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Mike "Toy's Boy" (Sydney, Australia)

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I Got to Try It One Time
I Got to Try It One Time
Price: 9.34

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Funky Goldmine, 26 May 2006
I Got To Try It One Time is just one of a string of brilliant albums that Millie recorded in the early 1970s. This album lacks the comedic interludes that make her later works so distinctive, but for down and dirty funk, this album is a goldmine.

The album kicks off with one of Millie's best ballads, the soulful "How Do You Feel The Morning After". After singing so movingly about being a wronged woman, Millie switches roles for "I Got To Try It One Time". In this song, Millie is a woman who just can't resist one of her man's friends. Millie has a knack for singing about love and all its associated dramas with a candour that would make most of today's divas blush with embarrassment. Another perfect example of this is "Get Your Love Right", in which Millie implores her man to satisfy her needs. Lil' Kim wishes she could be this fierce.

The album reaches an early high point with "Gospel Truth", one of Millie's greatest love songs. The choir backing is superb. This is followed by two large doses of Millie J attitude, "My Love Is So Fly" and "One Night Stand". Apparently, Millie had loving on her mind while recording this set. "A Letter Full Of Tears" is a nice change of pace, as Millie deals with getting dumped through the post. The next song "I Gotta Do Something About Myself" has a message that everyone can relate to. The final two songs end the album on a high. Millie dishes out some good advice on "Watch The One Who Brings You The News", a great song about predatory neighbours. The finale, "In The Wash" is Millie's guide to finding signs that your man is cheating by doing his laundry!

I Got To Try It One Time is irresistible to fans of early Millie Jackson. The album exemplifies Millie's unique ability to sing about topics that we can all relate to in one way or another. However, newcomers or fans of her more comedic material might want to start with "Feelin' Bitchy" or "A Moment's Pleasure".


Come On Over
Come On Over
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 7.94

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Example Of 1970s Olivia, 26 May 2006
This review is from: Come On Over (Audio CD)
Come On Over is one of Olivia's best recordings from the 1970s. It is also an interesting album from the perspective that it signalled Olivia's move towards pop, which would become more prevalent in the 1980s. In many ways this is a transition album, combining both country and pop influences with supreme skill.

The album begins and ends with covers of famous songs. I like Olivia's take on "Jolene", but I associate that song with Dolly Parton to such an extent that it is hard to fully appreciate other versions. The final song, a cover of "The Long And Winding Road" is lovely but somewhat too restrained. While the album begins and ends on a slightly lukewarm note, the content in-between is absolutely smashing.

The title track, written by the Gibb brothers is stunning. "Come On Over" belongs to the very finest songs that Olivia has ever recorded. Her vocals are superb and John Farrar's simple production is light years ahead of its time. John Farrar also contributed two songs to the album, "It'll Be Me" and "Small Talk And Pride". I love them both, but prefer the former, with its pop sensibility and attitude. This is a clear indication of things to come in the 1980s.

The other highlights for me are Olivia's version of "Don't Throw It All Away", "Who Are You Now?", "Smile For Me" and "Wrap Me In Your Arms", which uses dancing as a metaphor for dating. These melodic songs all brilliantly showcase Olivia's voice and skill for interpretation. The song "Pony Ride" is a guilty pleasure, although Olivia's take on "Greensleeves" is best left unmentioned.

Come On Over is a beautiful album that still holds up well today. I would rank this album as essential Olivia. It really should be in every fan's collection.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 28, 2013 7:22 PM BST


A Moment's Pleasure
A Moment's Pleasure
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 7.94

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 Moments Of Pleasure, 25 May 2006
This review is from: A Moment's Pleasure (Audio CD)
A Moment's Pleasure is a great example of early Millie Jackson. This album finds Millie J in fine form, singing about everything from swapping lovers to exploring the joys of disco. A Moment's Pleasure is one of the most relentlessly upbeat albums of Millie J's career; it also signalled her move towards combining comedic elements into her music.

The album kicks off with the funky "Never Change Lovers In The Middle Of The Night" and then switches into a slower gear with the fine ballad "Seeing You Again". While I enjoy both of these great songs, the next 5 songs represent some of Millie's finest work. Millie's version of "Kiss You All Over" is irresistible. I could listen to the song all day, the vocals are fantastic and the instrumentation is so warm. Just when you think Millie has outdone herself, she takes things to the next level with the title track. "A Moment's Pleasure" begins with one of Millie's signature intros, telling her man that they should stop talking and "get with the gettin' on". Things hot up even further with Millie's groaning and request for a towel (I'll leave it to your imagination)! Needless to say, this is a classic.

"What Went Wrong Last Night" is split into two parts. The first part is a ballad about Millie sitting at home waiting for her man, while the second part has Millie going to the disco with "some nosy bitches". It's great stuff. This is followed by another favourite of mine, "The Rising Cost Of Love". The final two tracks are more funk based, particularly the edgy "We've Got To Hit It Off". The final song, "Once You've Had It" closes the album appropriately with another large dose of Millie J attitude.

A Moment's Pleasure is fun, catchy and uplifting. It is impossible to listen to this CD and not have a smile on your face. This is very highly recommended.


Esp: Extra Sexual Persuasion
Esp: Extra Sexual Persuasion
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 7.79

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Camp Classic, 18 May 2006
Millie fans are divided about her 1980s material. Some think she became a parody of herself, while others (myself included) simply think she captured the zeitgeist perfectly and took her zany brand of entertainment to dizzying new heights. E.S.P. encapsulates every tawdry thing I love about the 80s, from Millie's sequined headband on the glorious cover art to her mind blowing reply to Olivia's "Physical".

The album begins with the title track, an upbeat dance number complete with 80s synthesisers. Initially I found it difficult to accept Millie's gritty soul voice with cheesy 80s keyboards but by the second verse I was completely taken with Millie's new musical direction. "Too Easy Being Easy" is both a nod to Millie's 70s output and a glance at her future direction. The song is similar in structure to older tunes like "All The Way Lover" but the witty interludes are no longer spoken, but rapped! This song is so funny, it hurts. Basically Millie is told by a female fan that she doesn't appeal to men. Needless to say, Millie J sets her straight. This could also be the only song in existence that rhymes "herpes" with "V.D.s" - genius!

"This Girl Could Be Dangerous" is straightforward 80s pop, while "I Feel Like Walkin' In The Rain" is the closest thing here to an old school RnB number. Personally, I think the sound is very reminiscent of many of the songs on Tina Turner's "Private Dancer". This is followed by the album's undisputed highlight and perhaps the campest song ever recorded. "Sexercise" is a jaw dropping reply to Olivia Newton John's "Physical". Millie states that her bedroom is her gym and gives the listener a series of "sexercises" to perform. This song has to be heard to be believed. I love her advice to larger ladies and skinny women ("bone bruisers"). This is a camp classic.

Millie continues with the raunch on "You're Workin' Me", a pulsating dance number with some first class groaning. It seems Millie really had sex on the mind because the next song is dirty in the best possible way. The title, "Slow Tongue (Working Your Way Down)" says it all! This slow groove sounds like Isaac Hayes at his best. The album ends with a corker, "Why Me" is the story of a down trodden woman whose husband and son are in jail. This song is classic Millie.

Nobody does it quite like Millie J. This album is essential for any fan of 80s pop or camp lyrics. Fans of Millie's very early output may prefer to skip this one.


Eaten Alive
Eaten Alive

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of Diana's Best 80s Albums, 17 May 2006
This review is from: Eaten Alive (Audio CD)
I can understand why some Motown/Diana purists dislike Eaten Alive. This record saw Diana take yet another, new musical direction and I'm sure some fans did not like Diana's unashamed grasp for chart success, or her new, sexed-up image. However, this attitude overlooks the album's variety and Diana's amazing ability to keep on changing with the times. Eaten Alive also serves as yet another example of the Gibb brothers' extraordinary skill for writing and producing other artists without losing that artist's "sound".

The album's title track, "Eaten Alive", was written by the Gibbs and Michael Jackson. The song is very reminiscent of Michael's sound in the early 80s and he even provides backing vocals. "Oh Teacher" is Diana at her most camp and raunchy, with hilarious lyrics like "I do it better, my lips are wetter". This is also one of the most interesting Gibb productions, sounding more RnB than anything else on the album. The next song, "Experience", highlights Diana's lovely voice and is a classic Gibb ballad.

"Chain Reaction" is one of Diana's signature tunes and probably her last monster hit. The song still sounds as good as ever and represents a high-water mark in 80s pop music. This is followed by a complete change of pace. "More and More" is an unexpected dose of Jazz, sung to perfection by Miss Ross. The slow tempo continues with "I've Been Watching You" and "Love On The Line", which sounds like it could have easily been a Bee Gees number. "(I Love) Being In Love With You" is another fine ballad, while "Crime Of Passion" returns Diana to funky diva mode. The album concludes with the soulful "Don't Give Up On Each Other" and an extended remix of "Eaten Alive".

Eaten Alive remains one of my favourite Diana albums of the 1980s. The record displays Diana's extraordinary range and reminds us of her incredible longevity as a chart force. It also has my second favourite Diana album cover (my favourite is Silk Electric). Diana, all big hair and false nails, clutching her pearls, while perched on a tiger. Priceless!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 8, 2010 6:35 PM BST


Birds
Birds
Offered by Giant Entertainment
Price: 19.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Gorgeous, 15 May 2006
This review is from: Birds (Audio CD)
This album is my accompaniment to insomnia (not to be mixed up with being a cure for it!). Birds is one of those albums that inexplicably sounds perfect at 3am in the morning. It also sounds pretty damn good during the rest of the day as well!

Fans of Bic's previous album, the stunning "Beautiful Collision", may initially be somewhat disappointed with Birds. I was lucky enough to see Bic in concert recently and she actually apologised to the audience for the depressing songs and suggested they would sound better if we were drunk. She was obviously joking, but there is an undeniable darker edge to this album and it contains nothing as radio friendly as "Get Some Sleep" or "Something Good", let alone her signiture tune "Sway". However, Birds is one of those albums that slowly gets under your skin and I now enjoy it as much, if not more than "Drive" and "Beautiful Collision".

The album begins splendidly with the first single, "Winning Arrow". While this is the closest thing to a pop song on the album, it also introduces the bittersweet tone that defines Birds with its overwhelming theme of heartbreak. The next songs, "Say After Me" and "Listen" are two of my favourites and would both make great singles. "Birds", "Ruby Nights" and "No Crying No More" showcase Bic's phenomenal vocal range to stunning effect. "Birds" is an eerie lounge song with a distinct jazz feel, while "Ruby Nights" and "No Crying No More" could almost be described as alt-country.

"If I Had You" is an exquisite love song, while "Captured" is 6 minutes of one of the finest voices in modern music. My favourite song, "That's alright", is one of the most upbeat depressive tunes I can think of, while "Blue Blue Heart" is simply depressing but irresistible. The album closes with another epic, suitably titled "It's Over". Again, this song perfectly demonstrates Bic's perfect pitch and tone.

I'm not sure why Bic Runga doesn't sell albums by the truckload. She is beautiful, writes her own songs, plays just about every musical instrument on her albums and possesses a truly exquisite voice. Birds is very highly recommended.


Feelin' Bitchy
Feelin' Bitchy
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 19.95

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Unique, 14 May 2006
This review is from: Feelin' Bitchy (Audio CD)
Feelin' Bitchy is the album that started my love affair with Millie Jackson. The first time I listened to it, I wasn't sure if I liked the music or not - for the simple fact that it was impossible to hear over my laughter. I am still amazed at Millie's unique ability to combine a narrative, raunchy humour and heart breaking tunes. This woman is one of the most original artists ever to pick up a microphone. It is incomprehensible to me that Millie isn't accorded the living legend status she truly deserves.

Feelin' Bitchy is a great introduction to Millie's genius. The opening number, All The Way Lover, pretty much sums up Millie's approach to music. It is a 10 minute orgy of gravely vocals, deep grooves and hilarious love advice. I still laugh every time I hear Millie ranting about women watching too many soap operas and her advice to men to call it a day and find "a sissy". Her faux orgasm at the end is worth the price of the CD alone.

The joys continue with Lovin' Your Good Thing Away, a funky warning about sleeping around. The next two songs are two of my absolute favourites. Angel In Your Arms is a prime example of Millie's amazing vocal ability and her capacity to lay off the comedy when she needs to. This bitter ballad is followed by Millie answering the phone and talking about a friend's relationship problems. She then approaches the topic from both the female and male perspectives. A Taste Of Outside Love, the female perspective, is Millie at her fiery best. The lyric about "giving a dog its favourite bone" is just too funny. Millie rocks out on You Created A Monster, the male view on cheating women.

Cheatin' Is represents a nice change of pace, with Millie getting reflective about the effect of cheating on marriage and children. The next song, If You're Not Back In Love By Monday, is irresistible. Millie sings her heart out with this ballad, showcasing her phenomenal range. Of course, with Millie being Millie, she leads into the song with a funny plea for the couple to stay together. The final song, Feelin' Like A Woman, is Millie's thank you to her own man and an example of a more traditional RnB number.

Feelin' Bitchy is one of the few albums that I always listen to from beginning to end. There is not a single mediocre track, let alone a bad one. Buy this record and become an 'all the way lover' of Millie too.


Rumour,The
Rumour,The
Price: 14.74

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Original 80s Pop Album, 6 May 2006
This review is from: Rumour,The (Audio CD)
"The Rumour" was Olivia's last real "pop" album before changing her focus to the adult contemporary market. That might have had something to do with the album's scathing reviews and commercial failure. Then again, maybe Olivia just felt the urge to move in a new direction. I really hope the reason was the latter because "The Rumour" is a great pop album, which was simply too eclectic for mainstream tastes at the time.

My favourite aspect of "The Rumour" is that Olivia finally has something to say. Olivia has since devoted entire albums to environmental issues and women's causes, but at the time the choice of subject matter was eye-opening. The fact that Olivia manages to cover topics such as AIDS, the environment, single parenting and working women without ever being overbearing or preachy, is a minor miracle.

The album begins with the Elton John penned title track. The song is rock-lite at its best but also sounds more like something Elton would have recorded in the 1970s than an 80s pop song. As a result and despite its quality, "The Rumour" is the only song that doesn't quite seem to fit with the others. The next song "Love And Let Live" must have been one of the first songs to deal with AIDS in the 1980s. Happily, this is not a maudlin ballad but an insanely catchy pop song complete with synth keyboards and is one of the album's highlights. This is followed by Olivia's restrained cover of "Can't We Talk It Over In Bed" and her environmental awareness song "Let's Talk About Tomorrow".

"It's Not Heaven" is one of the best songs Olivia has written. It is an unusual mid-tempo ballad about being a single mother, performed with real emotion. "It's Always Australia For Me" is a lovely nod to Australia's then bicentennial year, while "Get Out" is a funky anthem for the working woman. This is followed by "Big And Strong", which is one of the strangest songs Olivia has recorded. I'm not sure if it has an anti-war message or just unfortunate lyrics. Anyway, it sounds pleasant enough.

"Car Games" is a great 80s song about the dangers of love and another example of Olivia's gift for unusual lyrics. "Walk Through Fire" is a beautifully performed ballad and perhaps my favourite song on the album. The final song, "Tutta La Vita" closes the set on an upbeat note with an enjoyable piece of pop fluff about the important things in life.

"The Rumour" is an underappreciated 80s gem. Olivia's vocals are superb and the album shows her significant development as a songwriter. This album is highly recommended.


La Toya Jackson
La Toya Jackson
Price: 29.11

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars La Toya's Stunning Debut, 4 May 2006
This review is from: La Toya Jackson (Audio CD)
La Toya Jackson is one of the most criminally underappreciated artists in the history of music. The reason for this is an eternal mystery to Toy Soldiers around the globe: La Toya has the looks, attitude and stunning vocal ability to match it with anyone in the business. However, through some sad twist of fate La Toya's albums have mostly faded into obscurity - until now!

"La Toya Jackson" is the timely re-release of La Toya's magnificent debut album, which was greeted with much enthusiasm by critics and fans upon its original 1980 release. The album includes contributions from a long list of RnB luminaries and represents a compelling mix of RnB funk, disco beats and luscious ballads. This album is a triumph for La Toya and holds up wonderfully 26 years later.

The album begins with La Toya's much loved "If You Feel The Funk". This was a minor hit on the RnB chart and remains a fan favourite. I guarantee that you won't be the same after feeling La Toya's funk! The next track, "Save Your Love" is a personal favourite. This is disco Toy at her funkiest, pleading with her man to save his love while she's on the road. "Are You Ready" is another great example of an RnB groove, 80s style. Next comes "Night Time Lover", La Toya's infamous duet with her brother, Michael. If you can overcome the slightly disturbing imagery of siblings singing about touching each in the dark, then this is a winner. Toy proves herself to be more than Michael's equal with her erotically charged performance.

"A Taste Of You (Is A Taste Of Love)" is the album's first ballad and showcases La Toya's tremendous vocal range. This is followed by "Lovely Is She", one of Toy's most appealing mid-tempo ballads. The lyrics could not describe La Toya more perfectly - "lovely is she, beautiful and charming". The album closes with the deep groove of "If I Ain't Got It". This song is full of attitude and contains an unforgettable baseline that will have you hooked from the first listen.

"La Toya Jackson" is a great album, from beginning to end. It is a great starting point for people who have yet to fall under La Toya's irresistible spell, while for Toy's millions of devoted fans, this re-release will more than help to fill the void until the release of "Startin' Over", La Toya's much anticipated new album.


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