Sunday, 2 June 2019

Millie Jackson - Still Caught Up (1975)

Making the best of a bad situation....


Released in 1975

Following on from 1974's concept album of backbiting, recriminations, infidelity and jealousy, Caught Up, which had Millie Jackson singing first in the role of mistress on side one, then as the wronged wife on side two, here she reverses the situation, the wife begins the album, the mistress ends it. It is easily the equal of the first album, if not its superior, crammed full of soul and passion and a fantastic sound quality. Jackson's voice throughout is simply superb.


1. Loving Arms
2. Making The Best Of A Bad Situation
3. The Memory Of A Wife
4. Tell Her It's Over
5. Do What Makes You Satisfied
6. You Can't Stand The Thought Of Another Man Loving Me
7. Leftovers
8. I Still Love You (You Still Love Me)                                    

Loving Arms is a superb, mega-soulful, kick posterior, emotional opener. It is one of those tracks that, for some reason, is doctored to make it sound like it is a live track, which it was not. Making The Best Of A Bad Situation is another excellent soul ballad, with the wife getting on with it, despite her no-good husband still having his affair.  The Memory Of A Wife, is a thumping, punchy attempt by the wife to tell the mistress of her good pints and what a great wife she has been to her feckless husband. The wife's last stand is on Tell Her It's Over, telling her husband to tell his mistress he is coming back to his family.

Do What Makes You Satisfied has Millie singing as the man's mistress, saying goodbye to him as he has told her he is returning to his wife. She gets her own back by taunting him on the funky and brassy You Can't Stand The Thought Of Another Man Loving Me. Leftovers has the mistress and the man arguing with each other over a funky beat, then the wife joins in. Despite the situation, with its potential to amuse, the song develops into a down 'n' dirty soul cooker when Jackson's vocals come in. Now he's gone and poor old Millie (I always saw her as the mistress) left alone on the moving, string, backed soul of I Still Love You (You Still Love Me). Finally, she seems to have ended up on a psychiatric ward as your hear her screaming and an orderly calling "nurse" and addressing the character as "Miss Jackson". It is an amusing end to an enjoyable album.

A quality bonus track is How Can I Make Sweet Love To You (If You Won't Stand Still), which expresses her frustration with her unreliable lover over a solid brass and funk beat.

Never mind the entertainment of the story of this album, Millie Jackson has a truly wonderful, powerful, expressive soul voice. One of the very best. This is one of the mid-seventies' superior soul offerings.