For the past two years I have found myself under the spell of Jack Nitzsche – and I found something that got my ears humming. It’s Jackie De Shannon’s “Breakin’ It Up on The Beatles Tour!”
First of all De Shannon is a superb pop singer and second a good writer. Third, you got Nitzsche’s stunning arrangements. Songs like “Hold Your Head High” is right out to the stars. Also it is co-written by Randy Newman – and it is 100% tough girl-pop. De Shannon in fact is total soulful, bratty, and of course sexy.
Probably the most famous song on this album is “Needles and Pins” by Nitzsche and fellow late recording studio rat Sonny Bono. It is a perfect pop record – and it just explodes and leaves a tattoo on your brain. This is really a brilliant record. Ok, it’s recorded between 1963 and 1965 – and I will try to find something to like in the dismal 21st Century – but really you know any album that cashes in on an early Beatles (Jackie opened up for them) tour has to be at least interesting. And this album goes beyond interesting into what I like to think is the future. Yesterday’s Sound Today!