Jack Jones

by: Jack Jones

The early '80s were lean times for classic-pop singers like Jack Jones, who had had long stints on Kapp Records in the '60s and RCA Victor in the '60s and '70s, and had regained some recognition with the "Love Boat Theme" in 1980. This self-titled effort for a small label found him mixing soft-rock standards such as Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge over Troubled Water," the Eagles' "Lyin' Eyes," and the Beatles' "Long and Winding Road" with older favorites, sometimes literally, as in a bizarre medley of Carole King's "You've Got a Friend," James Taylor's "Fire and Rain," and songs from George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. Jones also remade "The Race Is On," one of his '60s hits, and co-wrote the novelty song "My Fault" (about romance and California earthquakes). The songs were cut with a rock rhythm section, and strings. While Jones sang the material gamely -- his interpretations had become far more rhythmic and expressive since his early days -- this was the sort of album that would have sounded dated had it been recorded in the early '70s, much less the early '80s. As usual, the rock songs were far too closely identified with their authors to admit to satisfying covers, especially since Jones was essentially aping the original arrangements. ~ William Ruhlmann

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