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The singer-songwriter is so elementally articulate, so gifted at grasping both the rawest and the most complicatedly cooked emotions in her compositions, that critical framing best comes after the experience of listening to her.
Rickie’s voice is organically laced with deep pain and soul, and when that’s mixed with the longing embedded within her (sometimes) little-girl delivery it can break your heart.
—Seattle Music Insider
Rickie Lee Jones skyrocketed to fame in 1979, when as a barely known artist she appeared on Saturday Night Live. Performing her biggest hit “Chuck E.’s In Love” in her trademark red beret, she was instantly dubbed “the Duchess of Coolsville” by Time Magazine. Since then she has gone on to win two Grammy Awards, appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone twice, and was included in VH1’s 100 Greatest Women of Rock and Roll.
Released in 1979, her self-titled debut on Warner Brothers won her the Grammy Award for Best New Artist and reached number three on the Billboard Albums chart. The album’s brilliant songs include the exceptional “On Saturday Afternoons in 1963,” the haunting “The Last Chance Texaco,” and the popular “Chuck E.’s In Love,” a top-five pop single.
Two years after that Grammy-winning debut, Jones released her much-anticipated sophomore effort Pirates, which was awarded five out of five stars by Rolling Stone and called “a remarkable piece of work” by The New York Times. The album featured an all-star band supporting Jones, including Steely Dan members Donald Fagen, Victor Feldman, and Randy Brecker.
In recent years, Pirates’ reputation has continued to grow. British magazine The Word included the record as one of pop music’s 25 Most Underrated Albums of All Time while NPR Music listed it on their 150 Greatest Albums Made by Women.
Producer’s Circle member Tom G.