The folks at RPM have put together a very nice reissue of a set originally released a few years ago on the Magnum Opus label. It features demos of songs co-written by Sharon Sheeley, and recorded by top session players of the day, including Glen Campbell, Leon Russell, P.J. Proby, Mac Davis, and Delaney Bramlett. Many of the songs were co-written by Jackie DeShannon. Those titles are: Guitar Child, Blue Ribbons, Blue Dreams, Mr. Guitar Man, The Dream of the Year (all sung by Glen Campbell), It’s A Good Thing (Herb Alpert), I’d Weaken, Thank Heavens for Tears, He’s The Great Imposter It‘s Just Terrible, Other Side of Town (P.J. Proby), Heartbreak You’re Calling Me (Mac Davis) and Trouble (Proby and Davis). Several of these tunes were hits and misses for other singers and groups, but the unreleased recordings collected here are as good or better than their covered versions. Although Jackie doesn’t sing lead on any of these tracks, her voice can be heard singing backup on at least six of the songs, some very prominently.
The remaining 15 songs on the CD were co-written and recorded by artists including Delaney Bramlett, Deane Hawley and Larry Collins, but few of them hold as much interest as the songs Sharon wrote with Jackie. The most compelling of the remaining tracks are the four "bonus" tracks performed and co-written in the mid-60s by Ben Findon. RPM has also included good liner notes and photos.
So even though this is not an "official" Jackie DeShannon album, it does show the "commercial songwriter" side of Jackie, and allows a glimpse into the creative process of making records, and indeed, a little slice of obscure pop history as well. ~ William George