the title track and his first big hit, “Is She Really Going Out With Him?”
My favorite version of “Fools In Love” is a 7-minute masterpiece that appears on LIVE 1980/86, which happens to be my favorite live album of the 80s (Sting’s BRING ON THE NIGHT and Talking Heads’ STOP MAKING SENSE round out my Top 3). That version of “Fools In Love” was recorded live on May 8, 1983 at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney, Australia, featured on his 1982-1983 NIGHT AND DAY tour.
My favorite cover version of “Fools In Love” is by singer / songwriter / musician Inara George – one half of The Bird And The Bee – and was released, oddly enough, on the 2005 GREY’S ANATOMY, VOLUME 1 soundtrack (sorry, not a fan of the show, but I am a fan of Inara and this cover).
“Fools In Love” didn’t chart anywhere, but in the early days of CMJ (College Music Journal; or, the college music equivalent of BILLBOARD magazine), it reached No. 9 on the CMJ College Radio Tracks chart.
Joe Jackson has always had smart lyrics, but I love how, in the song, Joe is ranking on all these people who are in love (“Are there any creatures more pathetic?”), and that they are losers and fools for being in love (“Fools in love they think they’re heroes / Cause they get to feel more pain / I say fools in love are zeros”), but then reveals that he’s really just referring to himself…
Always been a big fan of Joe Jackson. In 1995, I had the option to see R.E.M. (just before Bill Berry left the band) or Joe Jackson, and chose Joe instead. I would have loved to see R.E.M., but I never regretted the decision to see Joe, and loved watching him perform.
Joe was touring in support of his 1994 classical-flavored album, NIGHT MUSIC, and people started shouting out some of the names of his hits. He pulls up to the mic and quietly said, “I don’t do requests.” It was brilliant. He later got to the hits people wanted to hear, but I just thought it was cool that he was there to do his thing and promote the album he wanted to promote, and did it on his terms.
I’ve always thought Joe Jackson was a bit under-appreciated here in the U.S., but not with me. I should know. I should know, because, I’ll always be a fool in love with Joe and his music…