Jackie DeShannon

For You

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For You is Jackie DeShannon performing classy orchestrated adult contemporary pop songs in 1967, the same year Dusty Springfield tracked a similar collection entitled Where Am I Going. There is not a bad track on For You, and had DeShannon decided to follow Patti Page and continue creating music like this, she no doubt could have been very successful. Next to the rock & roll of the album she would release more than 30 years later, You Know Me, this is total culture shock, and goes to show the vast depth of DeShannon's artistry. The beautiful Carole King/Gerry Goffin tune, "No Easy Way Down," which Dusty Springfield cut as well, fits perfectly alongside Johnny Mercer classics like "Dream" and "Merry Go Round in the Rain." Calvin Carter (who would co-produce DeShannon with Burt Bacharach and Hal David on the What the World Needs Now Is Love album) handles all the production chores here. His work with the Impressions, Jerry Butler, and Gene Chandler gives this DeShannon outing R&B mixed with the big band sound, but not with the fanfare that Petula Clark and Linda Ronstadt had accompanying their moves into this prestigious arena. "Don't Dream of Anybody But Me" has Gerald Wilson arranging, providing lush instrumentation behind the '60s pop vocalist. Though it's the only tune he works on here, it adds to his impressive resumé of work with Bobby Darin, Dizzy Gillespie, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and adds a nice dimension to this mix. Most of the album's arrangements are by George Tipton, including the utterly fabulous Mercer track "Dream." Tipton's repertoire includes work for Harry Nilsson, Brian Hyland, the Monkees, and José Feliciano, and the collaboration with producer Calvin Carter is a very nice pairing. The remake of Tommy Edwards' "It's All in the Game" goes beyond the transistor radio boundary into the world where actressPia Zadora did a credible job in the '80s with her Pia & Phil and I Am What I Am albums. "Are We Dancing?" was originally in the Walt Disney film The Happiest Millionaire, while "When I Fall in Love" entertained fans of Nat King Cole and Sam Cooke. For a prolific songwriter like DeShannon to explore the rich sounds of these timeless compositions is all the more impressive years later. Sure, Roy Orbison cut "Dreams" (the Mercer tune, different from his own hit "In Dreams," which would have been a nice addition to this as well); James Ray hit with Rudy Clark's "If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody" (covered in a more rock & roll version by Peter Noone on his great One of the Glory Boys LP); and the Ronettes put their stamp on the Bob Crewe/G. Knight number "Everything Under the Sun," but Jackie DeShannon's renditions are removed from the world where she and her colleagues achieved their greatest notoriety: hit radio. The song selection is very impressive, jazz legend Neal Hefti (who later wrote the "Batman Theme" for television) is represented by the opening track, "Don't Dream of Anybody But Me," and it is exquisite, setting the stage for DeShannon's vocals to glide over all these lovely melodies. Richard Oliver pens a poem, "For You," for the back cover instead of his liner notes, but the album jacket looks like a regular Jackie DeShannon release. Looks can be deceiving. The disc bridges the gap between "What the World Needs Now Is Love," and the classy singers who reigned on the radio before rock & roll merged with pop. Few could do this and do it so well.

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