Album: 3614 Jackson Highway

"3614 Jackson Highway" is an album by American singer and actress Cher, launched on June 20, 1969. The album marks Cher's return to the music scene after a short hiatus, during which she concentrated on her acting career. The album's title describes the address of Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Sheffield, Alabama, where the record was produced. Cher's goal with this album was to go back to her emotional roots, and the studio was known for producing hits for artists like Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett. Although the album was not a business success, it remains a substantial part of Cher's musical tradition and a showcase for her vocal abilities.

Production and Recording
"3614 Jackson Highway" was produced by Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd, and Arif Mardin. All three were well-known for their work in the soul and R&B categories and was accountable for hit records by artists like Dusty Springfield, Ray Charles, and the Drifters.

The album was tape-recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, also called the Swampers. This session band had become popular for their distinctive noise and had actually supported some of the most significant names in soul music. They added to the raw, genuine noise of "3614 Jackson Highway".

Track Listing and Music
The album includes 10 tracks, primarily including covers of popular soul and R&B tunes. Cher's effective and emotive vocals revive these classic tunes. The record opens with a searing rendition of Otis Redding's "I Walk on Guilded Splinters". A few of the other standout tracks include a sultry take on "Please Don't Tell Me", originally carried out by Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, and an enthusiastic analysis of "I Got You Babe", including Sonny Bono.

Other noteworthy tracks on "3614 Jackson Highway" are Cher's bluesy cover of Bob Dylan's "Lay, Baby, Lay", a mentally charged version of Eddie Floyd's "Knock on Wood", and a tender performance of Wilson Pickett's "Save the Children".

Upon its release in 1969, "3614 Jackson Highway" did not receive the industrial success it was worthy of. Regardless of being hailed as one of Cher's finest albums by critics, it only reached No. 160 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album's two songs, "I Walk on Guilded Splinters" and "Lay, Baby, Lay", failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100.

However, the album has actually because acquired a cult following and is now regarded as a hidden gem in Cher's substantial discography. The Muscle Shoals sound and the superb choice of cover tunes make it an enjoyable listening experience for fans of soul and R&B music. "3614 Jackson Highway" showcases Cher's ability as an interpreter of tunes, capturing the raw emotion and power of her voice.

Tradition and Reissues
Despite its preliminary low chart performance, "3614 Jackson Highway" has earned a place in music history as an unique blend of Cher's pop sensibilities with the gritty, southern soul sound of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. The album's influence can be heard on later Cher albums, such as "Believe" and "Closer to the Truth".

In 2003, "3614 Jackson Highway" was reissued on CD with 6 extra tracks, including alternate versions of "I Walk on Guilded Splinters" and "Lay, Baby, Lay". The reissue brought the album to the attention of a new generation of fans and solidified its credibility as an important release in Cher's brochure.

Artist: Cher

Cher Cher, spanning 6 decades of music, acting, and activism. Dive into her iconic quotes and inspiring journey. Cher's world awaits!
More about Cher

Other Albums by Cher