It Hurts So Good

Album: It Hurts So Good (1973)
Charted: 24
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Songfacts®:

  • "It Hurts So Good" was written by Phillip Mitchell, a soul singer who wrote for many other artists in the early '70s. It was Millie Jackson's biggest pop hit, and was featured in the movie Cleopatra Jones. The song is similar to Bill Withers' "Use Me" in that it's about how you can love someone who is very bad for you.
  • Millie Jackson told Songfacts about this song when we spoke with her in 2010. Said Jackson: "The writer knew me well, and (producer) Brad Shapiro picked the song, and to be honest, that ended up in the movie because of timing. They needed the songs, and they knew of me, and they put two songs in the movie, only because they were available. The album was supposed to be called something totally different, but since it came out in the movie they called it 'Hurts So Good.' My whole career is an accident. (laughs) I just believe that if opportunity knocks, open the door."
  • It Hurts So Good was Jackson's second album, and she made sure to take control of the production and avoid what happened on her debut. Said Jackson: "My first album is not my natural voice. They speeded up my voice, it was too low for a woman they thought, so they speeded up all my tracks a half a step, so everything would be higher than I actually sing it in. The first song I recorded that came out in my natural voice was 'Hurts So Good.' On 'Ask Me What You Want,' I'm almost one of the Chipmunks."

    Jackson recorded the song with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section in Alabama.
  • A cover by Jamaican reggae artist Susan Cadogan was released on Lee "Scratch" Perry's Perries label in the UK in 1974, with the Zap Pow horn section and bassist Boris Gardiner. Aspiring pop-music producer 'Hit Man' Pete Waterman heard the song playing in a record shop, and took a copy of it to the Magnet label, who licensed the track and by March 1975 it had reached #4 on the UK singles chart. It was the first hit record Waterman was involved in; he would go on to achieve fame in the 1980s as part of the songwriting/production team Stock Aitken Waterman penning a series of hit singles for the likes of Rick Astley and Kylie Minogue.

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