Album of the Day
3614 Jackson Highway (Expanded Edition)
For Cher's first solo album on Atco Records, the label's powers-that-be sent her to a studio down South, a strategy that had produced spectacular results for Aretha Franklin and Dusty Springfield. 3614 JACKSON HIGHWAY - named after the address of Alabama's Muscle Shoals Sound, where the collection was made - is among the finest releases in the singer's career. With heavy hitters Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd and Arif Mardin producing and an ace studio band behind her (both on the cover and at the microphone), the set shows Cher in blue-eyed soul mode, and rarely has her voice sounded stronger than on such songs as “Cry Like a Baby,” “(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay” and “Lay, Baby, Lay,” one of three Dylan covers here. The Expanded Edition of 3614 JACKSON HIGHWAY adds a dozen tracks from sessions for a planned 1970 follow-up, and we'll give it a spin now to wish Cher a happy birthday.