It's Different for Girls
|"It’s Different for Girls"|
|Single by Joe Jackson|
|from the album I'm the Man|
|Released||30 Nov 1979 (UK)|
|Format||7" 45-RPM single|
TW Studios, Fulham, London
|Joe Jackson singles chronology|
"It’s Different for Girls" is a song by Joe Jackson appearing on his 1979 album, I'm the Man. The song has since become one of his most successful singles, notably being the highest charting Joe Jackson single in the UK. Covers have been recorded and released by several different artists.
"It's Different for Girls" contained lyrics that feature Jackson "deliberately turn[ing] clichés on their head" in that, while originally sounding as if the song would suggest that the male protagonist was looking for sex and his female partner was looking for love, the opposite is revealed to be the case. Jackson later said on the song's lyrics:
It was something that I heard somewhere that struck me as a cliché. The sort of thing that someone might say. And again, I thought, What could that be about? And that maybe the idea was to turn it on its head and have a conversation between a man and a woman and what you'd expect to be the typical roles are reversed. So that was the idea of that.— Joe Jackson, Songfacts, 2012
Taken from the Gold-certified 1979 album I'm the Man, "It's Different for Girls" was Joe Jackson's biggest UK chart single, peaking at #5 in the UK Singles Chart and #101 in Billboard. The song was backed with another track from I'm the Man, "Friday," in Britain, but in America, a live cover of the Chuck Berry song "Come On" was used instead.
Apart from appearing as a single and on the album I'm the Man, "It's Different for Girls" has also appeared on other Joe Jackson albums. A live version appeared on Live 1980/86 in 1987, having been recorded on Jackson's Big World tour in 1986. A different live version appeared on the 2000 album Summer in the City: Live in New York. During the Laughter and Lust tour, it was performed as a duet with Joy Askew. The original version of the song was also included on Jackson's 1990 compilation Stepping Out: The Very Best of Joe Jackson and again on the 1997 compilation This Is It! (The A&M Years 1979–1989). "Come On" was released as a bonus track on the 2001 reissue of I'm the Man - prior to this it had only been available on Propaganda, a 1979 A&M records sampler notable for live tracks from Joe Jackson and The Police.
The song opens with a simple repeated two-note pattern on guitar which is quickly joined by a pulse on bass and drums. The verses remain quiet, with these instruments and the singer's voice being the main components. A bridge leading from the verse to the chorus changes the dynamic with its strident two beats on the lyrics "she said", before returning to a quieter (though not as quiet as the verse) chorus, which is driven by a guitar motif and slow arpeggiated guitar pattern, over which the voice floats in a more complex melody before returning to the original two-note guitar and bass pulse of the introduction.
Unlike many of Jackson's later songs, he plays no instruments, keyboards being absent from the track.
- Joe Jackson – vocals
- Gary Sanford – guitar
- Graham Maby – bass, vocals
- David Houghton – drums, vocals
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||85|
|Irish Singles Chart||4|
|UK Singles Chart||5|
|Billboard Hot 100||101|
|"It's Different for Girls"|
|Single by Siskin|
|from the album Siskin|
|Format||CD, digital download|
|Siskin singles chronology|
- Galen Ayers - guitar, vocals
- Kirsty Newton - keyboards, bass, vocals
- The song was recorded by Farrah, and released as a track on their 2004 album Me Too.
- In 2012, Joe Pernice recorded a version of the song for a fund raising CD titled Super Hits of the Seventies for radio station WFMU.
- In 2019, Trevor Horn performed an orchestral arrangement of the song on his album Trevor Horn Reimagines the Eighties, featuring Marillion's Steve Hogarth on lead vocals.
- "top 100 songs of all time". FreakyTrigger. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
- Runtagh, Jordan. "Joe Jackson on His New Album and 40 Years of Following His Muse: 'I Have a Horror of Being Trendy'". People. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
- MacIntosh, Dan. "Joe Jackson interview". songfacts.com.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 274. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 151. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "Screen shot of search results for 'Joe Jackson'". Fireball Media. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
- "Official Charts > Joe Jackson". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 4 December 2015.