13.Getting Ready Medley: Get Ready / Barefootin'/Uptight (Everything's ...)
16.Hold On! I'm Comin'
17.Blowin' in the Wind
18.I've Got to Be Strong
19.Where Did She Stay
20.My Baby Loves Me
21.Every Man Needs a Down Home Girl
22.Theme to the Blues, Pt. 2
Personnel: Chuck Jackson (vocals).
Liner Note Author: Bill Dahl.
In 1966, Chuck Jackson cut a pair of albums that marked a genuine departure from the polished pop-soul production style of his best-known work. Setting up in the studio with his road band (led by saxman Bobby Scott), Jackson and company knocked out simple but passionate versions of a handful of major R&B hits "as we pay tribute to the great ones in the rhythm and blues field -- not to copy, just to tribute," as he says in his spoken introduction to the first album. The two albums, believed by fans to have been cut at the same time, are paired up on this two-fer CD release, and they reveal a usually hidden side of Jackson's music. While Jackson sounded like a smooth, mannered professional on many of his hits, in this context he allows himself to loosen up a bit, and the results show off a grittier and harder-edged side of his musical personality, with Jackson adding some sorrowful corners to his Lee Dorsey covers and putting his heart and soul into Sam Cooke's epochal "A Change Is Gonna Come." (It's also unexpectedly amusing to hear him sing Gary "U.S." Bonds' party anthem "Quarter to Three" and realize he either didn't know the song's real lyrics or just didn't care to sing them.) The uptempo medley of soul hits that kicks off the second volume suggests that these albums were meant to capture the energy and emotion of Jackson's live show in the studio, and while this isn't as revelatory as Sam Cooke's One Night Stand: Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963, it does demonstrate that Jackson's hit singles didn't represent the beginning and end of his musical vision. ~ Mark Deming