Band members Related acts
Jackson (RIP 2014) -- vocals
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Title: Love Makes the World Go Round
Grade (cover/record): VG+/ VG+
Comments: mono pressing; actual LP has "Carla Records Series ATCO" on front cover
Catalog ID: 4178
Alright, outside of soul fanatics, how many of you remember Deon Jackson? Bet there aren't many of you ...
Born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan Jackson became interested in music while in grade school (he became proficient on both clarinet and drums). By the time he was a teenager he'd formed a vocal group with high school friends. The group began playing high school dances, parties and local talent contests, with Jackson writing much of their material. Jackson's big break came when producer Ollie McLaughlin heard him singing at a high school concert. McLaughlin quickly signed Jackson to a management contract, getting Atlantic to sign him where he recorded a couple of tracks, including two obscure singles:
- 1963's 'Hush Little Baby' b/w 'You Said You Love Me' (Atlantic catalog number 45-2213)
- 1964's 'Come Back Home' b/w 'Nursery Rhymes' (Atlantic catalog number 45-2252)
While the 45 sold well in Detroit, Jackson was quickly dropped from Atlantic's recording roster. Over the next two years Jackson continued to write material, while becoming a fixture of the Detroit club circuit. In early 1965 McLaughlin decided to record one of Jackson's new compositions. Unable to find a national label to release the track, McLaughlin decided to issue it under his own Carla label. 'Love Makes the World Go Round' b/w 'You Said You Loved Me' Carla catalog number 45-2526) became a gigantic Detroit hit, leading Atlantic's ATCO subsidiary to acquire national distribution rights; subsequently enjoying a top-20 pop and R&B hit with the song.
As was standard
mid-1960's marketing procedure, Carla/ATCO rushed the 20 year old Jackson
into the studio to record a supporting album. What made 1966's "Love
Makes The World Go Round" interesting was the fact it
was surprisingly strong and consistent. In addition to repackaging his
first two Atlantic singles, unlike most supporting LPs, producer McLaughlin seems to have
devoted considerable time and care into producing the effort. The
track lineup included several first rate numbers; notably four Jackson
originals - quite a rare accomplishment for a new and still young
artist. In fact, probably the biggest weakness were a couple of
throwaway covers - Roger Miller's 'King of
the Road' and a rote cover of Len Barry's 'I-2-3'. So what did the
collection actually sound like? First off, Jackson had
what could best be described as a light airy voice that occasionally
recalled Smokey Robinson (check out the middle part of 'Love Is What
You Make It' particularly where he shifted into a falsetto). Most of the
album featured soul material that had a distinctive pop orientation - tracks
such as 'No Not Much', 'Love Is What
You Make It', and
'S.O.S.' may have been a little lightweight (though the latter had more of a Motown flavor
that most of the album), but well suited for top-40 radio play.
Interesting tidbit, the hit title track was apparently inspired by the civil
rights riots that tore Detroit apart. All told a nice set of largely
forgotten mid-1960s soul ...
The best Smokey Robinson and the Miracles song they never recorded ... I'm only half joking since about half the world seems to think 'Love Makes the World Go Round' was a Robinson tune. I can't deny Jackson sounded quite a bit like Robinson on this one. Nevertheless, this was Jackson's claim to fame, and what a claim it was. Simply one of the best "feel good" soul songs out there and his biggest hit:
- 1965's 'Love Makes the World Go Round' b/w 'You Said You Loved Me' (Carla catalog number 45-2526) #11 pop; # 3 R&B
2.) 1-2-3 (John Madara - David White - Leonard Borisoff) - 2:01 rating: *** stars
It didn't stray far from the Len Barry hit, but I've always loved the punchy opening horns ... Nah, you weren't going to forget the Barry hit version, but it was a nice enough version.
3.) Love Is What You Make It (Van McCoy) - 2:12 rating: *** stars
An early Van McCoy composition, 'Love Is What You Make It' was a bit too MOR-ish for my ears. Plus Jackson sounded like he was trying a little too hard. Another tune where he sounded like Robinson - check out where he glides into his falsetto.
4.) No Not Much (Robert Allen - Al Stillman) - 2:24 rating: **** stars
Swingin' and highly commercial soul number with some killer drumming. Should have been a single.
5.) You Said You Love Me (Deon Jackson) - 2:37 rating: **** stars
With a slinky and engaging cha-cha rhythm, the Jackson original 'You Said You Love Me' was one of the album highlights. It also served to show how good Jackson's voice was when he toughed it up. The song had previously been tapped as the 'B' side to his 1963 debut 45 'Hush Little Baby'.
6.) S.O.S. (A. Hamilton - R. Morris - C. Hatcher) - 2:02 rating: *** stars
I'd argue Edwin Starr cut the classic version of this one. Jackson's arrangement wasn't all that different, but Starr simply had a tougher voice. Jackson's version wasn't a bad also-ran. Loved the S.O.S. pattern the keyboard plays. Always wondered why the song wasn't listed by its original 'Stop Her On Sight' title ...
The album's second single, 'Love Takes a Long Time Growing' was saved from oblivion by a killer refrain. Another song that bore more than a passing resemblance to Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.
- 1966's 'Love Takes a Long Time Growing' b/w 'Hush Little Baby' (Carla/ATCO catalog number 45-2527) # 77 pop
2.) Nursery Rhymes (Deon Jackson) - 2:14 rating: *** stars
Another Jackson original, 'Nursery Rhymes' had kind of a throwaway tune with a jazzy, bossa nova flavor. It was one of those songs that didn't make much of initial impression on me, but with some funky horns and one of Jackson's most soulful vocals, grew on you. The tune had previously seen the light of day as the 1964 flip side of his second single for Atlantic.
3.) King of the Road (Roger Miller) - 2:36 rating: ** stars
Completely and complete forgettable ...
4.) I'm Telling You (Shannon McMahan) - 2:21 rating: *** stars
To my ears 'I'm Telling You' sounded kind of old fashioned. Liked the bouncy horns though ...
5.) Hush Little Baby (Deon Jackson) - 2:41 rating: **** stars
As mentioned, 'Hush Little Baby' had previously served as Jackson's debut single. Musically it was a sweet, Smokey-styled ballad that deserved to have enjoyed more success than it got. Nice introduction to Jackson's cool voice - the way he shifted into a falsetto around the 1:30 mark was way cool.
6.) Come Back Home (Eddie Simpson) - 2:43 rating: **** stars
Jackson's second Atlantic 45, 'Come Back Home' was interesting to hear him employing a far deeper and tougher soul vocal delivery. Hard to believe this was the same guy who had such an impressive Smokey impression. This blazing dance tune would have sounded right at home on The Animal House soundtrack.
Over the next six years Jackson released a couple of increasing obscure follow-on singles:
- 1966's ' That's What You Do To Me" b/w "I Can't Do without You" (Carla catalog number 45-2530)
- 1967's 'When Your Love Has Gone' b/w 'Hard To Get Thing Called Love' (Carla catalog number 45-2533)
- 1967's 'Ooh Baby' b/w 'All On a Sunny Day' (Carla catalog number 45-2537) # 65 pop; # 28 R&B
- 1968's 'I Need a Love Like Yours' b/w 'I Can't Go On' (Carla catalog number 45-1900)
- 1969's 'You Gotta Love' b/w 'You'll Wake Up Wiser' (Carla catalog number 45-1903)
- 1972's 'I'll Always Love You' b/w 'Life Can Be That Way' (Shout catalog number S-254)
Having heard all of these 45 sides, there are plenty of highlights - 'Ooh Baby', 'I'll Always Love You', and 'Life Can Be That Way' - more than enough to release a nice retrospective. Anyone out there listening ?
Ah, the internet comes through again. One of Jackson's friends chimed in with an interesting update on the artist:
your nice write up on Deon Jackson on GEMM this evening. Good job.
Wonder if he made it to that PBS reunion show ... Sadly, only 68, Jackson suffered a fatal brain hemorrhage in April 2014.
BACK TO BADCAT FRONT PAGE
BACK TO BADCAT CATALOG PAGE
BACK TO BADCAT PAYMENT INFORMATION