Monday, July 02, 2007

Oh Yes, I'm Gonna Be Smokin'!

When everything goes to shit and I feel completely miserable, one of the few things that never fails to cheer me up (apart from hard drugs) is the legendary Millie Jackson. I've already written several posts about this goddess but they barely cover the tip of the iceberg given that Millie's career spans several decades, many musical genres and more fabulous hairstyles than your average drag queen. This post will focus on her 1978 opus "Get It Out'cha System" with its winning mix of hilarious spoken interludes, interesting cover versions and fantastic music.

"Get It Out'cha System" is really quite breathtaking in its scope and variety of sounds. The title track sets the tone with a funky groove that borrows elements from soul and disco. That formula continues with the infectious "Keep The Home Fires Burning". However, the first real dose of Millie genius is the third track, "Logs And Things", which is really only an extended spoken introduction to the next song, "Put Something Down On It". Millie is famous for linking tunes with humorous skits and interludes but "Logs And Things" takes the biscuit. The song (for want of a better word) is basically a warning to Millie's man that he had better start satisfying her needs or else. Only instead of her usual direct approach, Millie uses the most hilarious mix of bad metaphors ever committed to record. Let's just say that these "logs" have nothing to do with forestry! Nobody puts a man in his place quite like Millie J!

The album's second treasure is Millie's lovely cover of "Here You Come Again", which Dolly Parton rode to the top of the charts a year earlier. Millie's version shows her in a softer light than usual and the result is adorable. Ms Jackson then returns to more familiar waters with the soulful and funky, "Why Say You're Sorry". Like all good Millie anthems, she tears strips off her man in the intro. "He Wants To Hear The Words", on the other hand, is a surprisingly straightforward pop number. Thankfully, Millie snaps out her malaise on "I Just Wanna Be With You". This delightful anthem is a charming Motown throwback with some gorgeous harmonising between Millie and her backing singers. "Get It Out'cha System" ends on a high note with an amazing cover of Kenny Rogers' "Sweet Music Man", which is given a full Millie J makeover, complete with the obligatory comedic intro. "Get It Out'cha System" isn't Millie's finest hour but it is surely one of her most entertaining.

Millie's stunning opus can be purchased from most online retailers. I bought my copy from Amazon UK.


Miss Halliwell said...

Millie is of course a legend...

Darling i hope your 'hard drugs' comment meant viagra and not horse tranquilisers or something equally unsavoury!

I can't have you unconcious in my dungeon...the temptation would be too strong!


Miss H

Trash Addict said...

No comment, Deirdre!

I thought you might like "Logs & Things" - it's so filthy it could have come from your gutter mouth!

I love the part about finding a different log in your fireplace - "a log bigger than yours, a longer log!"