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Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook

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iTunes Review

Anyone who purchases this album with the idea that they’ll be hearing faithful recreations of their old rock favorites will be in for quite a surprise. LaVette is an R&B artist who never received the commercial success of her contemporaries such as Aretha Franklin or Smokey Robinson. Her artistic reach, however, is every bit as determined and strong. Not everyone will immediately recognize these songs. The Moody Blues’ “Nights In White Satin” is now a nightclub lament. The Beatles’ “The Word” is brought to its gospel roots. The Rolling Stones’ “Salt of the Earth” is taken from its acoustic blues context and brought up to date as a contemporary piece of soul music. Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” is hardly the FM radio staple. The Animals’ “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” is worked over. The Who’s “Love Reign O’er Me,” recorded live at the Kennedy Honors Ceremony which provided the inspiration for this album, is like every song here recreated in LaVette’s likeness. You might as well as consider these completely new songs.

Customer Reviews

Love Reign O

Though I still love the way Bettye has put her own spin on Love Reign O'er Me (The Who), listeners beware - the song on her new album British Rock Songbook is not the exact song she sang at the KCH. The song has been altered, and it doesn't have the same punch as the one she did live.

Does Not Get Any Better

As i write this I am listening to "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On me. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Bettye and her band cover these songs so brilliantly I prefer them over the originals, and I was around when the originals hit the shelves. Just buy the whole album. It just gets better and better each time you play it.


Born: January 26, 1946 in Muskegon, MI

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A perennial cult favorite in Northern soul circles, singer Bettye LaVette was born in Muskegon, MI, on January 29, 1946. Raised primarily across the state in Detroit, at 16 she cut her first sides for the local Lupine label, with a test pressing of the disc making its way to Atlantic Records. After signing with Atlantic, she scored an R&B Top Ten hit out of the box with her debut single, "My Man -- He's a Loving Man," only to fail to reach the same commercial heights again. After one more Atlantic...
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Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook, Bettye LaVette
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