Freddie Jackson’s chart stats are something else: from 1985 to 1992, he hit the R&B top 10, 18 times. Of those 18 hits, 10 made it to #1, with another three stopping at #2 — who wouldn’t want that batting average? And then, poof! He never climbed higher than #22 on the R&B chart again. (And nowadays, of course, said chart is completely worthless.) But what a run, and what a glorious lineup of hits. Frankly, I could write about any one of, oh, eight of his singles here, but I want to focus on Jackson’s final top 10, 1992’s #2 R&B hit “I Could Use A Little Love (Right Now),” the lead single from his fifth album, Time for Love.
The song itself is sublime, squarely in Jackson’s pocket, a midtempo-ballad about romance. But it’s on the full album version, just past the four-minute mark, where the magic really happens: Jackson starts quasi-scatting, almost ad-libbing (maybe he is?), riffing lines like “Do it in the bath/Do it in the tub/Do it whichever way you want,” et.al. There’s something so unexpected about it — he’s normally a very buttoned-up singer — that it’s nothing but delightful. (As well as a little ridiculous: “Ooh it’s getting hot, baby/Bring me some ice” — but aren’t you getting hot with your paramour, Freddie?) You’ll have to listen to the full version, not the one in the video embedded above, to get the full effect, but trust me — it’s worth it.