Sunday, June 5, 2011

This Is Jackie De Shannon - Jackie De Shannon

This Is Jackie De Shannon
Jackie DeShannon
Imperial LP 12286

Jackie De Shannon is one of my favorite singers.  I suppose most casual music fans can get by with a good comp of hers, but I have most of her Imperial albums and think they are all worthwhile.  This was De Shannon's third album.   It features one of her most famous hits, "What The World Needs Now is Love" which was written and produced by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.  They are also responsible for "A Lifetime of Loneliness" which is a terrific song as well.  The powerful arrangements and the dramatic vocal perfomances combine with some very memorable lyrics to produce the two best songs on the record.  JDS was an excellent songwriter in her own right and has credits on three of the better songs on this album, "Am I Making It Hard On You," "Hellos and Goodbyes" and "I Remember The Boy."  The latter song is particularly fine, a mix of folk-rock and swelling romantic ballad, it really sends me.  "I'm Gonna Be Strong" builds nicely with a stirring vocal from JDS that is reminiscent of Timi Yuro or Roy Orbison, it shows her chops as a singer.  "After Last Night" is a charming romantic song with a girl group flavor.  The rest of the album is pretty ordinary.  "Take Me Away" is by Randy Newman although I would never would have guessed that.  It is a pretty song but loaded with romantic cliches.  Despite its corniness, JDS sings it with such conviction that she makes it a lot better than it really is.  "Take Me Tonight" is an old fashioned ballad, it sounds like something from the late 1950s or early 1960s.  She sings it quite well, but it is not really my thing especially with the heavy strings and the sappy background chorus.  The strings and chorus are back on "Go On Your Way" but it is a meatier song and De Shannon's earthy vocal reminds me of Ray Charles or Janis Joplin.  She actually takes on Ray Charles covering his version of "Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying" and does a credible job, but as much as I like her I know she is not going to top Charles.  I like her dramatic version of "Summertime" but it also seems pretty pointless, there are so many other versions.  Even with lesser material, JDS is such a good singer that I never get bored or impatient with this record.  She sings with so much feeling and style that I always find something to appeal to me with every song.  Recommended to Bacharach/David fans who wish that Dionne Warwick sang more like Ray Charles.

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