Millie Jackson’s love triangle masterpiece back on vinyl.
The return to LP format restores the framework of Millie Jackson’s thematic musical saga: her perception of the affair with Mr Jody is related on Side One, while Mrs Jody’s experience is related on Side Two. Millie draws a crooked line back to the mythic, habitual ladies’ man “Jody”, as outlined in 1920s and 30s blues recordings such as ‘Joe The Grinder’ and ‘Joe Grind’. During the 1970s the inveterate lover man returned in Johnnie Taylor’s ‘Jody’s Got Your Girl And Gone’, Bobby Newsome’s ‘Jody Come Back And Get Your Shoes’ and other songs but the character was not referenced for the entire duration of an album until Millie’s “Caught Up”.
Millie Jackson had already enjoyed considerable success, with three exceptional albums and eight R&B Top 30 singles for Spring Records, before her move from New York to Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, Alabama to record with the pre-eminent Muscle Shoals Swampers rhythm section and producer Brad Shapiro. The result was an instant soul masterpiece.
The suite of compositions that comprise “Caught Up” unfolds with Millie’s epic interpretation of Luther Ingram’s 1972 hit ‘If Loving You Is Wrong I Don’t Want To Be Right’. Her thrilling rendition is presented in two parts, with the dynamic, six-minute ‘The Rap’ in between, outlining, in no uncertain terms, her positive and negative observations on conducting an affair with a married man. During her own funky composition ‘All I Want Is A Fighting Chance’ she confronts Mrs Jody in the street and admits to having an affair with her husband. Side One closes with Millie in more reflective mood, apologising to Mr Jody for her outburst but confessing, in the words of Phillip Mitchell’s stunning song, ‘I’m Tired Of Hiding’.
Side Two opens with Mrs Jody informing her spouse ‘It’s All Over But The Shouting’ – another fine, driving Millie Jackson composition. The Phillip Mitchell-penned ballad ‘It’s Easy Going’ marks an attempt at reconciliation before an incredible cover of Bobby Womack’s ‘I’m Through Trying To Prove My Love To You’ admits defeat. The album closes with Mrs Jody wistfully recalling her first encounter with her husband, in Millie’s remarkable transformation of Bobby Goldsboro’s 1973 smash ‘Summer (The First Time)’.
You can now listen again to this landmark concept album as Millie Jackson intended – on vinyl.