11 August 1954, Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, England. Having learned violin and piano as a teenager in Portsmouth, Jackson gained a place to study piano, percussion, composition and orchestration at Londons Royal Academy of Music. After leaving college in 1974 he joined the covers band Edward Bear. The line-up of Jackson, Mark Andrews (vocals) and Graham Maby (bass) changed their name to Arms & Legs and released three unsuccessful singles on the MAM Records label. Jackson returned to Portsmouth in 1977, where he worked as musical director to local cabaret act Koffee N Kreme and began working on his own demo material. Joined by Maby, Gary Sanford (guitar) and Dave Houghton (drums), he was signed up by A&M Records in the summer of 1978. His accomplished debut, Is She Really Going Out With Him?, was not an immediate hit; however, by the time Look Sharp! was released in 1979, the song had become one of the stand-out numbers...
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