Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bettye LaVette: No Time To Live

Many British groups of the 1960s began by more or less copying records by Black American artists. Typically, even if they wrote their own singles, their albums would consist of these cover versions. And this is true even of the groups we think of as including the most creative songwriters, such as the Zombies and the Kinks.

One of the best records in this class is the Spencer Davis Group's Let Me Down Easy - in fact I am surprised to find it has never featured here when so many other Steve Winwood performances have. This performance of Let Me Down Easy was more or less a copy of the original US recording by Betty LaVette.

The good news is that Betty LaVette is still performing. More than that, she has reversed the flow of musical history by recording Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook, which is an album of her covers of songs by British groups - The Beatles, The Who, Led Zeppelin and so on.

So here after Steve Winwood singing Betty Lavette is Betty Lavette singing Steve Winwood. No Time to Live, which he wrote with Jim Capaldi, can be found on Traffic's second LP, er, Traffic.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If there were an award for Lib Dem blogger with the best musical taste, you'd walk it!

Betty is fantastic, often overlooked but one of the greatest soul singers of all time. "Almost" is my favourite track of hers. Timeless.