Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Bonnie Raitt - Green Light (1982)

Keep this heart in mind....


Released in 1982

Bonnie Raitt wanted to get even more rocking on this album , three years on from the excellent The Glow. She had been listening to new wave and wanted to produce an upbeat album. She did just that, probably confounding her early acoustic blues fans, but that was ten years or more in the past.


1. Keep This Heart In Mind
2. River Of Tears
3. Can't Get Enough
4. Willya Wontcha
5. Let's Keep It Between Us
6. Me And The Boys
7. I Can't Help Myself
8. Baby Come Back
9. Talk To Me
10. Green Lights                                  

Keep This Heart In Mind is a solid, riffs and saxophone rocker to open with. River Of Tears has a Honky Tonk Women riff and a copper-bottomed bluesy, gravelly rock vocal from Bonnie. Can't Get Enough has a sort of rock/reggae beat and rocks pretty solidly despite a bit of eighties-style synth-funk backing. Willya Wontcha is a real piano-driven, slide guitar bar-room rocker. Let's Keep It Between Us is a typical Bonnie Raitt mid-tempo, driving bluesy rocker. It was actually written by Bob Dylan but it has never appeared on any of his albums.

Me And The Boys is a lively throwaway rocker but perfectly enjoyable at that. It is a bit similar to some of The Rolling Stones' material from the same period. I Can't Help Myself is a sublime, slow riffy, evocative rock number. Bonnie's voice is excellent here, as indeed it is on all the album. The Equals' thumping Baby Come Back is covered energetically, although Bonnie struggles to match the backing, vocally, just a little bit. It is quirkily and catchily appealing, however. Talk To Me is an ebullient, slightly funky track with some searing saxophone near the end.

Green Lights is another Stonesy rocker, very similar to some of the material on Emotional Rescue. All this material is very straight ahead rock, and not really new wave, despite Raitt's listening habits. It was obviously far more popular an album in the US than it ever was in the UK, where it wouldn't fit in very well in 1982's post punk/new romantic zeitgeist. Mind you, The Stones put stuff like this out in 1980 and 1983.

This album, for me, although most enjoyable, is not quite as good as The Glow, where there were some excellent covers of soul songs turned into rock songs. I really liked them. This is more of a straight ahead rock album. A good one though, nevertheless.


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