Monday, April 14, 2014
What the World Needs Now Is Love - Jackie DeShannon
Imperial LP 12404
This is not a real studio album, but rather a compilation that focuses on DeShannon's work with Burt Bacharach. Five of the twelve songs on it were composed by Bacharach and Hal David and four of those were produced and arranged by Bacharach as well. The title track is the best of the five and was a top ten single for DeShannon in 1965. After "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" it is probably her most popular recording. "A Lifetime of Loneliness" was also a 1965 single. Both songs appear on her 1965 album "This is Jackie De Shannon." "Windows and Doors" was a 1966 single and "So Long Johnny" was its b-side. Both tracks appeared on her terrific 1966 album "Are You Ready For This?" which also provided the fifth Bacharach-David song on the album, "To Wait For Love." All five songs are wonderful, among DeShannon's best work in the 1960s. Dionne Warwick was Bacharach's muse and they had a long and fruitful collaborative relationship, but I've never been into their sound. Warwick was an extremely polished and technically proficient singer, an ideal vehicle I suppose for Bacharach's elaborate arrangements but the results leave me cold. Their songs are too perfect, too remote for me to relate to. I think DeShannon worked a lot better with Bacharach. She was certainly no slouch as a singer, but her voice has some grit to it, she's happy to let her accent show and her characteristic warmth and charisma shake loose the shackles of Bacharach's orchestra. In her hands the songs come alive and are vibrant and immediate in their impact. The remaining non-Bacharach songs are delightful as well. "Are You Ready For This?" was the source for Tony Hatch's "Call Me" which was a hit for Chris Montez and "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" which was one of Dusty Springfield's biggest hits. DeShannon's performance of "Call Me" is my favorite version of the song and although she can't match the drama and sheer power of Springfield's version of "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me", her earthy performance offers a more intimate take on the song which I like. Tommy Edwards' big hit "It's All In The Game," "Changin' My Mind," and "Everything Under the Sun" were lifted off of DeShannon's 1967 album "For You" and "Where Does The Sun Go?" came from "New Image" also from 1967. Edwards' single is too sappy for my taste, I prefer DeShannon's light and playful performance. "Changin' My Mind" and "Everything Under the Sun" are sparkling pop songs exuberantly sung by DeShannon. "Where Does The Sun Go?" is the only original DeShannon composition on the album, but it is a great one, one of her very best. I love George Tipton's arrangement and DeShannon's vocal melts me every time I hear it. "Little Yellow Roses" dates all the way back to 1963 when it was released as a single and appeared on her debut album "Jackie De Shannon." With its folky flavor and spare arrangement, it does not fit in with the sophisticated pop of the rest of the album, but it is still a lovely song. If you collect DeShannon's Imperial albums you certainly don't need this album. It is basically a greedy record company rip-off, but since I knew it was a rip-off when I bought it, I don't feel ripped off. I'm happy I have it and play it often. I like the cover pictures and I like the selection of music, it has many of my favorite DeShannon songs and it is a nice mix of romantic music. Recommended to people who only need one Jackie DeShannon album.