Thursday, 27 December 2018

Bonnie Raitt - Home Plate (1975)


  

Released in 1975

After three rootsy, bluesy albums, Bonnie Raitt had made a play for the mainstream with her fourth and, on this, her fifth outing, she left everyone in no doubt that her direction had changed from those edgy, downhome early albums. The production of her albums by now was far slicker. The roster of musicians is huge, including Jackson Browne and Emmylou Harris. It is a punchy, lively album, with lots of brass backing and full guitar sounds but although it is aimed at the mainstream, it is still not an overtly commercial album.

TRACK LISTING

1. What Do You Want The Boy To Do
2. Good Enough
3. Run Like A Thief
4. Fool Yourself
5. My First Night Alone Without You
6. Walk Out The Front Door
7. Sugar Mama
8. Pleasin' Each Other
9. I'm Blowin' Away
10. Sweet And Shiny Eyes                                

The album begins with the horn-driven country soul of "What Do You Want The Boy To Do", written by Allen Toussaint, and it has suitably Stax-y moments. "Good Enough" is a rousing piece of funky soul. Bonnie's voice has really developed over the years and she now sounds confident taking on many different styles. "Run Like A Thief" is an Eagles-like country rock ballad. It has a killer guitar solo in it too. Bonnie could never leave that plaintive bluesy soulfulness too far behind, however, and "Fool Yourself" perfectly exemplifies that.

"My First Night Alone Without You" is a winning, Fleetwood Mac/Judie Tzuke type of slow rock ballad. This obviously influenced those two artists in particular. "Walk Out The Front Door" is a ballsy, piano and guitar-driven mid-pace rock number. "Sugar Mama" continues in the same vein. This is "my man done me wrong" country rock. Very effective it is too.

"Pleasin' Each Other" is very Elton John circa "Tumbleweed Connection"/"Honky Chateau" with its piano and horn backing. "I'm Blowin' Away" is a classic, big production country ballad, while "Sweet And Shiny Eyes" is a more traditional roadhouse country maudlin drinking song. This album is a success because you know what you are going to get by now. Yes, the early rough and readiness has gone but it is still appealing music all the same. Worth an occasional listen indeed.

B-

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