music and memories Don't Turn Your Back On Me/This Is Jackie DeShannon BGO Records (BGOCD684)
by Peter Lerner
Jackie DeShannon’s back catalogue can be compared to London buses
Jackie DeShannon’s back catalogue can be
compared to London buses. You
wait for a very long time in misery, then a whole load of
them come along. And just when we were celebrating the massive
benevolence of RPM Records who have re-released three of Jackie’s US Liberty/
Imperial albums, along come BGO, another respected UK independent, who have
secured the reissue rights to two of Jackie’s UK albums of the 60s.
25 tracks represent the two complete UK albums,
originally on the Liberty label, “Don’t turn your back on me” and “This is Jackie DeShannon”. There are no
bonus treats, but the CD comes in one of those nice slipcases and both this, and the liner booklet, are full of charming yet
familiar pictures of Jackie. The liner notes, by John Tobler,
don’t give much in the way of original information, and make a few mistakes
here and there (Jackie DeShannon and the Capris? – I
don’t think so). The whole package, though, is nicely presented.
And the music? Well, “Don’t turn your back…” was a cash-in album released in the UK to
celebrate the near success of the title track, which was recorded in London
where Jackie was on something of a roll as a singer and writer. The
remaining 12 tracks are familiar but welcome, from the predictable (Needles and Pins, When you Walk in the Room) to what was very back catalogue even
then (The Prince, You won’t Forget Me), and all having
appeared on other Jackie CDs in recent years.
“This is…” was also something of a
cash-in, this time on the near success (no it didn’t hit the charts in the UK,
surprisingly) of What the World needs
now is Love. A more imaginative set of tracks here, concentrating mostly on
the ballad side of Jackie, and including her wonderful belt through Summertime, the
rare and excellent Am I making it hard
on you – a relic of the DeShannon-Sheeley catalogue – and PJ Proby’s lighter After
last night. Jackie’s husky rendition of A lifetime of loneliness always gives me what our American readers
call goose-bumps, and her all-out emotional I’m gonna be strong gives Gene Pitney a
run for his money, as we Brits say.
Well done BGO for embarking on a series of two-for-one reissues of Jackie’s
albums, and there is a suggestion that they will next look at some of her 70s
output. Meanwhile this album would be an excellent buy for someone who is
slightly familiar with Jackie’s recordings from the first half of the 1960s and
wants to hear some more.
Please click below for the index page for this issue.