Friday, August 26, 2005:

Betty Wright

Betty Wright -- I'll Love You Forever
Betty Wright -- It's Hard to Stop (Doing Something When It's Good to You)

I had intended to post Betty Wright's "Clean Up Woman" with Afrika Bambaataa's "Zulu War Chant," but then I found that Wright's song was plenty popular without my help (twelve weeks on the chart, peaked at #6) and on listening to "Zulu War Chant" I realized that, for the most part, I didn't like the song anymore. I still like the parts with "this is something special for you" and the bridge with the sample chopped up a bit, and the sample itself is fine; I just wish Bambaataa had done more with it.

Luckily, Wright's got a solid enough catalogue that there's still material for a post.

"I'll Love You Forever" is out of print, digitized from the flipside to the 45" of "Clean Up Woman"; it's a sincere and romantic R&B number, uncomplicated, in much the way that a new love is. Betty knows the man might have been hurt before; she has too, but she's all about putting that behind and moving on, optimistic, the two of them treating each other right.

"It's Hard to Stop (Doing Something When It's Good to You)" is a funkier number, with a syncopated guitar line on the left, some great horns coming in on the right. Solid groove on this one; set the dancemeter to 8. And the vocals over it, man, that's tight. Lyrics have Betty with a cheating man, staying with him anyway because "he's a good lovin' man."

"It's Hard to Stop" is from Rhino's 20 track best-of collection of Wright's work, and there are any number of tracks on it I would have been happy posting. Good pickings there. "He's Bad Bad Bad," "Let Me Be Your Lovemaker," "Slip and Do It," and "Shoorah! Shoorah!" are all particularly good--fun work, great for a summer morning.


On some of these mp3blogs, people tend to put up a photo of the 45", I guess to prove they have it. I find it visually dull, and, besides, I've not got a digital camera; I have a Nikon FM2 and a flatbed scanner, so I won't be doing that. I'm not putting my vinyl on the flatbed and I'm not about to start paying $8 a pop for two dozen photos of nothing more than LPs and 45s. The covers, on the other hand--I'll continue to scan those in, giving the odd crop (Phil Judd, Mandrill, here's looking at you) or piecing them together in Photoshop (Cannonball, Brides of Funkenstein).

Elsewhere: mentioned some time back that someone had put the "pink elephants" scene of Dumbo with Sun Ra's cover of the original music; they were all agog about the results. I'm a bit underwhelmed: it starts out in synch and goes increasingly out of synch, as if Sun Ra had lost the plot or just didn't care. I saw the film a few days ago and I think Sun Ra's music is better, but the original music works better with the visuals. For starters, the horns and cymbal crashes correspond to events on screen.

That said, I wonder why the hell all the black men working in the rain putting up the tent have no face. Everyone else in the film does. And never mind about the crows at the end. Meh. Not as blatantly vile as their earlier stuff, I guess, with Mickey and Minnie and the rest giving a play in blackface. Oh, the height of comedy. I wonder when that one will come out on DVD.
[]: The Best of Betty Wright

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