Jackie Wilson – 1973 – Beautiful Day
The Jackie Wilson style soars into the 70s – in a mode that’s definitely different than Wilson’s Brunswick work of a decade before – but which also show’s a really bold evolution in style! Jackie’s in the higher end of his range here – and really grooves greatly on some great Chicago soul arrangements from Willie Henderson – those upbeat, joyous sort of charts he seemed to save only for the best Brunswick artists – and which make the album a soaring gem that really lives up to its title! The mighty Carl Davis is at the production helm – keeping things right and tight throughout – and the level of expression in Jackie’s voice hits a new sort of maturity and sophistication that really make the record a standout from his later years at the label.
The title cut “Beautiful Day” is an especial gem that’s really great – but the whole thing’s wonderful too. Try “It’s All Over“, “What’cha Gonna Do About Me“, “I Get Lonely Sometimes“, and “Go Away“.
A1 Beautiful Day 3:38
A2 Because of You 3:19
A3 Go Away 3:29
A4 Pretty Little Angel Eyes 2:58
A5 Let’s Love Again 3:07
B1 It’s All Over 3:13
B2 I Get Lonely Sometimes 3:51
B3 This Love Is Mine 2:59
B4 Don’t You Know I Love You 3:24
B5 What’cha Gonna Do About Love 2:26
Review by Soulmakossa
‘Beautiful Day’ is a favorite among Wilson buffs: it has a consistency and gentle flow that makes it a warm, yet still groove-infested and always soulful experience. The record’s coherency undoubtedly is due to the fact that the bulk of the LP consists of songs written by Jeff Perry, a talented Detroit songwriter who had already worked with such groups as The Chairmen of the Board, Honey Cone and 100 Proof Aged in Soul.
Aside the single-releases the album boasts delicious soul confections such as the lovely, dreamy strutter “Pretty Little Angel Eyes” (also recorded by Wilson’s labelmates The Lost Generation) , the rockin’ “Let’s Love Again” and the truly goosebump inducing mid-tempo ballad “I Get Lonely Sometimes“. That sultry, richly orchestrated vibe is soulfully present on the infectious “This Love Is Mine” and the bouncy, jubilant “Don’t You Know I Love You” as well, whereas “It’s All Over” is more of a soul-rock excursion. The latter track is particularly interesting, as it cleverly incorporates the main horn riff to labelmate Barbara Acklin’s “Am I the Same Girl” hit of 1968.
Despite being a commercial failure, ‘Beautiful Day’ is a truly magnificent soul album; neatly orchestrated but never overproduced or too poppy. It retains the grit and groove of Jackie’s work with Carl Davis and ads just the right amount of gloss.
Jeff Perry eventually went on to record successfully as a solo act under the name ‘Jeffree‘.
Singles from the LP:
“Beautiful Day“, while a flop on the charts, is an achingly beautiful slow soul ballad that gently cruises along. Tastefully subdued string and brass arrangements throughout, with a set of mildly political lyrics that verge on the utopian. Nonetheless, a brilliant, delicate little gem that undeservedly sank without a trace soon after its release. Snappy piano and sassy horn start off the deliciously stomping flip, “What’cha Gonna Do About Love“. A driving groove, layered in brass.
One of Wilson’s last R&B hits, the current Northern Soul favorite “Because of You” has everything a soul man could wish for: a thick, gutsy groove, layers of horns and that hint of Chicago sweetness through xylophone and shimmering guitar. “Go Away“, the B-side, surely ranks as one of Jackie’s most emotional ballads. A lurching, slow grinding groove featuring a world weariness that’s eerie. Beautiful strings, great piano and, of course, another magical vocal.