I've made no secret of my Millie Jackson obsession. Few artists have dabbled as successfully in as many musical genres as Millie J. The great woman started her career with a string of highly acclaimed deep soul albums before experimenting with funk, disco, rap and country music. One of Millie's most satisfying musical adventures is her brief stint as an 80s pop queen with one of the most fabulous and foul mouthed recordings in musical history. Here is a review I wrote for Amazon:
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 the bitch 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 R'n'B 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 Working 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. However, fans of Millie's very early output may prefer to skip this one.
I have already posted "Sexercise" but a classic of this calibre deserves a second showing. The song is not only poptastic and hilarious but also quite instructional. I've found the "a,e,i,o,u" mouth exercises most useful! One of the album's other highlights is the fabulously sleazy "You're Working Me". 80s pop music does not get much better than this burst of sonic filth. I've also included Millie's "Sexercise" for the 1990s, the delightful titled "Butt-A-Cize".
"Extra Sexual Persuasion" is highly recommended for fans of camp pop music. You can purchase your copy from Amazon.