Jackie Moore was, and still is, a gritty rhythm & blues performer. Her style may have been a little too raw for huge success but her output during the early 1970’s was the equal to most of her contemporaries. She had one big crossover hit in 1970 with “Precious Precious,” but despite 15 middling R&B Chart hits, mainline success managed to elude her.
She spent five years with the Atlantic label, 1969-1974, for whom she issued a number of singles and one studio album. Almost half of her studio recordings remained unreleased. Real Gone music has now issued The Complete Atlantic Recordings, which gathers together all 30 of the songs she produced for the label.
Taken individually, many of the songs are excellent. When taken together, they lack cohesiveness as the label was never allowed her to settle into a consistent style. Her only album, 1973’s Sweet Charlie Babe, was cobbled together from her singles, leaving an album’s worth of material in the vaults.
This is a release where many of the unreleased tracks are equal to what appeared on her single releases. “Here I Am” is a performance that fuses gospel and blues with a powerful duet with David Crawford. “I Just Started” has a big brass sound and backing vocals by the Sweet Inspirations. “Young Girls” is the type of down to earth rhythm & blues that punctuated her career. “I Forgive You” is so obscure that the composer has been lost to history but it is a deep grooved funky piece.
“Precious Precious” has a number of layers including a brass background, the Dixie Flyers, and Dr. John on piano. “Darling Baby” traveled in a different direction as it is a delicate cover of the Holland-Dozier-Holland hit. “Sometimes It’s Got To Rain (In Your Life)” is an attempt to combine her gritty vocals with the pop soul sound of Motown, which was so popular at the time.
After leaving the Atlantic label she would continue to sporadically record, while raising a family. Her great shining moment came in 1979 when her “This Time Baby” became one of the big dance club/disco hits of the era.
The Complete Atlantic Recordings is a nice look into the career of a sometimes forgotten soul singer. It is a legacy worth exploring for anyone interested in the music of the era.