ne of the most powerful albums to come out of the British New Wave scene, Look Sharp! features a cover that captures some of the oddball impact of the music. The cover photo -- a dramatic study of Joe Jackson's shoes -- was a happy accident. "I think we just wanted a photo of my Denson's shoes," says Jackson, "because I'd just bought them the day before. Brian Griffin took maybe one or two shots of them as part of an entire day spent doing more typical portrait shots." One of those portraits -- with Jackson punkishly pointing a finger at the camera -- was used for the album's back cover. "The shoe shot certainly wasn't planned or intended to become the cover," says Jackson, "but when we saw the contact prints, everyone liked the image."
So what became of the shoes? "The art director borrowed them for marketing purposes," says Jackson, "and I never did get them back." In the name of investigative journalism, Rolling Stone has located the shoes -- size 8 -- in the office of Paulette Rapp, executive assistant to label chairman Jerry Moss.
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