Spotlight On….Wilson Pickett – I’m In Love

21 Jul

Year:  1968

Artist:  Wilson Pickett

Songwriter:  Bobby Womack

Label:  Atlantic Records

Recorded:  American Studios, Memphis, TN

Producers:  Tom Dowd, Tommy Cogbill

The title track from Pickett’s 1968 album that also featured Stagger Lee and Bring It On Home to Me, I’m in Love stands out as the one song in “The Wicked’s” repetoire that shows any kind of vulnerability or longing.  Most of Pickett’s hits were displays of his vast male bravado and self assurance, so I’m in Love was an enjoyable deviation from his norm.

Like most pioneers of soul music, Wilson Pickett started out in gospel and perhaps the brash sexual nature of his popular music had a little something to with that.  Many of the sexy, soul singers of the ’60s and ’70s, like Otis Redding, Bobby Womack and Sam Cooke all became dichotomies of their upbringing by embracing and advancing sensual, risque’ music that quickly became the music of love.

In 1962, Atlantic Records signed Wilson Pickett as part The Falcons, who had a modest R&B hit with I Found a Love.  Eddie Floyd of Knock On Wood fame, as well as Sir Mack Rice who penned the classics Respect Yourself and Pickett’s Mustang Sally, were also members of the famed Falcons.

Soon after, Pickett went solo but had no success in his first few attempts.  Atlantic executive, Jerry Wexler, then made the fateful decision to send Wilson on down to Memphis to record with Stax musicians and writers.  There, Steve Cropper worked with Wilson Pickett to write In the Midnight Hour, which became a huge hit in 1965.  The Stax collaborations would produce other hits, like 634-5789 and Don’t Fight It.  After Stax owner, Jim Stewart, banned all outside production in 1965, Pickett moved on to FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL, where he recorded Mustang Sally and Funky Broadway.

In 1967, Wexler arranged for Wilson to go back to Memphis, but this time at the pretigious, American Studios.  There, Pickett recorded the I’m in Love album.  He would subsequently return to FAME to do a funky version of The Beatles’ Hey Jude, with Duane Allman sitting in, but the I’m in Love album would prove to be his apex.

In the single I’m in Love, Pickett exudes sex and charisma, with a side of desparation that is so appealing to women.


The lyrics, or rather, the phrasings create a sense of wanting and needing mixed with jubilation.  Coupled with Pickett’s steamy delivery, I’m in Love is a pure anthem of love.

I´m in love, yes I am
Love, love, love
I´m in love, sho ´nuff in love
My friends all wonder what´s come over me
I´m as happy as a man can be
I´m in love (love, love)
I´m in love (love, love) love
I´m in love (love, love)
I´m so glad I can tell the world
(love, love, love)
I´m too proud on my own
(love, love, love)
Yes I am
(love, love, love)
I´m sho ´nuff in love
(love, love, love)
I feel just like a baby boy (ooooo)
On a Christmas mornin´ with a brand new toyI´m in love (love, love)
I´m in love, love, love
I´m in love (love, love)
Sho´ nuff´ in love (love, love)
I can shout about it, yeah
(love, love, love)
I can cry about it sometime
(love, love, love)
Whoa sho ´nuff in love
(love, love, love)
Sho ´nuff in love, yes I am
(love, love, love)
I can knock on wood, now
(love, love, love)


This song is one of my absolute FAVORITE songs.  Wilson Pickett’s passion and enthusiasm has yet to be matched by today’s artists in terms of delivering REAL soul music, with the possible exception of Marc Broussard.  When I hear this song, it really gives me that “feel good all over” feeling and makes me want to grab Mr. D to cut a rug.


Posted by on July 21, 2008 in music legends, oldies, Soul, wilson pickett


6 responses to “Spotlight On….Wilson Pickett – I’m In Love

  1. Colette

    July 21, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    Great great cut, MM!
    Love that raw, ragged Wilson Pickett sound so much, but didn’t know/remember this particular cut.

    Love the line about a little boy with a Christmas toy — reminds of this great Nat King Cole tune — vocally the polar opposite of Wicked Pickett, but life ain’t nothin’ without both the Yin and the Yang, right?:

  2. music maven

    July 22, 2008 at 8:11 am

    While their music styles and personas were vastly different, the sex appeal of Nat Cole and Wilson Pickett were very similar. Cole’s in a more subdued way, Pickett’s in an in your face, bold way.

    Then 10-15 years difference in the heights of their popularity had a lot to do with the brashness that was somewhat allowed Pickett. Cole was a pioneer among black artists in that he was one of the first to “cross over” into popular “white” music. That came with certain expectations of “knowing your place”. I don’t think Pickett could have ever done such a thing.

  3. shrewspeaks

    July 22, 2008 at 9:46 am

    Wow…I LOVE this cut!!!

    How wonderful the complex edge within this song, steamy sultry and the relinquish of a man’s power to the emotion. Talk about loving so much it hurts…Everytime Pickett sings “I’m in love” he fuses that angst of pain…he could be singing out “I’ve been hit”…”I have been wounded” and his reading would be still true.

    What is sexier to a woman than knowing that she has shook her man to the core?

  4. music maven

    July 22, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    True dat, Shrew. Woman’s essence is to have a man utterly and completely smitten — worshiping at the altar of me.

    As for Wilson, he most certainly has the “UNGH” factor.

  5. Vinyl Records Sale

    March 22, 2011 at 10:18 am

    In case your looking for them, you can find Wilson Pickett Records for Sale Here. Webmaster, cool site dude!

  6. butchwarner

    October 25, 2018 at 11:06 pm

    Does anyone hear the verses of this song as triplets or 3/4 over 4/4?


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