The photo used on the album’s cover was shot by Brian Griffin on London’s South Bank, near London Waterloo station. Upon arriving at the South Bank, Griffin noticed a shaft of light landing on the ground, and asked Jackson to stand there: the whole process took no more than five minutes. According to Griffin, Jackson hated the record sleeve as it didn’t include his face and vowed never to work with Griffin again allegedly.
In the autumn of 1978, there was plenty of buzz in the post-punk, new wave UK music scene about Joe Jackson. The classically-trained singer, songwriter and pianist from Portsmouth arrived with some powerful melodies and cutting-edge lyrics, none more so than on his debut single ‘Is She Really Going Out With Him.
Nevertheless, Jackson started the new year as one to watch, and with a debut album on release. Look Sharp hit the shops on 5 January 1979, also featuring the further smart singles ‘Sunday Papers’ and ‘One More Time,’ which enjoyed similar press approval but few sales. But, as word of mouth about the album grew and Jackson promoted it with extensive UK touring, the album (produced by American David Kershenbaum) made a modest debut in March, at No. 63.