A gifted songwriter and an amazingly versatile and soulful singer, Jackie DeShannon
has been woefully under-appreciated by the general listening public, and her body of work -- both as a singer and as a writer -- is long overdue for a critical reappraisal. This generous collection has some wonderful sides, including DeShannon
's early version of Sonny Bono
's "Needles and Pins," her lost folk-rock classic, "When You Walk in the Room," a brilliant Supremes
facsimile, "Are You Ready for This," and her biggest hit, a rendition of the Bacharach/David classic "What the World Needs Now Is Love," a song that philosophically can never go out of style. This is a great set, as far as it goes, but it lacks any of her later work, like the original version of one her greatest compositions, "Bette Davis Eyes," which was a huge hit for Kim Carnes
. Raven's The Best of Jackie DeShannon
does a wonderful job of fitting the highlights of her complete career on one disc, with Rhino's compilation -- also called Best of Jackie DeShannon
-- coming in as a close second. This set will definitely do in a pinch, but it doesn't tell the whole story.