From the Vault...


Jewel Akens
"The Birds And The Bees: The Best Of Jewel Akens"

© Era Records

Year of Release: 1994

track listing
  • The Birds And The Bees
  • Around The Corner
    (From My House)
  • Love Potion No. 9
  • Tic Tac Toe
  • It's The Only Way To Fly
  • Sukiyaki
    (My First Lonely Night)
  • Georgie Porgie
  • King Of The Road
  • So This Is Love
  • You Sure Know How
    To Hurt A Fellow
  • Dear Heart
  • A Slice Of Pie
  • Michael
  • The Vegetable Love Song
  • Sniff-Sniff-Poo-Pah-Pahdoo

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    Jewel Akens related sites:
    Jewel Akens Website
    Previous Review: #877
    Hugh Masekela--The Promise Of A Future
    Next Review: #879
    The Brian Setzer Orchestra--Vavoom!
    Jewel Akens
    "The Birds And The Bees: The Best Of Jewel Akens"

    Jewel Akens was famous for one hit, from 1965, "The Birds And The Bees." His Best Of compilation consists of songs mostly from 1965 and some bonus tracks, Jewel Akens may just be a one-hit wonder with his "Birds and Bees" tune. Most of the songs on his best of are cover tunes, and songs easily fitting the early 1960s rock and roll sound (pre-Beatles).

    "Around The Corner (From My House)" has a mix of the early Beatles and Little Richard. His version of "Love Potion No. 9" may not be as great as the most popular versions, by such acts as The Clovers and The Searchers, yet it's a song that everyone remembers from the early 1960s. "Tic Tac Toe" has a distinct early 1960s sound, as in the Beau Brummels' "Last Laugh." "It's The Only Way To Fly" has a driving beat as heard in Sonny & Cher's "Baby Don't Go."

    Another cover is "Sukiyaki (My First Lonely Night)." A hig hit sung in Japanese by Kyu Sakomoto (#1), Akens' version is in English, and a bit more upbeat than Sakomoto's. A common trend in the early 1960s for artists having a big hit, is to record another song, similar in melody than the big hit before. "Georgie Porgie" has the melody of "The Birds And The Bees," with different lyrics, and just a slight difference in sound.

    Roger Miller was most famous with "King Of The Road," as Akens' version is just as cool as Miller's, and a bit more jazzy. An impressive tune is "So This Is Love," as it showcases Akens as a very good R&B soul singer. "You Sure Know How To Hurt A Fellow" has the common late-1950s/early-1960s rock and roll/R&B upbeat style, comparing styles to those of Fats Domino and the screaming "Whoo!'s" of Little Richard.

    "Dear Heart" is another beautiful ballad -- it's soulful, and even the piano accompanient has an early country feel. "A Slice Of Pie" has a more soulful sound heard in the next decade, the early 1970s.

    The remaining tunes are bonus tracks: The Highwaymen's "Michael (Row The Boat Ashore)" is upbeated to the R&B standards at the time on Akens' version, and could be easily used in the black gospel church. "The Vegetable Love Song" has the sound best for many of the early-1960s girl groups. "Sniff-Sniff-Poo-Pah-Pahdoo" is an unreleased alternate studio take, and is definitely a good R&B number, compared to the popular 1960s hit "Peanut Butter."

    The Best of Jewel Akens has the early sound of Rock N Roll -- mostly a R&B sound, Jewel Akens may not have been a household name, and his most popular hit "The Birds And The Bees" just may be considered a one-hit wonder. Yet his Best Of compilation showcases good R&B music for those who enjoy the early years of Rock N Roll.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Era Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #877
    Hugh Masekela--The Promise Of A Future
    Next Review: #879
    The Brian Setzer Orchestra--Vavoom!