Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
3614 Jackson Highway
Genres: Pop, R&B, Rock
2009 reissue of this solo album from the female half of Sonny & Cher, originally released in 1969 on Atco Records. Astute Pop/Rock music fans might note the familiarity of 3614 Jackson Highway as the former home of the leg... more »
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2009 reissue of this solo album from the female half of Sonny & Cher, originally released in 1969 on Atco Records. Astute Pop/Rock music fans might note the familiarity of 3614 Jackson Highway as the former home of the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. As the Atlantic Records production team: Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd and Arif Mardin had done six months earlier on Dusty Springfield's Dusty in Memphis album, they chose to juxtapose their Pop diva with a band affectionately known as the Swampers. Throughout 3614 Jackson Highway they are able to create a similar seminal R&B vibe for these sessions. This album reveals that not only did Cher have soul, but the Swampers are the quintessential foil for her decidedly unique style. Like Soul Music serpent charmers, they summon from Cher the most authentic, if not interesting work she had been responsible for.
One of Cher's Absolute Best
P. Ambrose | Brooklyn NY | 03/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A MUSIC FAN from Shefield Alabama was totally on the mark with his (or her) review. I would just like to add how powerful Cher's vocals are in this recording. This is one of the few albums where Cher's voice is ABOVE the music and as a result is an instrument in and of itself. (As it is in her album with Gregg Allman: "Allman And Woman" and the UK release of "It's A Man's World".) The fact that this bomb of a release is so majestic still today is 'living proof' of Cher's true talent: an incredibly gifted, soulful and expressive singer. Her cover of "Superstar" is what Leon Russell was writing - not the sappy cover Karen Carpenter turned in a few years later (beautiful - but not the real expression of a groupie which is what the song is about). The extra unreleased tracks are so dynamite you have to wonder what is not released from Cher's incredibly long and varied vocal career. 3614 via Rhino is better today then it was in '69. If you have any interest in this woman's singing this is a must."
3614 Jackson Highway: Cher's Best Album!
P. Ambrose | 11/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"3614 Jackson Highway is easily the best and most ambitious recorded work of Cher's career, and demonstrated early on the potential she had as a performer.Atlantic's Executive Vice President Jerry Wexler sought to revitalize Cher's career by utilizing a formula similar to that employed on the classic Dusty In Memphis. Wexler selected the tunes for the album, including no less than three songs from Bob Dylan's alt-country Nashville Skyline album. Over the course of ten days in late April 1969 and one session in mid-May, the tracks for 3614 Jackson Highway were recorded at the Muscle Shoals Sound studio whose address was to be the album's title. "For What It's Worth" opens the album with a surging drum and tambourine beat, followed by percussive acoustic guitar punctuated by electric piano trills until the chorus, where Cher is joined by male and female backup vocalists and some slide guitar work. While soulful, the whole thing has a country-blues feel that certainly isn't present on the original Buffalo Springfield recording.The Dylan songs include "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You", "I Threw It All Away", and "Lay Baby Lay". "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You" opens with a horn section riff and the familiar blue jean sound of drum, strummed acoustic guitar, and electric piano. Cher leans nicely on the blue notes of the song, giving a bluesier feel than she could manage by sheer delivery alone. "I Walk On Guilded Splinters" is an odd number by any standard, coming from Dr. John's very first album Gris-Gris, which was also released by the Atco label. While Dr. John's version is menacing and atmospheric, Cher's is powerful and gritty, prefacing the sound and delivery she would use on records like "Half Breed", "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves" and "Dark Lady". "Please Don't Tell Me" is a country-influenced track on which Cher turns in one of the best vocals of her career. It helps that the song's lyrics could be the life story of one of Cher's hard luck film heroine characters. Still, the arrangement and her excellent rendition remind us just of how closely this album fits the Dusty In Memphis mold. Overall this is an album you can play from beginning to end and be well entertained. One can only imagine the direction Cher's singing career might have taken had this album been a huge success. Nonetheless, recordings were made for a followup Atco Cher solo album, and they are available on this Rhino Handmade disc. A few were released as non-charting singles, but many have never before been available.In addition Rhino has included "Chastity's Song (Band of Thieves)" from the Chastity film project, which was supposed to establish Cher as an actress (even as 3614 Jackson Highway was supposed to have re-established her as a contemporary recording artist), and Cher's recording of Leon Russell's Superstar. Superstar was Cher's last Atco single, released in 1970. Of the tracks recorded for the followup to 3614, the best performances are "Easy to Be Hard" (from the rock musical Hair), a souped-up gospel-infused "I Believe", and the anti-war song "Momma Look Sharp" from the Broadway musical 1776 (!) There is some of the same Muscle Shoals production work here as on 3614, including horns and funky beats, but there is a lot less focus, which probably is why the new album was never released. Cher's brief Atco solo period was all but forgotten as she moved on to later fame as a solo recording artist and Academy Award-winning actress. Thankfully, you can now hear once again the best recording of this pop diva's career thanks to Rhino's Handmade program. Don't wait too long, though--these are limited editions, and once they're gone, who knows when they'll be back?"
Outstanding re-release shows grittier vocals by Cher
Darryl Geddes | Syracuse, NY | 01/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Before pop creators had their way with Cher and transformed her into the pop diva she is today, she was a hard-singing vocalist with an emotional edge to her voice that was genuine. This re-release showcases Cher's earlier less refined talent and does so in fine fashion. Her selections on this album provide the listener with an array of eclectic material, some hits and some misses. Cher's "Mama Look Sharp," a revolutionary war anthem from the musical "1776" is first-rate. Even her take on Superstar, which was a hit for the Carpenters, takes on a new glow. The CD boasts 22 tracks and superb liner notes that offer insight into this unique recording. Nearly half of the tracks on this CD were never released."