(4 / 5)
An early Christmas present for me and all other soul fans out there…this little gem dropping through my letter box this cold and frost morning, on the very day of release too.
The eight tracks from the original 1979 album “I’m On My Way,” by soul artist Jackie Moore, plus here we get a bonus set of six extra tracks. Four 12″ cuts and two singles.
Best known for her million-selling, gold-certified 1970 single, ‘Precious, Precious’, Jackie Moore was one of a small number of artists who emerged in the early ‘70s that went on to experience a string of successes with a Southern sound rooted in soul.
Working with noted session players like the Dixie Flyers and the Memphis Horns, Moore’s earthy pop-soul – most of which was crafted by producer Dave Crawford – resulted in a half-dozen R&B hits for Atlantic Records such as “Sweet Charlie Babe”.
After leaving Atlantic, she continued to enjoy sizeable R&B hits such as “Make Me Feel Like A Woman” (1975) under the directive of Brad Shapiro on his Kayvette Records imprint, before eventually settling at Columbia in the late 70’s.
“I’m On My WaY”,Moore’s first set for Columbia Records peaked at #49 in the US R&B chart. The album is anchored by its opening track, the smash hit “This Time Baby”, (R&B #24 /Disco #1/ UK #49). A featured song in the video game, “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories”. Regarded by some as Jackie’s signature tune, the track remains a popular floor-filler on the UK soul scene.
Overall, the set finds Jackie teaming up with the Philly talents of Bobby Eli, who produced the album and did most of the arrangements (aside from a few tracks by Norman Harris or Jack Faith).
The Philly Disco production includes a musical line up of Don Renaldo & his strings, and many of the top players from the period, on tracks such as the single “How’s Your Love Life Baby” (Disco #57) – co-written by Sidney Barnes and Greg Perry.
Elsewhere, slurping hihats and galloping bass lines embody titles including the disco classic “Let’s Go Somewhere And Make Love”, and infectious dance numbers such as “Do Ya’ Got What It Takes” and “Wrapped Up In Your Lovin’’ – the latter being a tight and funky number that encompasses a punchy horn arrangement.
Such titles, alongside other gems such as “Joe” (a ballad Jackie originally cut, and subsequently canned, at Atlantic), contribute a modern soul glow to the set that establishes a new shift in Moore’s music.
Resulting in a style that still makes light of her soulful vocal performances, as she steps out into some warmer Philly rhythms. The album returned Moore to the R&B album chart where it peaked at #45.
This BBR edition also features six bonus remixes of “This Time Baby” and “How’s Your Love Life Baby”, including Mike Maurro’s recently successful vinyl 12” remix of the former, and two John Luongo mixes: 12” disco mix of “How’s Your Love Life Baby” and John’s instrumental version of the same cut.
There’s extensive liner notes by Malcolm McKenzie. Plus the two single versions of “This Time Bay” and “How’s Your Love Life”.
Jackie Moore is now 71, and “I’m On My Way” was the third of four albums in her career, released between 1973 and 1980. She dropped 23 singles between 1968 and 1985. She was born in Florida and recorded for Atlantic, RCA, Columbia and Kayvette Records.
This is a great reminder of an artist who perhaps did not get the widespread acclaim that her talents warranted back in the day.
By Simon Redley
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’