Music Reviews
Betty Davis

Betty Davis

They Say I’m Different

Light in the Attic Records

Betty Davis is the unremembered funk goddess of the ’70s. Explicitly sexual, both on stage and in the studio, she produced a string of solid sessions that never received the airplay they deserved. The reasons are lost in the mists of time; 40 years in the record business is about five centuries of real human time, and I’ll let you read the extensive liner notes included with this disc to decide Betty’s historical reality for yourself. Musically, Ms. Davis mixes a gravely, sultry voice with a solid jungle-influenced beat.

We open this disc with a bonus track (actually, everything in this reissues series feels like a bonus) called “‘70s Blues.” Betty screams “I felt like talking, but nobody was there… The blues are taking over.” Blues, indeed, but these are the GOOD blues, the ones you seek out and pay way too much for a beer while you commiserate with the singer. Misplaced frustration fills this disc – in “He’s A Big Freak,” Betty beats her lover with a turquoise chain, but it’s not clear if it’s self defense or if he’s paying extra for the service. The sexual revolution scorches on “Yo Mamma Wants You Back,” “Don’t Call Her No Tramp,” and “Git In There.” Each song sounds just as you hoped, proclaiming the virtues of a thinly-veiled roll in the hay with the sort of liberated woman who refuses to take “I think I’m done” for an answer. There are several additional bonus tracks here, each a rough mix of the final album version. The differences are subtle, and I think any of the roughs are just as good as the final cuts.

Betty Davis oozes a raw energy in this disc that’s lost nothing in the decades. She’s still packed with boogie juice.

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