Friday, March 2, 2018

"Rock Me Tonight (For Old Times Sake)" by Freddie Jackson

Song#:  2330
Date:  05/25/1985
Debut:  85
Peak:  18
Weeks:  19
Genre:  R&B, Quiet Storm

Pop Bits:  While singing in his Harlem church choir, teenager Jackson met up with Paul Laurence and began performing with Laurence's band on the club circuit. After gaining some experience, Jackson joined up with a band called Mystic Merlin (see below). After an album with them, Jackson joined back up with Laurence. Jackson did demo work for Laurence, did some songwriting, and also got work singing backup for stars like Melba Moore. Through all of this work, Jackson got the attention of Capitol Records and inked a solo deal. His debut solo album, Rock Me Tonight, featured this first single that was written and produced by Laurence. The song would be a smash hit at R&B reaching #1 and staying there for 6-weeks. That run would make it the #1 R&B single of 1985. The song would slowly make its way over to the Pop chart and eventually get inside the Top 20. Jackson's star was certainly on the rise.

ReduxReview: Oh, Mr. Jackson! This sleek and sexy crooner was one in a line of smooth R&B vocalists that came along in the 80s. He along with Luther Vandross, Jeffery Osborne, Peabo Bryson, and Gregory Abbott kept listeners swooning throughout the decade. This song was a solid introduction to Jackson and had it come along a couple years later, it probably would have reached the Pop Top 10. Although I don't find it as memorable as his next single, the tune really showcased Jackson's vocals and rightfully made him a star.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Mystic Merlin was an NYC funk and soul band that signed on to Capitol Records right before the 80s began. They issued two album for the label in '80 and '81 that yielded a couple of minor R&B chart entries and one Top 20 hit in the UK. For their third album, 1982's Full Moon, the band brought on board Freddie Jackson to handle lead vocals. Jackson also co-wrote a couple of tunes for the LP. Unfortunately, the LP got nowhere and disappeared quickly. Despite the results, it seemed that Jackson's work with the band didn't go unnoticed by folks at Capitol because two years later he was churning out hits for the label as a solo act.


No comments:

Post a Comment