Touch of Class

Band members               Related acts

- Herbert Brevard -- vocals (tenor) (1975-84)

- Michael Hailstock -- vocals (1975-79)

Pete Jackson -- vocals (1975-84)
- Gerald Jackson -- lead vocals (1975-84)


- none known





Genre: soul

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  I'm In Heaven

Company: Midland International

Catalog: BKL1-1821

Year: 1975

Country/State: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: --

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5308

Price: $20.00


I don't really know that much about this outfit.  Brothers Pete and Gerald Jackson had enjoyed some earlier success as songwriters - their breakthrough coming when Vicki Sue Robinson covered 'Turn the Beat Around'.  The resulting publicity may well have helped the Jacksons score a recording contract as members of the Philadelphia-based Touch of Class.  


As Touch of Class, 1975 found the Jacksons, along with Herbert Brevard and Michael Hailstock sign a recording contract with the RCA affiliated Midland International label.  The quartet's 1975 debut 'I'm In Heaven' (Parts 1 and 2) (Midland International catalog number MB-10393) proved a modest R&B hit (# 65), leading the company to finance an album.


Arranged, conducted and produced by John Davis with support from the Salsoul Orchestra, 1976's cleverly titled "I'm In Heaven" offered up a modest mixture of old school soul and more dance oriented tracks.  Credited as lead singer Gerald's performances were occasionally a bit flat ('One Half As Much') and his soaring falsetto took a little getting use to (I distinctly remember looking at the liner notes to see who the female singer was).  As mentioned, stylistically much of the album fell into a weird 'no-man's zone' somewhere between old school vocal group and more disco-oriented outfit.  Buried under bland tunes and anonymous arrangements, disco-fied stuff like 'I Just Can't Say Goodbye' and 'You Got Nowhere to Come' simply didn't do a great deal for me.  In contrast the soul-flavored tracks like the pretty ballad 'Love Me Tonight' were uniformly enjoyable.  With a breezy, easy-going melody and some gorgeous harmony vocals, 'I Love Your Pretty Baby' was easily the standout track.  Some folks rave about this one, but with one or two modest exceptions, I can live without it.


"I'm In Heaven" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Iím In Heaven   (M. Steals - M Steals) - 6:31

2.) I Just Can't Say Goodbye  (John Davis) - 4:56

3.) You Got to Know Better   (Pete Jackson - Gerald Jackson) - 3:25

4.) Anything    (M. Steals - M Steals) - 4:19


(side 2)
You Got Nowhere to Come    (Pete Jackson - Gerald Jackson) - 4:43

2.) I Love You Pretty Baby   (Pete Jackson - Gerald Jackson- Herbert Brevard) - 4:40

3.) One Half as Much   (M. Steals - M Steals - Michael Hailstock) - 3:24

4.) Love Me Tonight   (M. Steals - M Steals) - 4:41


Over the next three years the group continued recording for Midland, though they enjoyed little in the way of success - 


- 1976's 'Don't Want No Other Lover' b/w 'God Bless Me' (Midland International catalog number MB-10545)

- 1976's  'Don't Want No Other Lover' b/w 'You Got To Know Better' (Midland International catalog number MB-10754)

- 1977's 'Said It Before' b/w 'Love Means Everything' (Midland International catalog number MB-11157)

- 1977's 'Love Means Everything' b/w 'Said It Before' (Midsong MB-11157)


Next up was a stint with the RCA affiliated roadshow.  I've never seen or heard it, but recorded as a trio (Hailstock having retired from active performing), there's a sophomore LP for Roadshow  - 1979 "Love Means Everything" (Roadshow catalog BXL1-3217).  There was also at least one single off of the LP:


- 1979 'I Need Action' b/w 'I Found My Rainbow' (Roadshow catalog number YB-11663))



The mid-1980s saw the trio release a pair of singles for Atlantic:

- 1984's 'Let Me Be Your Everything b/w '' Atlantic catalog number 8-89569)
- 1984's 'Keep On Dancin' b/w '' (Atlantic catalog number 9-89643)


There's also a Japanese-only LP "Love Is Everything" (Stack O Hits/P-Vine) which is apparently just a repackaged version of the 1976 "I'm In Heaven" LP.




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