Episode 13: NIGHTCLUBBING

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NIGHTCLUBBING – Grace Jones – Island Records – 1981

Music. Fashion. Art. Icon. Attempting to mix these to create an internationally acclaimed persona would be a daunting task for anyone with less magnetism than Grace Jones, who succeeded so overwhelmingly at becoming a cross-genre “It Girl” that she forged a path for future generations of singular artists to follow.

Already a well-known model and disco queen, Grace Jones began recording music in the late 1970s. The records did modestly well, but in 1979, Island Records founder and producer Chris Blackwell began working with her on a new musical aesthetic, combining funk, disco, reggae, and new wave styles to create something new — and uniquely Grace Jones. With the talents of Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, Wally Badarou, Mikey Chung, Uziah Thompson, and other musicians who comprised the Compass Point All-Stars, the sessions that became Nightclubbing would go on to influence music through each subsequent decade.

As we seek to bridge the gap between the generations, there are few better examples of lasting musical, sartorial, and artistic inspiration than Grace Jones. In today’s episode on her 1981 album Nightclubbing, we explore the effervescent enigma of a woman who left her Jamaican home to travel the world, only to return to the Caribbean to create the music that would become the focal point of her legacy. We dive deep into the relationships between music and art, between the artist and the image, and between icon and legacy. 

Listen to Nightclubbing: iTunes | Spotify | YouTube

Subscribe on iTunes

(ps — while you’re there, please rate and review us in the iTunes store so more people can discover us and we can all be friends who talk about music together!) 

Episode notes and postscript corrections

  • Forest Hills is honestly one of the most magical, historic venues in the city. Definitely try to get to a show there, if you can.
  • Fairfield, Connecticut and the people who live there are delightful, and the Fairfield Theatre Company is such a great space to check out a show. It’s so close to New York on the train! And it’s green! In this summer of subway hell, maybe skip the L and hit up the New Haven Metro-North line instead.
    • As we’ve mentioned before, we love love love FTC’s Emerging Artists Series. Here’s more info on the next installment on August 21 with Easter Island and Oak House. You know we’ll be there.
    • If you love harmonies and feels as much as we do, check out the Wild Reeds. You won’t be disappointed.
  • If you love punk, post-punk, rock, soul, psychedelia, and/or a combination of all of them, check out Lulu Lewis! We’ve mentioned them before, but we’re not gonna stop anytime soon because we really dig their music and hope you do, too.
  • We’ve mentioned this before, but once again, Chris Blackwell is a BAMF.
  • As is Alex Sadkin.
  • Revisit our episode on Betty Davis’s They Say I’m Different and let us know if you see any similarities between Betty and Grace.
  • TURN TF UP FOR COMPASS POINT 👏 👏 👏
    • Here’s a rad podcast we literally just found that serves as a mini audio-documentary on the studio and some of the cool people who passed through and the records they made.
    • ALSO, TURN TF UP FOR THE COMPASS POINT ALL-STARS 👏 👏 👏
    • Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, Wally Badarou, Mikey Chung, Barry Reynolds, and Uziah “Sticky” Thompson are all killer musicians on their own, but the sum = magic
    • Peep our further reading for more on them.
  • A lot of Nightclubbing actually comes from sessions for Warm Leatherette; THAT’S how good they were.
  • Let’s talk about this album cover!
    • First and foremost: Grace Jones is the OG baddie, textbook unfuckwithable. (Confused what that means? Good thing we have our glossary.)
    • Especially, let’s talk about John Paul Goude. Here’s one article about their working relationship, but check out our further reading for more.
  • Here’s that “I came to slay” Grace Jones-Pee Wee’s Christmas Special appearance we were talking about. Childhood memories are crazy, y’all.
  • This album is full of cover songs, so check out our master playlist on Spotify for all the side by side comparisons.
  • Here’s that incredibly in-depth lecture with Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth at Red Bull Music Academy. The link will take you right to the part where they discuss Compass Point and the creative community there, but we highly recommend watching all of it. It’s a good one.
  • Check out the further reading links below for a piece about Grace Jones’s androgynous impact on fashion and music that’s worth reading, if you’re interested.
  • Turnup for Stromae. (Carly recommends watching these videos for Tous Les Memes” or Papaoutai.”)
  • If “Pull Up To The Bumper” doesn’t give you time-machine-going-out feels, maybe this isn’t the podcast for you 👀
  • Turnup for Fonce Mizell.  
  • No, really, they don’t have street numbers at Compass Point, so if we ever by any chance get an apartment or house there, Funky Spaceship is on the short list of names.
  • Here’s some science stuff about how Compass Point’s engineers EQ’d the bass and the drums the way they did that creates that cool, loud-but-open sound.
  • Hey, if anyone knows a physicist who can make us a time machine, hit us up.
  • If you want to read Grace’s ironically titled memoir, follow the link in our further reading section below.
  • Here are the translated lyrics to “I’ve Seen That Face Before (Libertango),” if you’d like a more thorough explanation than Carrie’s subpar French can offer. (She tried. Also, if anyone wants to tutor her, she’s willing to re-learn.)
  • Visuals are a huge part of this album — see our further watching section below for some great links.
  • Buckle up. We’re about to take you down a musical rabbit hole: Compass Point edition. It’s gonna be fun.
    • Of course we’re going to bring up the rhythmic similarities between Grace Jones/Sly and Robbie and Frantz and Weymouth, even though it’s all mostly unintentional. They were all recording in the same place at the same time — studio osmosis is a pretty cool thing.
    • Add this to the list of mashups we’d very much like: Tom Tom Club’s “As Above So Below” vs. Grace Jones’s “Feel Up”
    • Tom Tom Club’s woke-and-dope sophomore album Close To The Bone isn’t on Spotify or iTunes for some reason (???), but we highly recommend you listen to it. YouTube is the real MVP — here you go.
    • Also, while you’re there — how great would a Grace Jones cover of Bamboo Town” be?
    • Okay, dig: the bassline on Grace Jones’s “Love is the Drug” sounds very similar to the bassline on Talking Heads’ “Crosseyed and Painless”
    • OMG THERE’S MORE! The “Crosseyed and Painless” bassline also sounds a lot like the bassline on “Feel Up,” so now we’ve come full circle.
    • “Y, tho?” you’re probably asking. The short story: it’s because all three basslines are outliers to pre-established bass aesthetics. Rather than being funky and melodic, as per usual, they’re pointed grooves (that happen to sound similar) and serve as anchors to keep busy, polyrhythmic songs from running away.
    • Wild, right?
  • Here’s more info about “Demolition Man” so you can learn what exactly Sting was talking about when he wrote it.
  • “I’ve Done It Again” is probably about an LSD trip, so, there’s that.
  • Grace Jones has an enormous legacy. Here’s a short list of information:
    • Grace Jones was and is a huge gay icon, and this album has been noted for its gay following.
    • Artists who have Grace to thank for paving the way for connecting music, fashion, and art: Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Madonna, Janelle Monae… the list goes on and on.
    • Grace’s influence on fashion has also been vast and long-lasting.
  • Finally, worth repeating here, the final paragraph of Grace’s memoir: “If people complain that I am not doing enough of my old material, not performing all the hits, I will stand in front of them, a formlessness that engulfs all form. I will put on another hat, crack my whip, scatter fireflies, fix them with a five-thousand-year-old stare, fit to fight to the bitter end, becoming a ghost with the passing of time. I will be ready for the afterlife, for my bones to be buried in the mountains of Jamaica, or the canals of Venice, or the dark side of the moon, or under the ground in the cities I’ve lived in and loved. And I will say: Do you want to move forward with me, or not? Do you want to know where I am going next? It’s time for something else to happen.

Favorite track(s): Feel Up and Pull Up To The Bumper (Carly) | Pull Up To The Bumper and Feel Up (Carrie)
Least favorite track: Art Groupie (Carly) | I’ve Seen That Face Before (Libertango) (Carrie)

Album credits:
Wally Badarou – keyboards
Monte Browne – rhythm guitar
Mikey Chung – guitar
Masai Delon – vocals
Tyrone Downie – keyboards, vocals
Sly Dunbar – drums, syndrums
Jack Emblow – accordion
Grace Jones – vocals, backing vocals
Barry Reynolds – guitar
Jess Roden – vocals
Robbie Shakespeare – bass
Mel Speller – percussion, vocals
Uziah Thompson – percussion
Chris Blackwell, Alex Sadkin – production

Further Watching: 
Grace Jones: One Man Show | 1982
Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami (trailer) | Forthcoming documentary

Further Reading:
I’ll Never Write My Memoirs | Jones’s irony, please memoir (2015)
Grace Jones: Warm Leatherette (re-issue review) | Pitchfork (June 2016)
Welcome to Planet Grace Jones | Paper Magazine (October 2015) 
Grace Jones Explores Androgyny in a New Memoir | Vogue (September 2015)
As Much As I Can, As Black As I Am: The Queer History of Grace Jones | Pitchfork (August 2015)
I’ve Seen That Face Before: Looking back on Grace Jones’s iconic Nightclubbing with the people who made it happen | Fact Magazine (May 2014) 
Grace Jones: Nightclubbing (deluxe re-issue review) | Pitchfork (May 2014)
Grace Jones pulls up to the bumper | The Guardian (June 2011)
Chris Blackwell | Interview Magazine (March 2009)
Grace Jones by Jean Paul Goude | V Magazine (February 2009) 

 

Episode 11: I’M STILL IN LOVE WITH YOU

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I’M STILL IN LOVE WITH YOU – Al Green – Hi Records – 1972

Al Green’s 1972 album I’m Still In Love With You is a personal one: an album for smooth Saturday nights and sweet Sunday mornings, for both weddings and double digit anniversaries. It recalls time spent with family, friends, and lovers, and inspires memories to be made in the future. It’s an album made for lasting connections, and is undoubtedly one that is best enjoyed when shared.

In this episode, we examine the foundation of this iconic record and explore the greater musical landscape from which it was born. We discuss the one-of-a-kind house band that gave the album its distinct sound, the Southern stronghold that informed the album’s character, and the producer who oversaw it all, mixing all the elements together to create what is arguably one the greatest American soul records of the 20th century. An album is only as good as the sum of its parts, and here, we examine how I’m Still In Love With You remains an upstanding example.

Listen to I’m Still In Love With You: iTunes | Spotify | YouTube

Subscribe on iTunes

(ps — while you’re there, please rate and review us in the iTunes store so more people can discover us and we can all be friends who talk about music together!) 

Episode notes and postscript corrections

  • Hello! We’re coming to you on a new day now, because ~Summer Fridays~ are life.
  • This in-depth interview with Willie Mitchell shows just how much he has done, and why he was such a BAMF.
  • Wait, wait, wait. “BAMF” this, “bub” that? We throw out some words that aren’t always part of the common lexicon. We get it. Which is why we made this handy glossary to explain what we’re talking about when we talk about Dad Rock, who a “stan” is, and what it means to be “shook.”
  • Again, for the people in the back: Just like a band is the sum of its parts, solo artists are the sum of the people they work with. Countless people go into creating and bringing forth into the world the music that we love. Ignoring their contributions is unacceptable to us.
  • Honestly, for real, if you think you haven’t heard “Green Onions” before, do you live under a rock?
  • Here’s a brief history of Memphis soul and Hi Records’ and Stax’s places within it.
  • Get ready now — we’re going to be swooning about how much we love love and these long relationships Green sings about and saying “I love this song!” a lot this episode.
    • You could play a drinking game if you wanted to, but we don’t endorse that. Please pod responsibly.
  • If you’re new here: we love sequencing — so much that we’ve started using #RespectTheSequence in our liner notes and our Spotify playlists.
  • Here’s a simple, science-y explanation for why sound quality on vinyl can degrade the closer you get to the center of the album — hence, why Carrie assumes making a full, deep song like “I’m Still In Love With You” the very first track was more of a quality control choice than a creative one.
  • The Al Green drum sounds are SO. GOOD. You can thank Al Jackson, Jr. and Howard Grimes for that.
  • Hey! Wish you could listen to all the songs that sample Al Green? Follow us on Spotify, where you’ll get them all in one place on our master playlist.
  • No offense, but you’d have to have a cold, dead battery in the place in your chest where your heart should be if you don’t love “Love and Happiness.”
    • Peep our further watching section below to watch Al Green’s Kennedy Center induction ceremony (and shed a tear or two watching the Obamas grooving together).
  • Listen to Kanye West’sI Met Oprah,” which heavily samples “What a Wonderful Thing Love Is”
    • Throwback to our episode on The Message, where Carrie explained why Kanye is a great producer, even though he’s not a great person.
    • She’s sorry for being a lowkey Yeezy stan. She can’t help it.
  • Listen to Chance the Rapper’s “Give and Take” in our master playlist on Spotify.
    • Chance is a cinnamon roll and we are not embarrassed to stan for him.
  • HELLO! Let’s get slightly off-topic for a few minutes and talk about what a bop “Oh, Pretty Woman” is — particularly THIS BADASS ALL-FEMALE VERSION FROM 1990
    • This is what happens when you go on a YouTube spiral. Embrace those hidden treasures, but share them with others (obviously).
    • This version is STACKED: Emmylou Harris. k.d. Lang. Bonnie Raitt. Tina Weymouth — to name a few.
    • The rest of this concert is STACKED. To name just a few of the other performers: David Crosby. Bob Dylan. John Lee Hooker. B.B. King. Booker T. Jones. Roger McGuinn. Was (Not Was).
    • So, yeah, if anyone can tell us why TF this concert is so buried and unreleased (or, really, if you can help us locate a better quality audio rip), get at us. You would be a friend of the pod for life.
  • Anyway. “For The Good Times” is another cover song on this album.
    • Carly prefers the 1976 Kristofferson-Streisand remake of A Star Is Born. @ her if you disagree.
    • “For The Good Times” sounds a lot like “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart,” to be completely honest.
    • This song is too long in comparison to how short this album is. Bye.
  • We both kind of, sort of think the second side of this album is weak. Good and enjoyable, but it all starts to run together. Tell us if you disagree.
  • Al Green’s life has been interesting since the release of I’m Still In Love With You.
    • Here’s a brief explainer on that girlfriend-burn altercation thing, which was insane.
    • Green went back to gospel music not long after this and is now an ordained reverend who primarily releases gospel music.
  • Just a few artists Green has influenced (and whose music you can find in our playlist): Prince, Sade, James Blake, John Legend, Leon Bridges, John Mayer, Justin Timberlake… the list goes on and on and on.
  • Any questions? We might have answers over on our ever-evolving FAQ page.
  • Come say hi! Follow us on Facebook, @ us on Twitter, or shoot us an email. We love new friends!

Favorite track: Love and Happiness (Carly) | Love and Happiness (Carrie)
Least favorite track(s): For The Good Times (Carly) | For The Good Times and One of These Good Old Days (Carrie) 

Album credits:

  • Al Green — lead vocals
  • Howard Grimes — drums, rhythm section
  • Al Jackson, Jr — drums
  • Ali Muhammed Jackson — drums
  • Charles Hodges — drums, organ, piano
  • Leroy Hodges — bass
  • Mabon “Teenie” Hodges — guitar
  • Wayne Jackson — horn section, trumpet
  • Andrew Love — tenor horn, tenor saxophone
  • Ed Hogan — tenor horn, tenor saxophone
  • Jack Hale, Sr. — horn section, trombone
  • James Mitchell — string and horn arrangements, tenor horn, baritone saxophone
  • Donna Rhodes — background vocals
  • Sandra Rhodes — background vocals
  • Sandra Chalmers — background vocals
  • Charles Chalmers — arranger, horn arrangements, string arrangements, background vocals
  • Larry Walsh — mastering
  • Pam Brady — assistant
  • Pete Welding — assistant
  • Robert Gordon — liner notes
  • Tom Cartwright — project director
  • Willie Mitchell — engineer, producer

Further watching:
Al Green’s Kennedy Center Honors induction | 2014  
Take Me To The River (documentary about Memphis music and bridging the generation gap) | 2014 | Full Documentary (Netflix) • Watch the trailer   
Al Green live concert (source unknown) | 1974
Willie Mitchell on Al Green and Hi Studio | Date unknown
Down To Earth (short doc on Memphis soul) | 2009 

Further reading: 
R&B Gold: Leroy Hodges Goes Hi | Bassplayer (June 2017)
Al Green, the soul legend and Kennedy Center honoree, is still tired of being alone | The Washington Post (December 2014)
100 Greatest Singers of All Time: Al Green | Rolling Stone (December 2010)
Let’s Stay Together/I’m Still In Love With You/Greatest Hits reissue review | Pitchfork (April 2009)
Memphis Magic: The Al Green Sound | Rolling Stone (October 1973)
I’m Still In Love With You review | Rolling Stone (November 1972)
Hi Records’ history | Hi Records official site (date unknown but hella old school and accessed through WayBack Archives because this page doesn’t *actually* exist anymore)

Episode 3: ABANDONED LUNCHEONETTE

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ABANDONED LUNCHEONETTE – Hall and Oates – Atlantic Records – 1973

Hall & Oates’ Abandoned Luncheonette was the second album that the duo released during their formative years at Atlantic Records. Containing “She’s Gone,” one of their biggest and most recognizable hits, the album does not have a genre that is easy to pinpoint. Part folk, part rock, part soul, the meshing of sounds and instrumentation techniques make this album one that is unique to its time period and resonant to modern listeners.

In this episode, we talk about the legacy of this record and why young listeners can find as much to love within its album sleeves as those who have enjoyed it for decades. We also have some side discussions on the merits of dad rock, saxophones, and instruments as characters, and we reveal the name of our favorite local record store.

Listen to Abandoned Luncheonette: iTunes | Spotify | YouTube

Subscribe on iTunes 

Episode notes and postscript corrections

  • Life comes at you fast
  • Debate amongst yourselves: Is Hall and Oates dad rock or mom rock, one, and two, what is the differentiator between the two?
  • Shoutout to A-1 Records — if you’re ever in New York, be sure to hit it up.
  • If you know what the technical term for “Dad language” is (Fatherese? Dadish?), please let us know.
  • Abandoned Luncheonette was their second album, but the first album Hall and Oates made upon moving to New York from Philadelphia. After their first album failed to perform, they felt they had nothing to lose — thus, the melting pot of influences all on one album.
    • Other people who recorded at Atlantic Studios at the same time: Bette Midler, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, and Led Zeppelin, which blew Hall and Oates’ minds.
  • “Had I Known You Better Then” had a great live version on Daryl Hall’s TV show, “Live from Daryl’s House” — see the further viewing below.
  • This is who Nick the Lounge Singer is, in case you’re not woke.
  • Somehow we made a Father John Misty reference and it works. (Here’s why.)
  • About that rando music video for “She’s Gone”…
    • MTV wasn’t created until 1981, so if you’re like “wait, they had a video,” you’re not alone.
    • Pitchfork included the video for “She’s Gone” in their 25 Best Music Videos of the 1970s, because it is a head scratcher. 
    • John Oates claims he leaked it to YouTube, which, like, okay. You should watch it below in our further watching section.
  • There is a real life abandoned luncheonette. It sat outside Pottstown, PA and, as of 2010, was still standing.
  • Given guitarist/not-quite-producer-but-influential-nonetheless Chris Bond’s Beatles-affinity, the use of horns on “Laughing Boy” isn’t surprising. They can be compared to The Beatles’ “For No One” — an instrument used almost as a way to echo the narrator’s mind. (It works better for Paul McCartney.)
  • Follow us on Spotify and we’ll hit you with that comparison between “Everytime I Look at You” and Joni Mitchell’s “Trouble Child.”
  • Speaking of legacy and influence, The Bird and the Bee recorded an entire album of Hall and Oates covers in 2010.
  • The Chocolate Watchband, the band that Carly mentioned she discovered on Spotify and thought was a new band, only to find that they were from the late ’60s, was a San Francisco band that was active in the Bay Area at the same time as Fritz, Stevie Nicks’s and Lindsey Buckingham’s pre- Buckingham Nicks band.
  • We would really love to talk to you about how millennials can all carry the torch for old music. Like, would really, really love to talk to you about it.

Favorite track: When The Morning Comes (Carly) | When The Morning Comes (Carrie)
Least favorite track: Laughing Boy (Carly) | Las Vegas Turnaround & I’m Just a Kid (Don’t Make Me Feel Like a Man) (Carrie)

Album credits:
Daryl Hall – lead vocals, mandolin, electric piano, keyboards
John Oates – lead vocals, acoustic guitar, wah-wah guitar
Joe Farrell – oboe, tenor saxophone, alto saxophone
Hugh McCracken – electric guitar
Chris Bond – mellotron, electric guitar, synthesizer
Steve “Fontz” Gelfand – bass
Bernard Purdie – drums
Ralph MacDonald – percussion
Jerry Ricks – acoustic guitar
Rick Marotta – drums, percussion
Gordon Edwards – bass
Richard Tee – piano
Gloria Agostini – harp
John Blair – electric vi-tar
Marvin Stamm – flugelhorn
Larry Packer – fiddle
Mark Horowitz – banjo
Arif Mardin, Christian Bond, Donald Wanner, John Oates, Kathy Mae Hohl, Ronald Wanner, Walter F. Hohl – “humanity chorus”

Produced by Arif Mardin
Production Assistant: Christopher Bond
Recording & Engineering: Alan Ade, Jimmy Douglass, Lewis Hahn, Joel Kerr, Gene Paul
Recorded at Atlantic Recording Studios and Advantage Sound Studios (New York, NY)
Mixing: Christopher Bond, Jimmy Douglass
Mastered By Stephen Innocenzi at Atlantic Recording Studios
Album Design and Photography: B. Wilson
Coordinator: Tommy Mottola

Further watching
“Had I Known You Better Then” from Live from Daryl’s House (2008)
“She’s Gone” — original music video from 1973

Further reading
How Hall and Oates Found Themselves on Abandoned Luncheonette | Ultimate Classic Rock (November 2015)
Graded on a Curve: Hall & Oates, Abandoned Luncheonette | The Vinyl District (February 2014)
Hall & Oates: 40 Years of Abandoned Luncheonette | American Songwriter (February 2013)
The Story of the Abandoned Luncheonette, AKA the Rosedale Diner | Diner Hotline Weblog (August 2010)
Hall and Oates, Abandoned Luncheonette | Pop Matters (June 2007)
Hall and Oates: The Self-Righteous Brothers | Rolling Stone (January 1985)

Episode 2: THEY SAY I’M DIFFERENT

 

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THEY SAY I’M DIFFERENT – Betty Davis – Just Sunshine Records – 1974

The world was not ready for Betty Davis.

Before Prince, Madonna, and Beyoncé were boldly owning race, gender, and sexuality in their music, there was Betty Davis: raw, explicit, and brazenly emancipated from everything expected of women in 1974.

At 16, Davis moved to New York, became a model and scenester, and fell into a crowd of friends and lovers that included Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Miles Davis (whom she later married — for a year). After her debut album underperformed, she took full creative control and produced her follow-up entirely on her own. The result was They Say I’m Different: a bold, unfiltered album that exposes the power of a woman confident with her gender, race, and sense of self.

In this episode, we discuss the impact of this album on society: how it fit into the time it was released, and how it has influenced artists today, both musically and politically.

We recorded this episode on Sunday, just hours before this year’s Grammys. We waited anxiously for Beyoncé’s masterpiece Lemonade to be deservedly rewarded. The album is a clear continuation of Betty’s legacy: aggressively independent, proudly black, profoundly female, and willing to take names of those who object; the words Betty growls on 1974’s “Don’t Call Her No Tramp” are echoed in Beyoncé’s howl on 2016’s “Don’t Hurt Yourself.”

It’s the kind of music that can scare people. Betty’s provocativeness led to her mainstream demise, but she laid the groundwork for women like Beyoncé who came after her. When we recorded this episode, we were excited for this to be a way to say “Look how far we’ve come.” Instead, the results of this year’s Grammy ceremony showed us that, 42 years later, this kind of music still scares people, and we still have a long way to go.

Listen to They Say I’m Different: iTunes | Spotify | YouTube

 

Subscribe on iTunes 

Episode notes and postscript corrections

  • This is pretty much everything that was happening in music in 1974.
  • Shoutout to ABBA.
  • Shoutout to CBGB’s first year.
  • Betty Davis was married to Miles Davis from 1968 to 1969, and is often credited with introducing him to the emerging psychodelic rock scene (particularly through her friend, Jimi Hendrix), and inspiring his genre-changing album Bitches Brew.
  • Shoutout to Macy Gray. Our apologies for our subpar attempt at singing that song from our childhood to convey similarities between your voice and Betty’s.
  • A clear line from Betty Davis to Beyoncé can be drawn for more than one of their shared characteristics. We are definitely not the only ones who think so.
  • Here are the lyrics to He Was a Big Freak. Maybe don’t open them up on your work computer if your boss is around.
  • Betty Davis and Jimi Hendrix were close friends. So close, that Miles Davis thought they were having an affair, even though Betty was pushing for the two to work together. Ultimately, Hendricks died before any collaboration could take place. 
  • If you know what the instrument from the intro to “Don’t You Call Her No Tramp” is, let us know. Hit us up: @77MusicClub on Twitter or 77musicclub@gmail.com and always feel free to get in touch.
  • Peep the related articles below to read in full what the New York Times had to say about Betty in 1974.
  • Most people had a strong reaction to Betty’s music in her heyday — but not always in a good way. The NAACP wanted radio to ban her songs and called her “a disgrace to her race.” She did not react kindly to this.
  • Peep all the name drops in “They Say I’m Different” with the full lyrics here.

Favorite track: Special People (Carly) | Shoo-B-Doop and Cop Him (Carrie)
Least favorite track: 70s Blues (Carly) | 70s Blues (Carrie)

Album credits:

  • Betty Davis – Producer, Vocals
  • Debbie Burrell – Vocals
  • Elaine Clark – Vocals
  • Mary Jones – Vocals
  • Trudy Perkins – Vocals
  • Mike Clark – Drums
  • Nicky Neal – Drums, Vocals
  • Willy Sparks – Drums, Vocals
  • Ted Sparks – Drums
  • Pete Escovedo – Timbales
  • Victor Pantoja – Congas, Percussion
  • Errol “Crusher” Bennett – Percussion
  • Buddy Miles – Guitar
  • Jimmy Godwin – Guitar
  • Cordell Dudley – Guitar, Vocals
  • Carlos Morales – Guitar, Vocals
  • Larry Johnson – Bass
  • Merl Saunders – Electric Piano
  • Fred Mills – Keyboards, Vocals
  • James Allen Smith – Keyboards
  • Hershall Kennedy – Clavinet, Keyboards, Organ, Electric Piano, Trumpet, Vocals
  • Tony Vaughn – Bass (Vocal), Clavinet, Keyboards, Piano, Electric Piano, Vocals
  • Mel Dixon – Photography
  • Bob Edwards – Assistant Engineer
  • Tom Flye – Mixing
  • Ron Levine – Cover Design
  • Bill Levy – Art Direction

Further watching:
Nasty Gal: The Many Lives of Betty Davis — documentary coming soon

Further reading:
Cult heroes: Betty Davis – blistering funk pioneer and female artist | The Guardian (July 2016)
Betty Davis: A Cult Genius Revealed, Once Again | MTV (July 2016)
Sleazy Listening: Betty Davis Rides Again | The New York Times T Magazine (November 2009)
Nasty Gal: Betty Davis | Dazed (July 2007)
A Funk Queen Steps Out of the Shadows | SFGate (May 2007)
The Pop Life | The New York Times (June 1974)