"Looking for Jack" is the title track to Colin Hay's first solo album after disbanding his group Men At Work. When the group split up in 1986, he started work on the album in Los Angeles, which was a strange place for Hay, who was raised in Scotland before moving to Australia at age 14.
"When I was in Los Angeles I was driving around and I was aware of the fact that everyone was looking for something in Los Angeles," said Hay. "I wasn't sure what they were looking for, but I knew they were looking for something.
I couldn't sum it up: why people go to Los Angeles, why they take that trip. I knew a lot of people go there to realize their dreams and to get famous or whatever it is. People are drawn to that particular city for some reason and they all seem to be looking for something.
I got a little bit embarrassed and I went into the green room. I was talking to these girls and Jack came into the green room and he came right up to me and said, 'I just want to say, I'm a great big fan of yours too.'
So, I got excited by that because I had just met Jack Nicholson and then he walked off. The girl was still talking to me but I was distracted and I kept looking over her shoulder. She said, 'What are you doing, Colin?' and I said, 'Oh, I'm sorry, you'll have to excuse me, I'm just looking for Jack.' And she said, 'Yeah, everybody's always looking for Jack.' So, I said: 'Excuse me, I have to go home and finish something.'"
This song aged well, finding space in Hay's setlists, but it fared poorly when it was released, making no chart impact. It was quite a comedown for Hay, who was a huge star with Men At Work, but couldn't find an audience with his solo material despite label support - the album was released on Men At Work's label Columbia, which commissioned a video to promote it.
Hay moved to MCA for his next album, Wayfaring Sons (1990), but was dropped after that one flopped. For much of the '90s, he battled alcohol addiction while playing small shows and releasing independent albums. The work paid off: he got sober and earned a deal with Compass Records, which helped him find a new audience. He never again came close to the heights he reached with his former band, but he earned enough acclaim to fill small venues on a regular basis and earn airplay on some eclectic radio stations. [extract from Songfacts.com]
It is interesting to note that "Hold Me" was released as a single with a playable cover jacket (see left). The playable side features a medley of song exerts from the album. I've never seen this type of packaging before and would love to know if any other artist has released a record with a playable jacket.
01. Hold Me
02. Can I Hold You?
03. Looking for Jack
04. Master of Crime
05. These Are Our Finest Days
06. Puerto Rico
07. Ways of the World
08. I Don't Need You Anymore
09. Circles Erratica
10. Fisherman's Friend
11. Home Sweet Home (Bonus B-Side Single)
Colin Hay - Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
Jeremy Alsop - Bass, Keyboards
Chad Wackerman - Drums, Percussion
Robbie McIntosh - Electric Guitar
Linda Lewis, Dee Lewis, Morris Michael, Noel McCalla - Backing Vocals