Liner Note Authors: Arch Yancey; Ira Howard; Clifford White.
Recording information: Kent Soul Records, London, England (1963-1965).
This two-fer assembles a pair of Chuck Jackson LPs cut in the mid-'60s for the Wand label. Encore! suffers from the absence of the kind of signature performance (e.g. "Any Day Now" or "I Keep Forgetting") that galvanizes the soul belter's finest Wand efforts. The opener "Tell Him I'm Not Home," a stinging tale of romantic rejection, was the record's biggest hit and its brightest moment, complete with a powerful backing vocal courtesy of Doris Troy. But like so many LPs in the pre-Beatles era, there's a surplus of filler, and Jackson's attempts to overcompensate for the lackluster material result in several absurdly dramatic performances likely to grate on the ears of most listeners. Mr. Everything features "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself," the Burt Bacharach/Hal David-penned ballad originated by balladeer Tommy Hunt and later popularized by blue-eyed soul goddess Dusty Springfield, and the results are devastating -- Jackson's deeply poignant vocal eloquently articulates the slow-burning desperation of the song, proving yet again how effective the singer could be given the right material. Unfortunately, much of Mr. Everything also consists of second-rate filler, although the rendition of the Gerry Goffin/Carole King collaboration "I Need You" is just as good as its pedigree would suggest. Equally noteworthy is "Something You've Got," the first in a series of exemplary duets pairing Jackson with Maxine Brown. ~ Jason Ankeny