MILLIE JACKSON-THE MOODS OF MILLIE JACKSON.

MILLIE JACKSON-THE MOODS OF MILLIE JACKSON.

When it comes to female soul singers, It’s no exaggeration to say that Millie Jackson was one of the most talented and charismatic female vocalists of the seventies and eighties. Millie Jackson was born in Thomson, Georgia, but when her mother died, she moved to Newark, New Jersey with her father. Then when Millie was a teenager, she moved to Brooklyn to live with an aunt. It was in New York that Millie Jackson’s career began in 1964. One of Millie’s friends dared her to enter a talent contest in Harlem nightclub. Having entered the talent competition, Millie won it. This proved to be the start of Millie’s nascent musical career. Six years later, in 1970, Millie recorded her first single for MGM Records. A year later, in 1971, Millie signed to the record company where she would establish her reputation as one the most talented, versatile and charismatic female vocalists of her generation.

Having started her career at MGM Records in 1970, a year later Millie signed for Spring Records. Working with Spring Records’ in-house producer Raeford Gerald, her 1971 singe A Child Of God gave Millie the first hit single of her career. It reached number 102 in the US Billboard 100 and number twenty-two in the US R&B Charts. This proved to the start of the most successful period of Millie Jackson’s long career. During her time at Spring Records, she released what’s undoubtably, the best music of her career. Millie was a truly prolific artist, who released sixteen studio albums for Spring Records between 1972 and 1983. Three of these albums, 1974s Caught Up, 1977s Feelin’ Bitchy and 1978s Get It Out’cha System were certified gold. Each of these albums feature a truly versatile artist. However, some of the best music Millie Jackson recorded at Spring Records were ballads.

When it comes to ballads, Millie Jackson breathes life, meaning, emotion and often, hurt and heartache into them. Whether Millie is laying bare her soul or is delivering heartfelt, impassioned performances, her ballads are peerless, and truly breathtaking. Now twenty of the ballads Millie Jackson recorded at Spring Records feature on a new compilation entitled The Moods Of Millie Jackson. Compiled by Sean Hampsey and was released by Kent, The Moods Of Millie Jackson is a reminder of one of the most talented, versatile and charismatic female vocalists of the seventies and eighties. You’ll realize why, when I tell you about The Moods Of Millie Jackson.

1971s A Child Of God (It’s Hard To Believe) was Millie’s first hit single for Spring Records. Written by Millie and Don French, it was produced by Spring Records’ in-house producer Raeford Gerald. It reached number 102 in the US Billboard 100 and number twenty-two in the US R&B Charts. Millie’s vocal is filled with frustration and anger at people’s double standards and hypocrisy. Here, Millie brings the lyrics to life, so much so, you can sense her frustration and anger. When Millie’s released her debut album Millie Jackson in 1972, it featured A Child Of God (It’s Hard To Believe) and I Just Can’t Stand It, penned by Millie and Billy Nichols. Laden with heartache, hurt and emotion, I Just Can’t Stand It shows how Millie could breath life and meaning into a song.

Millie Jackson’s sophomore album was 1973s It Hurts So Good, which reached number 175 in the US Billboard 200 and number thirteen in the US R&B Charts. There are two tracks from It Hurts So Good on The Moods Of Millie Jackson-Her Best Ballads. These are I Just Can’t Stand It and Good To The Last Drop. Of these two tracks, the best is I Just Can’t Stand It, written by Phillip Mitchell. It reached number twenty-four in the US Billboard 100 and number three in the US R&B Charts. That’s no surprise given the quality of the track. Here, Millie unleashes a Magnus Opus of a vocal. It’s sultry, sensual, needy and dripping in emotion. The arrangement compliments the vocal perfectly, with blazing horns, strings and dramatic harmonies. Quite simply, soul doesn’t get much better than this.

Back in the seventies, artists would often release two albums a year. In 1974, Millie released the classic Caught Up and I Got To Try It One Time. Opening I Got To Try It One Time. was How Do You Feel The Morning After, written by Raeford Gerald and Luther Lynch. It reached number seventy-seven in the US Billboard 100 and number eleven in the US R&B Charts. Millie’s vocal is a heartfelt mixture of power, passion and emotion. With backing vocalists adding dramatic, soaring harmonies, the result is a stunning slice of heartachingly beautiful soul.

1974 saw Millie release of one of Millie Jackson’s classic albums, Caught Up. It became the most successful album of Millie’s career, reaching number twenty-one in the US Billboard 200 and number four in the US R&B Charts. This resulted in Caught Up being certified gold. Caught Up featured a track that’s become synonymous with Mille, a cover of (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want To Be Right. Millie’s interpretation of Homer Banks, Carl Hampton and Raymond Jackson’s classic is peerless. She delivers the lyrics with meaning, feeling and a sense of hurt that seems almost real. Quite simply, it’s a deeply powerful and moving track. The other tracks from Caught Up are the despairing I’m Through Trying To Prove My Love To You and the Phillip Mitchell and Billy Clements penned I’m Tired Of Hiding. In the hands of Millie Jackson, it’s transformed into a deep soul classic.

1975s Still Caught Up didn’t replicate the commercial success and critical acclaim of Caught Up. It stalled at number 112 in the US Billboard 200 and number twenty-seven in the US R&B Charts. Since its release, Still Caught Up has remained an underrated album. However, it certainly wasn’t short of quality, soulful music. Proof of this are the inclusion of three tracks from Still Caught Up. These are Making The Best Of A Bad Situation, I Still Love You (You Still Love Me) and Loving Arms, written by Tom. Although both feature heartfelt, impassioned performances, her version of Loving Arms is stunning, absolutely peerless. Laden in emotion, heartache and hurt, Millie’s version of Loving Arms is the definitive version of soul classic.

During 1976, Millie released two albums, Free and In Love and Lovingly Yours. The Moods Of Millie Jackson-Her Best Ballads features six tracks from these albums. Solitary Love Affair and There You Are from Free and In Love. Of these two tracks, the Gus McKinney and Billy Kennedy penned Solitary Love Affair features Millie at her best. Her vocal is tender and seductive, but grows in power. Sometimes, her vocal is tinged with sadness and regret. Again, she delivers the lyrics with passion and feeling, as if she’s lived and experienced them. Millie’s other album from 1976 was Lovingly Yours. It featured the hurt-filled I Can’t Say Goodbye, I’ll Be Rolling (With the Punches), A Love Of Your Own and From Her Arms To Mine, a stunning slice of deep soul written by Homer Banks and Carl Hampton.

When Millie released 1977s Feelin’ Bitchy, it gave her the second gold disc of her career. It reached number thirty-four in the US Billboard 200 and number four in the US R&B Charts. One of the best tracks on Feelin’ Bitchy was the ballad Angel In Your Arms. What makes this such a stunning track are the lyrics. They’ve a strong narrative and paint pictures that unfold before your eyes. You can visualize the scenes unfolding before your eyes as Millie’s vocal grows in power, frustration and anger at her two-timing partner. The result is one of the highlights of the The Moods Of Millie Jackson-Her Best Ballads

It’s Gonna Take Some Time This Time is a track from Millie’s 1980 album I Had To Say It. It reached number 137 in the US Billboard 200 and number twenty-five in the US R&B Charts. Written by Millie and Alfred Brevard, It’s Gonna Take Some Time This Time demonstrates just how versatile a vocalist Millie Jackson is. She delivers a spellbinding and captivating vocal against a mostly understated arrangement. This allows Millie’s vocal to take centre-stage. When gospel-tinged harmonies and rasping horns enter, they add to the emotion of Millie’s bewitching vocal.

Ten years after Millie released her debut album on Spring Records, she released Hard Times in 1982. It stalled at number 201 in the US Billboard 200, but reached number twenty-nine in the US R&B Charts. One of the highlights of Hard Times, was the Sam Dees’ penned Special Occasion. Here, Millie’s vocal veers between heartfelt and impassioned to expressive and dramatic. The piano-lead arrangement compliments Millie’s vocal, while the soaring harmonies drive Millie to greater heights of soulfulness. This is what Millie does so well, breathing life, meaning, beauty and emotion into ballads.

For anyone yet to discover Millie Jackson’s music, it’ll only take one listen to The Moods Of Millie Jackson to realize that Millie was one of the most talented, versatile and charismatic soul singer of her generation. She enjoyed commercial success and critical acclaim during the twelve years she spent at Spring Records. During that time, three of her albums were certified gold. However, there’s much more to Millie Jackson’s time at Spring Records than 1974s Caught Up, 1977s Feelin’ Bitchy and 1978s Get It Out’cha System. 

These three albums just scratch the surface of Millie’s time at Spring Records. During her time at Spring Records, Millie Jackson recorded sixteen albums. While some of these albums didn’t replicate the success of Caught Up, Feelin’ Bitchy or Get It Out’cha System they all had one thing in common..they featured some stunning ballads. These ballads feature Millie Jackson at her very best. She brings lyrics to life, breathing life, meaning and emotion into them. Whether it’s heartbreak and hurt, sensuality and sass, or anger and frustration, Millie Jackson brings all these things and more to a song. Quite simply, Millie Jackson voice is like a musical palette, painting pictures before your eyes. One minute you’re empathizing with Millie’s hurt and plight, the next her vocal is filled with joy and happiness and then she’s delivering a sensuous and seductive Magnus Opus. Not many vocalists are as versatile and talented as Millie Jackson. Proof of this are the twenty songs on the lovingly compiled The Moods Of Millie Jackson. It was compiled by Sean Hampsey and released on Kent. Compiler Sean Hampsey has chosen a compelling collection of well known tracks and hidden gems for The Moods Of Millie Jackson. The result is The Moods Of Millie Jackson, a stunning collection of deep soul ballads from one of the most talented soul singers of her generation, Millie Jackson. There’s neither faux pax nor filler, just quality soul music all the way. Standout Tracks: (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want To Be Right, Loving Arms, Angel In Your Arms and It’s Gonna Take Some Time This Time.

MILLIE JACKSON-THE MOODS OF MILLIE JACKSON.

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