Forgive and forget the sprinkling of conventional unchallenging numbers, notably the cheery, singalong, trite My Man, a Sweet Man (lyrics certainly suggest a grateful girly-in-love who is far from the upfront, sceptical persona Jackson puts across in the other songs). You can overlook a couple of donkeys in a value-for-money 21-track CD that otherwise features bold blues, cynical challenges to the whole concept of 'lurve' and confident instrumentals that match up to Jackson's effortlessly big voice. 21 of the Best ranges from the striking cynical commentary on religious hypocrisy of A Child of God (It's Hard to Believe) to the hurt of the cheated wife in How Do You Feel the Morning After? Then there is pathos in the commentaries on lost love - It's Gonna Take Some Time This Time and I Feel Like Walking in the Rain ('it's gotta be one of us but who do I blame?') and the classic tale of the 'other woman' in (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to be Right. In the slow-burning, rhythmic, confrontational All The Way Lover (one of the best tracks), Jackson challenges both men's and women's take-it-or-leave-it approaches to their partners ('your man too cute to get down - he might mess up his curls') yet balances this scepticism with the urging to give-it-another-chance of If You're Not Back In Love By Monday. There's also a goodly sprinkling of raunch: (Go Out and Get Some and Kiss You All Over) though interestingly a subsequent hearing divined a far purer interpretation of Never Change Lovers in the Middle of the Night than the smutty one assumed from my first and only previous hearing at a party years ago. Elsewhere there is bold R&B - It Hurts So Good, Keep the Home Fire Burning and the classically bluesey The Blues Don't Get Tired of Me ('the thing about the blues is, they find me fascinating...I guess I'll always have company 'cause the blues don't get tired of me' - who hasn't felt like this?).
This is a great collection of millie jackson's U.S single releases from 1971 to 1983.everything from northern soul to disco.Standout tracks for me were "ask me what you want" and "it hurts so good",both great soul tracks that made the top 30 pop chart."loving arms" and "it's gonna take some time this time",are great tearjerkers.The northern soul classic "my man is a sweet man",and the lovely 1983 ballad "i feel like walking in the rain",were both minor U.K hit singles.This is a great overview of millie in her prime.there is a very good booklet about her career and r&b/pop chart positions,enjoy.
Millie Jackson held high the torch of soul/R&B, when the world was going disco crazy.
This collection of single releases is notable for two things. One is that her albums tended to do better than her singles did, which was quite unusual at the time. Even on the R&B chart, her single success was not very distinguished , but that does not mean that the music is bad. Well she did notch up 39 Top 100 R&B entries, but only 6 of them made the top 10 (four of them are here). Second is that, as these singles were designed for radio play, they mainly avoid the raunchy blue comedy to be found on her albums, which got ruder and bluer as she went on! Now I love it all, but I appreciate that people might not want their children to hear some of her stuff.
This album just concentrates on the music, fine Muscle Shoals soul music in a broad range of styles. A bit of Northern, a bit of country, some blues, ballads and up tempo tunes. Those Muscle Shoals musicians knew their stuff. Most of you reading this will know that already.
All in all a great sampler of one of the great R&B/soul voices.
I have always wanted to own this album and I am very happy with it. her style is very different and absolutely delightful. I can listen to this all day long. There is nothing else out there in the world that comes closer to her style, A true legend.
Great collection by a lady with one of the most distinctive soul voices of all time. The track selection gives a good over view of Millie Jacksons releases on Spring records and includes some very pleasant vocal performances that really touch your soul. Recommended.