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The Scene of the Crime

Bettye LaVette

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iTunes Review

Soul music veteran Bettye LaVette sees things come full circle with her 2007 studio release The Scene of the Crime. Recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama (“the scene of the crime”), 35 years after her 1972 album, Child of the Seventies, was shelved by Atlantic Records, it fires back on all cylinders. “Before the Money Came (The Battle of Bettye Lavette),” the one original composition co-written with producer and Drive-By Trucker Patterson Hood, captures LaVette’s deep pain and bitterness over this career-inhibiting move. Elsewhere, she employs the same tough, schooled and scarred voice for a well-chosen collection of tunes, from the gentle dissipation of Willie Nelson’s “Somebody Pick Up My Pieces,” the wry truths of the George Jones hit “Choices” and the out-of-left-field cover of Elton John’s “Talking Old Soldiers” that immediately becomes an R&B standard in LaVette’s experienced hands. Drive-By Truckers and Muscle Shoals veterans David Hood and Spooner Oldham provide solid, restrained backing that make this a modern, yet essentially undated and unpretentious, soul music recording.

Customer Reviews

It's a crime there are only 5 reviews of this album!

I almost want to thank Atlantic for shelving that album 35 years ago because maybe Bettye would not be the treasure she is today had she been swept into the mainstream. I listen to this and her two previous albums perhaps more than anything else in my collection. I've Got My Own Hell to Raise deserved the attention it got - but this is equally deserving. A completely different album - dirtier, with judicious, wonderful instrumental solos (the pedal steel on Somebody Pick Up My Pieces really gets me!) That track and Talking Old Soldiers are so good they almost make it hard to notice how good the rest of the album is. Somehow I think the real Bettye has more to do with no-foolin' tracks like The Last Time and You Don't Know Me At All. I agree with another reviewer - you put this entire album on to listen to start to finish.

Pure Soul backed by the Drive-By Truckers and others

This release by Bettye is awesome. Her powerful vocals coupled with the Drive-By Truckers backing her up along with David Hood and other famous musicians from Muscle Shoals FAME Recording Studio make this a must have. Check out the cover of Talking Old Soldiers and my favorite track written by Patterson Hood "Before the Money Came".

AGAIN!!!

She has done it again. I just bought this album and it is great. I love Choices and Talking Old Soldiers. I listen to the entire album every time.

Biography

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, Michigan, 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...
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The Scene of the Crime, Bettye LaVette
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