Rickie Lee Jones (album)

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Rickie Lee Jones
Rickie Lee Jones 1979 debut album cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 28, 1979
RecordedSeptember–December 1978
StudioWarner Bros. Recording Studios and The Burbank Studios
Tracks 2, 11 recorded live December 22, 1978 at TBS
LabelWarner Bros.
Rickie Lee Jones chronology
Rickie Lee Jones

Rickie Lee Jones is the debut studio album by American singer-songwriter Rickie Lee Jones, released on February 28, 1979 by Warner Bros. Records.


Jones had begun playing live in the Los Angeles area at the age of 21, and after meeting singer-songwriter Alfred Johnson, the pair began writing and performing live together (most notably at the Ala Carte club.) Two of their collaborations, "Weasel and the White Boys Cool" and "Company," would later be recorded for Jones' debut album. She also sang jazz standards, as well as a song penned by her father ("The Moon Is Made of Gold") in her live sets.

Jones' performances around Los Angeles aroused interest from other local songwriters, as well as local record company executives. At a label showcase, Jones performed originals, including "Chuck E.'s in Love", "The Real Thing Is Back in Town" and "The Moon Is Made of Gold." This showcase performance, plus a demo containing "The Last Chance Texaco", "Easy Money", "Young Blood" and "After Hours" led to a record deal with Warner Bros. For her major label debut, Jones scrapped "The Real Thing Is Back in Town," but used the titular line in one of the album's tracks – "Coolsville."

Recording sessions (which began in September 1978) yielded eleven songs for inclusion on an album. Two of the songs – "On Saturday Afternoons in 1963" and "After Hours" – were recorded live on December 22, 1978.

Cover image[edit]

The album cover photo was taken by Norman Seeff, and the art direction and design was by Mike Salisbury.[1]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Smash Hits8/10[3]
The Village VoiceB−[4]

A retrospective review from AllMusic stated; "With her expressive soprano voice employing sudden alterations of volume and force, and her lyrical focus on Los Angeles street life, Rickie Lee Jones comes on like the love child of Laura Nyro and Tom Waits on her astounding self-titled debut album that simultaneously sounds like a synthesis of many familiar styles and like nothing that anybody's ever done before."

The lead single "Chuck E.'s in Love" peaked at No. 4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, while the album peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200.[5] The album was further promoted by a performance on Saturday Night Live in April 1979, where she performed "Chuck E.'s in Love" and "Coolsville".[6] A second single, "Young Blood", peaked at No. 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 in late 1979.[5] The album was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America on August 7, 1979, for sales of one million copies.[7] The album was also certified Silver in the UK and 2x Platinum in Australia.


Grammy Awards
Year Work Award Recipient Result Ref
1980 Rickie Lee Jones Best New Artist Rickie Lee Jones Won [8]
"Chuck E.'s In Love" Song of the Year Nominated
Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female Nominated
"The Last Chance Texaco" Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female Nominated
Rickie Lee Jones Best Engineered Recording – Non-Classical Tom Knox Nominated [9]

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from the album's liner notes.[1]

  1. "Chuck E.'s in Love" 3:28
  2. "On Saturday Afternoons in 1963" – 2:31
  3. "Night Train" – 3:14
  4. "Young Blood" – 4:04
  5. "Easy Money" – 3:16
  6. "The Last Chance Texaco" – 4:05
  7. "Danny's All-Star Joint" – 4:01
  8. "Coolsville" – 3:49
  9. "Weasel and the White Boys Cool" (Jones, Alfred Johnson) – 6:00
  10. "Company" (Jones, Alfred Johnson) – 4:40
  11. "After Hours (Twelve Bars Past Goodnight)" – 2:13


  • Penny Ringwood – production assistant
  • Lee Herschberg, Loyd Clifft – engineer
  • Roger Nichols, Tom Knox – additional engineering
  • Mike Salisbury – art direction, cover design
  • Norman Seeff – cover photography



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[19] 2× Platinum 140,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[20] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[21] Platinum 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ a b Rickie Lee Jones (booklet). Rickie Lee Jones. Warner Bros. 1979.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  2. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Rickie Lee Jones – Rickie Lee Jones". AllMusic. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  3. ^ Starr, Red (August 9–22, 1979). "Albums". Smash Hits. Vol. 1, no. 18. p. 25.
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (April 30, 1979). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved September 20, 2012.
  5. ^ a b "US Albums and Singles Charts > Rickie Lee Jones". Billboard. Archived from the original on August 17, 2017. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  6. ^ Saturday Night Live (April 7, 1979). "Richard Benjamin/Rickie Lee Jones". IMDb. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  7. ^ "American certifications – Rickie Lee Jones". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on July 2, 2022. Retrieved July 2, 2022.
  8. ^ "Rickie Lee Jones". The Recording Academy. Archived from the original on March 9, 2021. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  9. ^ "Tom Knox". The Recording Academy. Archived from the original on July 3, 2022. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  10. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  11. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 4544a". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
  12. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Rickie Lee Jones – Rickie Lee Jones" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 January 2022.
  13. ^ "Charts.nz – Rickie Lee Jones – Rickie Lee Jones". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 January 2022.
  14. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Rickie Lee Jones – Rickie Lee Jones". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 January 2022.
  15. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 28 January 2022.
  16. ^ "Rickie Lee Jones Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 28 January 2022.
  17. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 431. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  18. ^ "Top Selling Albums of 1979 — The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Recorded Music New Zealand. Retrieved 28 January 2022.
  19. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1996 Albums" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved November 27, 2021.
  20. ^ "British album certifications – Rickie Lee Jones – Rickie Lee Jones". British Phonographic Industry. October 10, 1979. Retrieved September 2, 2021.
  21. ^ "American album certifications – Rickie Lee Jones – Rickie Lee Jones". Recording Industry Association of America. August 7, 1979. Retrieved February 20, 2013.

External links[edit]