MILLIE JACKSON: ‘Millie Jackson’s Soul For The Dancefloor’ (Label: Kent)

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MILLIE JACKSON: 'Millie Jackson's Soul For The Dancefloor'

Raspy-voiced Millie Jackson put the sex into soul in the 1970s with a series of risqué and humorous raps that got progressively more explicit, cringe-worthy and foul-mouthed by the time the 1980s arrived (think 1989’s ‘Back To The Shit,’ with its jaw-dropping front cover of the singer sat on a toilet). Jackson’s controversial antics to court publicity have often overshadowed her true abilities as a singer and her sensitivity as a song stylist. Of course, ballads are regarded as her forte – rightly so, given her dramatic, soulful delivery – though as this superb 22-track collection illustrates, tucked away on Jackson’s numerous Spring LPs are a plethora of uptempo tracks that have the ability to pack soul dance floors. Compiled by Sean Hampsey and Ady Croasdell, this absorbing terpsichorean collection kicks off with a previously unissued mix of ‘If That Don’t Turn You On,’ and includes classics like the driving yet poignant ‘House For Sale,’ the Phillip Mitchell-penned ‘You Can’t Stand The Thought Of Another Man Loving Me,’ and strong cover of Don Covay’s ‘Letter Full Of Tears.’ Even when there’s a strong hint of disco in the arrangements, the cathartic soulfulness of Jackson’s delivery guarantees that her performance transcends the vagaries of ephemeral dance floor trends. A personal favourite is the slower, slinky, mid-tempo number ‘Put Something Down On It,’ penned by the Womack brothers. Other gems include the brilliantly-titled ‘You Can’t Turn Me Off (In The Middle Of Turning Me On),’ ‘Love Doctor,’ and a passionate rendition of George Jackson’s ‘A Little Taste Of Outside Love.’ A tremendous, deeply soulful, collection.
(CW) 4/5