But It's Alright

Album: But It's Alright (1966)
Charted: 22
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Songfacts®:

  • This highly danceable soul number has a surprising vindictive lyric, with J.J. Jackson taking a girl to task for treating him bad and promising that she's get her comeuppance when some other guy does the same to her. "you gotta gotta reap what you sow," he sings, quoting Galatians 6 in the Bible: "A man reaps what he sows."
  • J.J. Jackson was an American soul singer (born in Arkansas), but he traveled to England to record "But It's Alright." He had been working Stateside as a songwriter/arranger when his manager sent him to England, where he recorded the song. He wrote it with a British songwriter named Pierre Tubbs, who later had a hit with "Right Back Where We Started From," recorded by Maxine Nightingale.
  • This song endures on soul and oldies playlists, but it wasn't a big hit when it was first released, charting in America at #22 when it was released on the Calla label. Jackson never had another substantial hit, but after Warner Bros. bought Calla, they re-issued "But It's Alright" in 1969 and it charted again, this time at #45.
  • Fans of early MTV will think of the original VJ on the network when they hear the name J.J. Jackson, but that was a different person. MTV's Jackson was also a prominent disc jockey.
  • A popular instrumental version by the Brother Jack McDuff Quintet with David Newman was released in 1968.
  • Huey Lewis & the News released their version of "But It's Alright" in 1994, which is rather confusing because a year earlier they released "It's All Right," also a cover of a '60s soul song (by The Impressions). That one they did a cappella.
  • The Huey Lewis & the News version of "But It's Alright" went to #54 in the US, their last entry on the Hot 100. The song is part of their album Four Chords & Several Years Ago, a collection of cover songs from the '50s and '60s.

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