George Jackson isn’t a household name in soul and R&B circles, but he should be. As a songwriter, he has penned hits for Clarence Carter, James Carr, Bob Seger, Wilson Pickett, Candi Staton, and the Osmonds, just to name a few. He scored his own big single with “One Bad Apple” in 1971 and has been a staff writer for Malaco since 1980. This compilation on Great Britain’s Ace Records imprint covers Jackson’s recording career for a fruitful period during the '70s when he was recording for Willie Mitchell at Hi, at MGM, and at smaller imprints such as Cheers and ER. These singles, fine as they are, never really got beyond regional airplay, and are not the true attraction to this compilation; instead, it is the eight sides he cut for Sounds of Memphis included here that are all previously unissued. “Let’s Live for Ourselves” is a stone Southern soul classic. Why it has remained in the vaults for decades is a mystery. The same goes for its flip, “If You Never See Me Again.” Check out the shimmering tear jerker “Walking the City Streets,” with its introductory rap and killer trombone chart. “A Woman Wants to Be Loved,” and “Take Your Love and Go” are equally powerful. When these are paired with the officially released sides, this becomes an unbeatable compilation and a testament to the “purple period” in Jackson’s long and criminally under-celebrated career.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek