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Music / Luscious Jackson

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The original lineup, from left: Jill Cuniff, Gabrielle Glaser, Kate Schellenbach,and Vivian Trimble

The beat, the beat is so luscious
We're gonna make your body move, but don't rush us
Because the beat is so vicious
And the ladies on top is so delicious
—"Let Yourself Get Down"

Luscious Jackson is a band from New York City in the Alternative Dance and Alternative Hip Hop genres. It started in 1992 when singer-songwriters Gabrielle Glaser and Jill Cuniff were invited by The Beastie Boys to be the flagship act on their newly created Grand Royal record label. Glaser and Cuniff formed the band by adding keyboardist Vivian Trimble and drummer Kate Schellenbach, who had been The Pete Best of the Beastie Boys (and also an out lesbian, which was still unusual in popular music at the time).

The four-piece lineup recorded one EP and two LP's, the last of which, Fever In Fever Out, was the band's most successful, fueled by the hit single "Naked Eye." LJ's music also started turning up in films and TV shows, including Clueless, A Life Less Ordinary and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. However, Trimble then left the group, leaving the remaining three to record their third LP, Electric Honey. Sales were disappointing, and according to Schellenbach the increasingly macho nature of alternative radio was working against them, so in 2000 LJ called it quits.


After a few solo records and other projects, the three-piece lineup reunited in 2013 and used a PledgeMusic campaign to fund a new album, Magic Hour. After that was released, LJ also dropped a children's album that had been in Development Hell since 2006. As of 2017, the ladies said they're working on a new EP.


  • In Search of Manny (1992)
  • Natural Ingredients (1994)
  • Fever In Fever Out (1996)
  • Electric Honey (1999)
  • Greatest Hits (2007)
  • Magic Hour (2013)
  • Baby DJ (2013)


Luscious Jackson's music includes the following tropes:

  • Boastful Rap: "Let Yourself Get Down"; see the page quote. It also includes the memorable line: "My toes, so short and sweet/They used to call me stubby, now they lick my feet."
  • Break-Up Song: "Naked Eye" is a pretty casual one ("You were nothing but a lark"). Also "Energy Sucker" and "Life of Leisure," among others.
  • Did Not Do the Bloody Research: British listeners might think that "Deep Shag" would be the title of quite a Bawdy Song, but it's actually about being stuck in a bad relationship.
  • Friendship Song: "Friends," featuring a group chorus asking, "Where would I be without my friends?"
  • Greatest Hits Album: Capitol released one in 2007, years after the band broke up but on the same day that Jill Cuniff released her solo album.
  • Intercourse with You: A few of them, notably "Summer Daze" and "Under Your Skin."
  • Interspecies Romance: "Alien Lover" is literally a love song to a space alien, mentioning that she "heard your flavor makes you come off even stranger."
  • Lazy Bum: "Life of Leisure" is about a boyfriend who's one of these, and seems to be proud of it.
  • Location Song: "City Song" doesn't mention New York by name, but that's clearly what it's about (and where the video is set).
  • New Sound Album: "Fever In Fever Out" has a kind of moodier, spacier sound than the other albums, partly due to bringing in Daniel Lanois as Record Producer, partly because Jill was in a glum mood after a breakup.
  • One-Woman Song: "Christine," about a budding young musician.
  • Shout-Out: "Let Yourself Get Down" includes a boast about being "sexy like Sadie."
  • The Something Song: "City Song"
  • Spoken Word in Music: Used quite a bit. "Daughters of the KAOS" fades out with a clip of a TV evangelist, "City Song" features snatches of dialogue along with street noises, and "Fantastic Fabulous," on which Debbie Harry guest-sings, features a phone message that Harry had left with LJ's producer about her appointment to "sing or something for Luscious Jackson."
  • Stuffy Old Songs About the Buttocks: "#1 Bum" is a rare example with a male subject ("You're my man J. Lo").
  • Title Drop: While most of the album titles don't appear in the songs, "Mood Swing" includes a slightly altered mention of the album it's on:
Fever in and fever out
You're the swinger who brings me doubt
  • Vocal Tag Team: Jill and Gabby share vocal duties, with Gabby doing most of the rapping and Jill doing most of the singing.

Example of: