Friday, 28 December 2018

Bonnie Raitt - Sweet Forgiveness (1977)


Released April 1977

This was the third album since 1974's "Streetlights" that saw Bonnie Raitt going "mainstream" with her radio-friendly country rock approach, as opposed to her earlier rootsy, bluesy offerings. She was now an accomplished, polished, confident artist and this album offered more of the same fare that "Streetlights" and "Home Plate" had offered. Each album seems to get slicker and more solid. This time, however, Bonnie used her touring band as backing, as opposed to the myriad musicians used on the previous two outings. This gives this album a slightly looser, rockier feel.


1. About To Make Me Leave Home
2. Runaway
3. Two Lives
4. Louise
5. Gamblin' Man
6. Sweet Forgiveness
7. My Opening Farewell
8. Three Time Loser
9. Takin' My Time
10. Home                                        

"About To Make Me Leave Home" is an impressive, earthy and muscular blues rock opener. It is like her earlier blues material given a slicker, bigger production, with some excellent slide and wah-wah guitars in there. Bonnie's cover of Del Shannon's "Runaway", turning the rock 'n' roll number into a grinding blues rock number is interesting and appealing.  Her voice is excellent on this - throaty and soulful. "Two Lives" is a gentle, melodic country rock ballad. "Louise" is a true maudlin country heartbreaker and the sombre mood is lifted back up by the bluesy guitar-driven rock of "Gamblin' Man". Despite "going mainstream", the blues are never far away on Bonnie Raitt albums.

The title track is another of those Fleetwood Mac-style polished rock ballads, with a funky blues rock break in the middle. Again, Bonnie's voice is down 'n' dirty and bluesy. Jackson Browne's "My Opening Farewell" is a good cover of a sensitive song. Raitt always covers Browne's songs impressively. "Three Time Loser" is a ballsy slice of barroom rock. The mood continues with the solid rock of "Takin' My Time". "Home" is a plaintive country ballad to end the album.

By now, listeners knew what they were going to get from Bonnie Raitt albums, the early homemade-style albums were long gone and these type of albums would continue to the end of the seventies and throughout the eighties and beyond.


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