Friday, June 4, 2021

Jackie Jackson "Be The One"

(Polydor, 1989) This is a fine middle of the pack, professional 1989 album, nothing spectacular but nothing embarrassing, with the right mix of Adult Contemporary R&B (plenty of smooth sax, sweet background vocals) with sprinkles of New Jack-isms. And Jackie sounds fine. But man it must be weird to greenlight a Jackie Jackson record. He's a handsome, talented singer who was in one of the best groups ever and two of his siblings are more successful than almost anyone. But no one is going to buy a Jackie Jackson record. Any DeBarge had a chance to be considered by Black radio audiences, but MJ was just too big for anyone to really give his brothers a chance. Also, even though he was not old, he had been around twenty years, so that was also a strike against him. And if he tried something wild (Randy released a record with a rock-ish band, Randy and the Gypsies, that same year) that would be something, but to do  something good but not particularly special just had no chance of standing out. I have great sympathy for Jackie. In addition to seeming like a good guy, he also had to be a tall, handsome grown man dressing in crazy outfits designed for little children in the J5 heyday. So I have listened to this a bunch out of love ad loyalty. But I can't remember much on it, and it only made it to 84 on Billboard. Had he released it in '84 maybe it woulda reached 48. 

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