10 Songs, 36 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Bonnie Raitt’s musical approach crystallized on her 1972 album Give It Up. At only 23, Raitt was something of a prodigy, a cross between Sweet Emma Barrett and Carole King. Thanks to producer Michael Cuscuna, Give It Up isn’t quite as wild as its predecessor — Raitt’s eponymous debut is a gloriously salty back-porch affair — but it still manages to mash together several strands of American music. Luckily Raitt doesn’t shoot for the silky country-rock synthesis that was in vogue at the time. Instead “Give It Up or Let Me Go,” “I Know” and “You Got To Know How” hit upon a kind of fortuitous collision of ideas — as if a folk group decided to play blues for one night, and along the way picked up a New Orleans brass band. The only group who could achieve a mix as groovy was Little Feat, great friends and collaborators with Raitt. The singer is great at leading the party, but she really slays on the ballads. “Nothing Seems to Matter,” “If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody” and “Love Has No Pride” are disarming tearjerkers that retain a scarred dignity in spite of Raitt’s vulnerability.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Bonnie Raitt’s musical approach crystallized on her 1972 album Give It Up. At only 23, Raitt was something of a prodigy, a cross between Sweet Emma Barrett and Carole King. Thanks to producer Michael Cuscuna, Give It Up isn’t quite as wild as its predecessor — Raitt’s eponymous debut is a gloriously salty back-porch affair — but it still manages to mash together several strands of American music. Luckily Raitt doesn’t shoot for the silky country-rock synthesis that was in vogue at the time. Instead “Give It Up or Let Me Go,” “I Know” and “You Got To Know How” hit upon a kind of fortuitous collision of ideas — as if a folk group decided to play blues for one night, and along the way picked up a New Orleans brass band. The only group who could achieve a mix as groovy was Little Feat, great friends and collaborators with Raitt. The singer is great at leading the party, but she really slays on the ballads. “Nothing Seems to Matter,” “If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody” and “Love Has No Pride” are disarming tearjerkers that retain a scarred dignity in spite of Raitt’s vulnerability.

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