Feminist anthem?, or at least that’s what Google told me. Whatever, I guess, I still really like the song, without seeing the need to culturally appropriate good music to attempt to further an identity politics cause. For me largely it’s about talent, not identity.
Jean Knight has charisma and talent, it’s a cool catchy tune, and I like it. Just enjoy the music and the lady’s art.
The Studio Version
The Kinda Live Version
“Mr. Big Stuff” is a song by American singer Jean Knight. The song was recorded in 1970 at Malaco Studio in Jackson, Mississippi at the same session as “Groove Me” by King Floyd. Knight’s single was released by Stax Records because of the persistence of Stax publisher Tim Whitsett, and “Groove Me” by King Floyd, which Whitsett strongly urged Malaco to release, also became a hit. Both songs are defined by two bar, off-beat bass lines and tight arrangements by Wardell Quezergue.
Released on Knight’s 1971 debut album of the same title, it became a huge crossover hit. The song spent five weeks at no. 1 on the Billboard Soul Singles chart and peaked at no. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, behind “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” by The Bee Gees. Billboard ranked it as the No. 18 song for 1971. The song went double platinum and the no. 1 Soul Single of the year.
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4 thoughts on “Mr Big Stuff – Jean Knight”
I thought at the time I knew a whole lotta men to whom this would apply. Look at her hair!
Amazing hair for sure, and she radiates charisma.
The dancing in the background is quite fun to watch, they do look like they’re dancing on camera and a bit self-aware about it.
As for the men, I kinda suspect there may be a reason they/we are as they/we are. But that’s a whole ‘nuther topic, for another day.
Glad to hear you’re keeping well Noelle, stay safe and hope your loved ones are too.
This is quite the feminist anthem, but depending on how you unpack the lyrics, I see this song as a message of earning love with love, not materialistic things. How a man should love a woman without showering her with gifts and showing off wealth, because at the end of the day, a woman just wants to be loved, and when loved right, openly, and fearlessly, a good woman will stand by you through the worst of times.
It’s a fair point eloquently said, and I applaud you.
Although, sounds a little one sided. Shouldn’t it be about egalitarianism, cooperation and tolerance. Rather than forcing via expectation the other to conform to the edicts, on pain of being next’ed. Guys wouldn’t put up with that with guys. I don’t think girls would put up with that with girls. In a relationship sense.
Shouldn’t we also be taking people as we find them, and letting them be themselves. (within reason)
For me I like the way it sounds, I like the lady’s art, her style, her charisma. The lyrics are fair enough, she’s singing what she wants to sing, and doing it well.
The lyrics make her sound like she values herself (in a good way), but she’s not overly materialistic. Which is my kind of woman, as one never knows when one will get hit with the poverty stick, or get sick, or fall on any hard circumstances – none of us do, man or woman.
If I was being critical, then she has plenty of suitors, so why bother complaining about “Mr Big Stuff”, and just find herself a poor guy (preferably poorer) and get on with it, living a modest life, happy, loving life.
I love the song, it’s one of my favourites, the politicisation by ideologues, not so much.