Break-A-Way: The Songs of Jackie DeShannon

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
With this volume, Ace Records' songwriters series -- which had previously documented such well-known early pop
ock composers as Burt Bacharach, Leiber & Stoller, and Goffin & King -- takes a more daring step into the catalog of a writer less famous, though not less talented. Though she had a couple big hit records of her own in the 1960s and released many discs in the decade, Jackie DeShannon was even more active as a songwriter, with many of her compositions (including many she never released under her own name) getting covered by artists in both the U.S. and U.K. This compilation has 27 such songs, some written by ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
With this volume, Ace Records' songwriters series -- which had previously documented such well-known early pop
ock composers as Burt Bacharach, Leiber & Stoller, and Goffin & King -- takes a more daring step into the catalog of a writer less famous, though not less talented. Though she had a couple big hit records of her own in the 1960s and released many discs in the decade, Jackie DeShannon was even more active as a songwriter, with many of her compositions (including many she never released under her own name) getting covered by artists in both the U.S. and U.K. This compilation has 27 such songs, some written by DeShannon herself, and some in collaboration with noted figures like Sharon Sheeley, Jimmy Page, and Jack Nitzsche. Though there's one big hit here (the Searchers' "When You Walk in the Room") and another track that was on a famous hit album ("Don't Doubt Yourself, Babe," from the Byrds' 1965 debut LP), for the most part these are songs known only to record collectors, and in a couple cases more known by versions other than the ones represented here. Like all of the other CDs in the Ace songwriters series, this isn't exactly a best-of as regards DeShannon covers, mixing some of her most famous tunes with rarities by big names, and just plain rarities by singers hardly anyone's ever heard of. While DeShannon went on to record quite a bit of material in a late-'60s/early-'70s serious singer/songwriter vein, these songs make plain her skill at creating catchy Brill Building-style pop, sometimes with a gutsy sexy and folky streak missing from the more pop-oriented Brill Building tunesmiths. For all her talent, however, these interpretations don't always do the material full justice. "When You Walk in the Room," "Don't Doubt Yourself, Babe," and Irma Thomas' "Break-A-Way" (a great song given wider exposure when Tracey Ullman made it into a Top Five British hit in 1983) are the only really superb tracks. A few others (P.J. Proby's "Just Like Him," Brenda Lee's "So Deep") are pretty good; a few of the better ones were done better by other artists (notably Cher's "Come and Stay with Me" and Gay Shingleton's "In My Time of Sorrow," both given superior treatments by Marianne Faithfull); and a few are disappointingly tame or clumsy versions of clearly fine songs (Diana Dawn's "Back Street Girl," the Bandits' "I Remember the Girl"). And while several other stars are represented (such as Duane Eddy, Rick Nelson, Peggy March, Bobby Vee, and Dobie Gray), their cuts aren't highlights in either their or DeShannon's careers. Break-A-Way, of course, is still a fine compilation, put together and annotated with Ace's customary expertise. But while this might be a somewhat insider collector-oriented point, such collectors know that DeShannon herself -- a great singer in addition to being a great songwriter -- recorded versions of some of these songs (like "Back Street Girl" and "Blue Ribbons") for rare publisher demo LPs that, both vocally and production-wise, were immeasurably superior. It's to be hoped that some or all of the material from those demo LPs eventually sees CD release to put the record straight, which doesn't seem to be as far-fetched a whim as one might think, since the Break-A-Way CD itself closes with a previously unissued folky 1967 DeShannon demo, "Only You Can Free My Mind." Even if such releases don't come to pass, DeShannon was so prolific that additional compilations of covers of her compositions would be welcome.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/11/2008
  • Label: Ace Records Uk
  • UPC: 029667034920
  • Catalog Number: 1208
  • Sales rank: 146,529

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Break-A-Way (2:44)
  2. 2 When You Walk in the Room - The Searchers (2:22)
  3. 3 Just Like Him - P.J. Proby (3:14)
  4. 4 Come and Stay with Me - Cher (2:47)
  5. 5 Woe Is Me (2:02)
  6. 6 Dancing Silhouettes - Thurston Harris (2:19)
  7. 7 (He's) The Great Impostor (2:12)
  8. 8 There's Gonna Be a Fight - Dick Lory (2:13)
  9. 9 So Deep (2:06)
  10. 10 You Won't Forget Me - Peter James (2:10)
  11. 11 Carrying a Torch (2:40)
  12. 12 Blue Ribbons (2:29)
  13. 13 Stop That Girl - Barbara Lewis (2:33)
  14. 14 In My Time of Sorrow (2:26)
  15. 15 I Remember the Girl - The Bandits (2:36)
  16. 16 Back Street Girl (2:48)
  17. 17 Am I Dreaming - Jack Canada (2:06)
  18. 18 Splendor in the Grass - The Boys (2:20)
  19. 19 Guitar Child (2:34)
  20. 20 Should I Cry - The Concords (2:08)
  21. 21 Thank You Darlin' - Rick Nelson (1:39)
  22. 22 Would You Come Back (1:54)
  23. 23 Daydreamin' of You - The Fashionettes (2:34)
  24. 24 Takin' the Long Way Home (2:24)
  25. 25 If I'm Right or Wrong - The Ventures (1:57)
  26. 26 Don't Doubt Yourself, Babe - The Byrds (3:00)
  27. 27 Only You Can Free My Mind (3:56)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
David Gates Conductor
Jack Nitzsche Conductor
Grady Martin Conductor
Garry Sherman Conductor
Teacho Wiltshire Conductor
Ron Winters Conductor
Technical Credits
Jimmy Page Composer, Producer
David Gates Arranger
Terry Melcher Arranger, Producer
Jack Nitzsche Arranger, Composer
Bert Berns Direction
Sonny Bono Arranger, Producer
Jimmy Bowen Producer
Owen Bradley Producer
Charles Bud Dant Producer
Dale Davis Producer
Jackie DeShannon Composer, Producer, Photo Courtesy
Tommy "Snuff" Garrett Producer
Dick Glasser Producer
Jimmie Haskell Arranger
Tony Hatch Producer
Al Kasha Producer
Brenda Lee Author
Hank Levine Arranger
Gary S. "Flip" Paxton Producer
Bob Reisdorff Producer
Ron Richards Producer
Artie Ripp Producer
Al Schmitt Producer
Sharon Sheeley Composer
Garry Sherman Arranger
Teacho Wiltshire Arranger
Jerry Dennon Producer
Tony Rounce Memorabilia, Photo Courtesy
Alec Palao Memorabilia, Photo Courtesy
Ady Croasdell Memorabilia, Photo Courtesy
Eddie Hodges Memorabilia, Photo Courtesy
Ron Winters Arranger
Rob Finnis Memorabilia, Photo Courtesy
Duncan Cowell Mastering
Peter Lerner Liner Notes, Memorabilia, Photo Courtesy
Mick Patrick Liner Notes, Memorabilia, Photo Courtesy
Fred Darian Producer
Sam Szczepanski Memorabilia, Photo Courtesy
Barry Wickham Memorabilia, Photo Courtesy
Eddie Ray Producer
Barry Summers Arranger
JC Fisher Producer
Craig Butler Memorabilia, Photo Courtesy
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