Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Bonnie Raitt - The Glow (1979)


  

Released September 1979

This album is one of Bonnie Raitt's bluesiest, rocking albums for a while. It is, for me, my favourite of hers since 1973's "Takin' My Time". The previous three albums had their moments, but this is consistently high quality. It was also one of the first albums to be recorded digitally, and you can tell, the sound is superb. The lengthy roster of musicians involved contains some of the finest US players around at the time - Danny Kortchmar, Waddy Wachtel, David Sanborn, Steve Madaio, Bill Payne, Rick Marotta among many others.

TRACK LISTING

1. I Thank You
2. Your Good Thing (Is About To End)
3. Standin' By The Same Old Love
4. Sleep's Dark and Silent Gate
5. The Glow
6. Bye Bye Baby
7. The Boy Can't Help It
8. (I Could Have Been Your) Best Old Friend
9. You're Gonna Get What's Coming
10. (Goin') Wild For You Baby

"I Thank You" is a huge pounding thumper of an opener, which is a bluesy, rocking cover of Sam & Dave's Stax soul track from the late sixties. Bonnie dos it marvellously, full of sass and sexy power. "Your Good Thing (Is About To End)" is a smoky, torch-song-ish cracker of a track. Bonnie has traces of Janis Joplin in her voice on this, for me. It has some killer "Young Americans"-style saxophone in the middle too. Instantly recognisable as David Sanborn, who played sax on Bowie's iconic album in 1975. It is also a Stax cover, from Mable John in 1966. Both these songs were written by Issac Hayes and David Porter.

Now it is time for some guitar-totin' bar-room rock in the form of the rousing "Standin' By The Same Old Love". Great drums on this one as well. "Sleep's Dark And Silent Gate" is a wonderful, muscular soulful rock ballad. Bonnie's voice is superb here. As soon as you hear it, you think "that's a Jackson Browne song". It is, of course, from 1976's "The Pretender". The title track is a late-night jazzy slow brush-drum ballad. Once again, the vocal delivery is top notch and the musicianship outstanding.

Bonnie knew her soul, and "Bye Bye Baby" is a catchy, infectious cover of a Mary Wells song from 1963. Bonnie gives it new life. Great track. "The Boy Can't Help It" is a slowed down, slide guitar-driven bluesy cover of a Little Richard song that echoes Bonnie's first three downhome bluesier albums. "(I Could Have Been Your) Best Old Friend" is a solid blues rock chugger that is instantly recognisable as Bonnie Raitt. Robert Palmer's "You're Gonna Get What's Coming" is the rockiest, most upbeat cut on the album and is just palpably enjoyable and uplifting. Great riffy guitar on it. The album ends on a slow note with the beautiful country soul of "(Goin') Wild For You". It has a lovely guitar solo in the middle and the vocals are evocative and moving. It also hits some serious power notes half way through as well.

This is definitely one of Bonnie Raitt's best albums. It is a pleasure from beginning to end. Highly recommended. I love it.

B+


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