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Come Aboard, He’s Expecting You: Vintage Jack Jones Albums Arrive From Zone Records

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Jack Jones - LadyFor eight seasons beginning in 1977, the voice of Jack Jones came into households singing the praises of The Love Boat via Paul Williams and Charles Fox’s famous theme song.  Yet long before The Love Boat, the smooth-voiced singer had established himself as a premier vocalist comfortable with both jazz and changing pop styles.  To date, Jones has recorded over fifty albums, yet many of his finest album achievements still remain unreleased on CD.  Zone Records is rectifying that with the reissue of four of Jones’ mid-sixties Kapp albums on two CDs, due in the U.K. on April 15.  Lady (1967) is joined by Jack Jones Sings (1966) on one CD, while the second pairs Our Song (1968) with For the “In” Crowd (1966).

Born to actors Allan Jones (the tenor best known for operetta classic “The Donkey Serenade”) and Irene Hervey, Jack Jones made his first big splash in 1959 when he was signed to Capitol Records and recorded debut album This Love of Mine.  (It was recently reissued, with added singles, by U.K. label Jasmine as This Could Be the Start of Something.)  The affiliation with Capitol was short-lived, however, and Jones soon decamped for the Kapp label.  He would remain there from 1961 to 1967, recording roughly twenty albums.  It was at Kapp that Jones scored his first hit with “Lollipops and Roses” in 1962 (No. 66 Pop/No. 12 AC); the next year, he did even better with Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s swinging “Wives and Lovers” (No. 14 Pop/No. 9 AC).  Jones was a regular on both charts for almost the entirety of his Kapp tenure, scoring No. 1 AC hits with “The Race is On,” “The Impossible Dream (The Quest),” and “Lady,” the title track of one of the albums being reissued by Zone.  (Four earlier Kapp albums have recently been reissued by Sepia Records: 1961 debut This Was My Love and its follow-up Shall We Dance, as well as I’ve Got a Lot of Livin’ to Do and Gift of Love, both from 1962.  Like the Jasmine release, Sepia’s reissues were possible due to European public domain laws.  Zone’s titles are fully authorized.)

We check out both new releases after the jump!

Lady and Jack Jones Sings found the singer in an adult pop vein, tackling songs from both Broadway and Hollywood.  On 1966’s Sings, he recorded songs from Luis Bonfa (“A Day in the Life of a Fool”), Johnny Mercer (“Autumn Leaves”), John Kander and Fred Ebb (“I Don’t Care Much”), Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II (“People Will Say We’re in Love”) and Michel Legrand (“Watch What Happens”).  In 1971, while at RCA, Jones would record an entire album of Legrand songs.  On this album he even dabbled in bossa nova, proving himself perfect for the breezy style of Marcos Valle’s “The Face I Love.”  For 1967’s Lady, Jones notched a No. 1 AC hit with the title track, co-written by Bert Kaempfert of “Strangers in the Night” fame.  Jones had, in fact, recorded “Strangers” before Frank Sinatra, but when Sinatra’s climbed up the charts to No. 1 (Pop and AC!), Jones’ version was quickly eclipsed.  “Lady” was joined on the LP by songs from Jacques Brel (“If You Go Away”), Charles Strouse and Lee Adams (“Once Upon a Time”), Rodgers and Lorenz Hart (“It’s Easy to Remember”) and Neal Hefti and Bobby Troup (“Girl Talk”).  Arranger Ralph Carmichael helmed Sings, while Carmichael, Bob Florence and Marty Paich all provided charts for Lady.

Jack Jones - Our songZone’s second pair of albums, Our Song with For the “In” Crowd, placed Jones’ silky pipes in both contemporary and classic settings.  With the participation of arranger Don Costa, the earlier album (which appears second on the CD program), includes not only Jones’ swinging rendition of title track “The In Crowd,” but his takes on other modern hits: Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “What the World Needs Now is Love,” Len Barry’s “1-2-3,” Van McCoy’s “Baby I’m Yours” (a hit for Barbara Lewis),  John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s “Yesterday,” and Marvin Hamlisch and Howard Liebling’s “Sunshine, Lollipops and Roses,” a 1965 chart success for Lesley Gore.  Our Song, from a couple of years later, included another McCartney-penned Beatles song, “Michelle,” but otherwise largely avoided “cover songs.”  Jones and arrangers including Florence, Carmichael and Paich looked again to the Broadway and Hollywood repertoire for songs from Leslie Bricusse (“When I Look in Your Eyes” and “After Today,” both from Doctor Dolittle), Herman Hupfeld (the immortal “As Time Goes By”) and Jule Styne and Bob Merrill (“Along the Way,” from the television special The Dangerous Christmas of Little Red Riding Hood).

Upon signing to RCA, Jones continued to champion The Great American Songbook but it was only a matter of time before he grew his hair long and added selections from Randy Newman, Carole King, Harry Nilsson, Paul Williams and Roger Nichols, and Gilbert O’Sullivan into his repertoire.  He recorded tribute albums to Michel Legrand, Charles Aznavour and even the group Bread, and teamed with Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys for 1977’s The Full Life.  Jones’ rendition of “God Only Knows” from that album still figures in his primarily jazz-oriented live set today.  Jones has also recorded for MGM, Applause, Sony, and most recently, Aspen Records, for whom he released albums in 2010 and 2011.  These two albums are available at Jones’ website and likely at his concert appearances, for which Jones is recognized as a consummate entertainer and a gold-standard pop and jazz vocalist.

Zone’s Jack Jones reissues follow the label’s well-received collections for artists including Petula Clark, Doris Day and Jackie Trent.  Both titles are in stores on April 15 in the U.K., and can be ordered below at Amazon U.K.  Links for Amazon U.S. are not yet available!

Jack Jones, Our Song/For the “In” Crowd (Zone 1018, 2013)

  1. Our Song
  2. Michelle
  3. After Today
  4. Don’t Give Your Love Away
  5. More and More
  6. When I Look in Your Eyes
  7. Now I Know
  8. Oh How Much I Love You
  9. As Time Goes By
  10. The True Picture
  11. ‘Cause I Got So Much Lovin’ in Me
  12. Along the Way
  13. What the World Needs Now is Love
  14. Yesterday
  15. You’ve Got Your Troubles
  16. 1-2-3
  17. Wild Flower
  18. Love Bug
  19. The “In” Crowd
  20. Baby I’m Yours
  21. Just Yesterday
  22. The Weekend
  23. I Want to Meet Her
  24. Sunshine, Lollipops and Roses

Tracks 1-12 from Our Song, Kapp KS 3531, 1968
Tracks 13-24 from For the “In” Crowd, Kapp KS 3465, 1966

Jack Jones, Lady/Jack Jones Sings (Zone 1019, 2013)

  1. Lady
  2. A Beautiful Friendship
  3. Free Again
  4. If You Never Come to Me
  5. Nice ‘n’ Easy
  6. Brother Where Are You
  7. Once Upon a Time
  8. If You Go Away
  9. And We Were Lovers (Theme from The Sand Pebbles)
  10. Girl Talk
  11. Afraid to Love
  12. It’s Easy to Remember
  13. A Day in the Life of a Fool
  14. Autumn Leaves
  15. Somewhere There’s Someone
  16. Watch What Happens
  17. People Will Say We’re in Love
  18. Love After Midnight
  19. Somewhere My Love
  20. The Shining Sea
  21. The Face I Love
  22. Street of Dreams
  23. The Snows of Yesteryear
  24. I Don’t Care Much

Tracks 1-12 from Lady, Kapp KS 3511, 1967
Tracks 13-24 from Jack Jones Sings, Kapp KS 3500, 1966

Written by Joe Marchese

April 16, 2013 at 11:51

Posted in Jack Jones, News, Reissues

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