Originally from Harlem, New York, Freddie Jackson grew up as a gospel singer, singing for the community church and its choir. It would be there he would meet with Paul Laurence, a songwriter and record producer that would launch Jackson into a professional music career. First, Jackson performed in Laurence’s own band, Laurence Jones Ensemble (LJE) throughout New York’s nightclub scene. Briefly, Jackson moved to the West Coast and worked with the band, Mystic Merlin. After recording and releasing three albums between 1980 to 1982, Jackson returned to New York. He teamed up with Laurence to help record demos when he returned in 1981, which led to a 1984 recording contract with Capitol Records. On August 28, 1985, Jackson released his debut album, Rock Me Tonight. The success of the album officially made Jackson’s music a favorite on the urban contemporary airwaves, catapulting the R&B singer into stardom.
So far, Freddie Jackson has recorded and released fourteen studio albums and five compilation albums. He also has thirty-nine singles to his credit, where ten of them became chart-toppers, all of them on US Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. When his run from 1984 to 1993 with Capitol Records was over, Jackson sought a new beginning by signing up with RCA Records. According to a 1988 article written in the Los Angeles Times, Freddie Jackson admitted he refused to compromise his soulful, R&B style in favor of chasing after pop-rock recognition. This was in response to the criticism he was receiving by the likes of US Billboard Magazine that too much of his material sounded too similar to each other. This is also the same article that had Jackson voice another issue that embroiled him in a bit of controversy. However, Jackson’s point of view when it came to the music industry is that it should become a more level playing field for every artist, regardless of race, color, and personal background.
Top 10 Freddie Jackson Songs
#10 – I Do (featuring Natalie Cole)
In 1989, the duet of “I Do” reached number seven on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, as well as number fifteen on the US Adult Contemporary/Easy Listening chart. Natalie Cole and Freddie Jackson laid out a soft, melodic performance as their combined vocal talents made this a feel-good ballad that can easily become a loving couple’s favorite. The song is featured on Natalie Cole’s 1989 album, Good to Be Back.
#9 – A Little Bit More (featuring Melba Moore)
Coming from Melba Moore’s 1986 album, A Lot of Love, the duet she performs with Freddie Jackson starts with “A Little Bit More” opening up with Jackson’s melodic vocals. The sensuality of this slow-paced love song smoked the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart as it reached number one in 1990. This song is also on Freddie Jackson’s album, Do Me Again, which was released on October 29, 1990.
#8 – Love Me Down
Freddy Jackson starts off the single, “Love Me Down,” with a melodic play of vocal notes before breaking into the soft lyrics that deservedly placed this song as a number one hit for the R&B artist on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. It also made a chart appearance on the UK Singles Chart at number ninety-five. Love Me Down was the second of five singles recorded and released from his 1990 album, Do Me Again.
#7 – He’ll Never Love You (Like I Do)
As a fun, easy to dance to beat, “He’ll Never Love You (Like I Do)” demonstrates Freddie Jackson’s vocal performance is at its rhythmic best. On the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, the single peaked at number eight, making it the third single from Jackson’s debut album, Rock Me Tonight, that would become a top-ten hit. It also charted at number twenty-five on the US Billboard Hot 100, and at number twenty-eight on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary/Easy Listening Songs chart.
#6 – Jam Tonight
On the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart, “Jam Tonight” became Freddie Jackson’s sixth number one hit. Coming from the 1986 album, Just Like the First Time, it was the fourth time from the album Jackson would have a song that became a chart-topper. This easy-to-listen-to song features a fun, upbeat groove that makes a listener want to jam along with it.
#5 – Tasty Love
“Tasty Love” was the second of six singles that were released from Freddie Jackson’s second studio album, Just Like the First Time, which was recorded and released on November 8, 1986. The soul-felt, vocal display by Jackson gave a powerful, yet sensual, feel to the song. When it charted number one on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, the song remained there for four weeks.
#4 – Have You Ever Loved Somebody
The 1986 album, Just Like the First Time, was Freddie Jackson’s second studio album, which had since become certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). From it, the single, “Have You Ever Loved Somebody,” became Jackson’s fifth number one hit on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart. Between the opening harp play, keyboard performance, and Jackson’s rhythmic vocals, it’s easy to get caught up in the song’s soft groove.
#3 – Rock Me Tonight (For Old Time’s Sake)
Freddie Jackson made his debut with the single, “Rock Me Tonight (For Old Time’s Sake),” in 1984. In the slow, melodic intro Jackson starts the song with, the powerful vocalist laid out a dreamy delivery that would take music fans by storm. On the charts, the song peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, and at number eighteen on the US Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart. Rock Me Tonight served as the first of ten number one hits Freddie Jackson would realize in his career as a solo artist.
#2 – Nice ‘N’ Slow
The 1988 American Music Association recognized the single, “Nice ‘N’ Slow,” as Favorite Soul/Rhythm & Blues Singles. Before the music officially sets in, Freddie Jackson’s vocal opening sets an easy-listening, rhythmic tone. From there the song maintains a pace that is kept nice, slow, and with a catchy beat. On the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, the song peaked at number one. Coming from the 1988 album, Don’t Let Love Slip Away, Nice ‘N’ Slow served as the leading track and was the first of four singles that were released.
# 1- You Are My Lady
“You Are My Lady” served as the explosive hit that would put Freddie Jackson on the map as an elite performer in the R&B music genre. On the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, the song peaked at number one. On the US Billboard Adult Contemporary/Easy Listening chart, the soft, emotional ballad charted at number three, and on the US Billboard Hot 100, at number twelve.
The powerful performance Jackson poured into You Are My Lady as a lovestruck companion to his woman, earned Jackson Grammy Award recognition to become nominated in 1985 for Best New Artist, as well as Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance – Male. Although he didn’t take home any Grammys, this song was instrumental in making Jackson’s debut album, Rock Me Tonight, become a chart-topping success. The album also became certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), as well as certified Silver by the UK’s British Phonographic Industry (BPI).
Top 10 Freddie Jackson Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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