Jack Scott

The Ballads of Jack Scott

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Jack Scott was one of the great voices of early rock & roll, echoing with danger and attitude on tunes like "The Way I Walk" and "Leroy," but at the same time he had a real gift for ballads and mid-tempo love songs (especially those with a sorrowful undertow), and some of his biggest hits found him easing back the tempo in favor of airing his broken heart, such as "Burning Bridges" and "What in the World's Come Over You." After compiling a near-definitive set of Scott's rock & roll classics, simply titled Jack Rocks, the German Bear Family label has released a companion volume, The Ballads of Jack Scott, that does equal justice to Scott's softer side. Drawn from Scott's recordings for Carlton, Top Rank, Groove and Capitol, this set by its definition lacks some of the stylistic diversity of Jack Rocks, but it also offers more in the way of buried treasure, including some fine but lesser-known tunes such as the Italian-flavored "Bella," the understated country weeper "Separation Now Granted," and the quietly bitter closer "This Is Where I Came In." Listening to this disc confirms that Scott's vocal talents only grew with the passage of time, and that unlike most early rockers he had an intuitive understanding of how to deliver a broad variety of material; that the man isn't better remembered today is both sad and puzzling, and this disc is a loving and overdue tribute to a superlative entertainer. As is their custom, Bear Family has done an excellent job with the remastering, and the booklet includes a thoughtful and well-written essay from Deke Dickerson.

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