Wednesday, 22 June 2016

"Streetlights" by BONNIE RAITT (2001 Warner Brothers 'Remasters' Series CD)

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"...That Song About The Midway..."

Part of the 2001 "Remasters" reissues - "Streetlights" was Bonnie's 4th album - a far more mellow and funky-commercial affair than the three bluesy outings that preceded it. It's also top heavy with cover versions from some of her favourite writers like Allen Toussaint, Joni Mitchell and John Prine - whilst collectors will know that members of Little Feat contributed their penny's worth too. Here are the street-savvy details...

UK released October 2001 - "Streetlights" by BONNIE RAITT on Warner Brothers 8122-78380-2 (Barcode 081227838027) plays out as follows (37:03 minutes):

1. That Song About The Midway [Joni Mitchell]
2. Rainy Day Man [James Taylor]
3. Angel From Montgomery [John Prine]
4. I Got Plenty [Jim Carroll & Joey Levine]
5. Streetlights [Bill Payne]
6. What Is Success [Allen Toussaint] – Side 2
7. Ain't Nobody Home [Jerry Ragovoy]
8. Everything That Touches You [Michael Kamen]
9. Got You On My Mind [Alley Willis and David Lasley]
10. You Got To Be Ready For Love (If You Wanna Be Mine) [Lou Courtney]
Tracks 1 to 10 are her 4th album "Streetlights" – released October 1974 in the USA on Warner Brothers BS 2818 and November 1974 in the UK on Warner Brothers K 56075

The 3-way fold out inlay gives you track-by-track musician credits but there's no lyrics or attempt any new liner notes. The Remasters Series has been co-ordinated by GREG GELLER and JO MOTTA while LEE HERSCHBERG carried out the excellent Remaster. Every track is warm and full of presence - this was a superbly recorded album with top quality players and the transfer reflects this big time.

After three pretty straightforward Blues-Rock LPs – 1974's "Streetlights" saw Bonnie in a very mellow mood. It opens with her gorgeous acoustic take on Joni Mitchell's "That Song About The Midway" singing "...I found you in a trailer in some camping ground..." and you know both Joni & Bonnie have this degenerate gambler down. I've always loved her Funky choices of songs too – the rock-slink of Allen Toussaint's "What Is Success" – a low-down groove with top session players like keyboardist Leon Pendarvis laying down licks throughout that add so much to the overall (he was once with Lonnie Liston Smith's Cosmic Echoes). Again the players add top class to Michael Kamen's "Everything That Touches You" – Jeff Minirov and John Tropea playing so sweet on those guitars. And a forgotten nugget is "Got You On My Mind" – a pretty lilting tune with Jerry Ragovoy arrangements that sound almost Burt Bacharach at times. Ace sessionman Steve Gadd on drums throughout too...

Good album rather than a great one - but even good by Bonnie is more than ok with me...

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