Bonnie Raitt - Classic or Dud?

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Annoyingly dull MOR Grammy whore? Or legitimately great and unique blues-rocker goddess?

I lean towards the former.

My name is Kenny (My name is Kenny), Wednesday, 22 January 2003 21:05 (fourteen years ago) Permalink


hstencil, Wednesday, 22 January 2003 21:10 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Classic. Gotta represent for the alma mater!

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Wednesday, 22 January 2003 21:12 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I wish I had a copy of her song "Have A Heart" from the movie "Heart Condition." I wish I never heard her cover of "Burning Down The House".

I like her as a person, but I'll say dud because I'm realizing I'd rather not hear again the overwhelming majority of songs I've heard of hers.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Wednesday, 22 January 2003 21:14 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Bonnie Raitt went to Harvard?

Kris (aqueduct), Wednesday, 22 January 2003 21:42 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

It was Radcliffe at the time, but yup. She lived in my wife's dorm.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Wednesday, 22 January 2003 21:54 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

My dad always liked her, has just about all of her album. Never stuck with me either way, though, I remember his Crystal Gayle records more.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 22 January 2003 22:51 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Lady can sing like no one's business, plays a mean slide guitar, and mostly has good taste. She got slicker as time went by, sure, but Nick of Time has a bunch of great songs on it, and even some of the subsequent ones are pretty good. Her version of "Angel From Montgomery" is the definitive one, and I say that as someone who actually likes John Prine's voice. Plus, bonus points for her efforts on behalf of blues and R&B elders -- both in getting them some recognition, and getting them some health insurance. Classy, class act, classic.

Jesse Fox (Jesse Fox), Thursday, 23 January 2003 06:26 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Fuckin' right on.

Nick Mirov (nick), Thursday, 23 January 2003 07:36 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I totally want to hear her do the Radcliffe fight song in concert.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 23 January 2003 15:41 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The Neptunes apparently want to work with her for their next project.

Marcello Carlin, Thursday, 23 January 2003 15:50 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I remember reading something about that. VH1 is the next frontier.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 23 January 2003 15:53 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Is there a point where "dadrock" becomes acceptable?


TMFTML (TMFTML), Thursday, 23 January 2003 16:56 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
She does a great 'Too Long at the Fair' from the mid-70s on _The Old Grey Whistle Test_ DVD that just came out.

57 7th (calstars), Tuesday, 29 June 2004 17:35 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"I Can't Make You Love Me" is a pretty good ballad.

And I thought that before Pharrell called it "the illest song ever."

jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 29 June 2004 18:52 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

JesseFox pretty otm. Her earthiness fuels rather than compromises her intelligence, but it's also responsible for her questionable taste - she doesn't care much about it.

gabbneb (gabbneb), Tuesday, 29 June 2004 19:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Her live version of "Angel from Montgomery" on the John Prine anthology is just about one of the most moving songs I have ever heard.

Scott CE (Scott CE), Tuesday, 29 June 2004 19:25 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

She looks a bit like Jean Grey in that painting.

57 7th (calstars), Tuesday, 29 June 2004 19:49 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"Thing Called Love" is great. She ain't no queen of Sheba!

miloauckerman (miloauckerman), Tuesday, 29 June 2004 20:10 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I've got nothing against her. I'm kinda sick of her handful of biggies (like I'm sick of 85% of the meagre playlist of the radio station that plays here all day), but I'm sure I'd like her '70s stuff better, and one day I'll check some of it out. Plus she plays a mean slide, and redheads are always cool.

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Tuesday, 29 June 2004 20:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I regret calling her a dud in my last post. She'd make nice at-home listening.

CeCe Peniston (Anthony Miccio), Tuesday, 29 June 2004 20:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, fuck listening to her on-the-go.

jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 29 June 2004 21:19 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I just mean my indifference to her was based on hearing her on radio/seeing her on TV. If I was just resting at my place reading her album might sound pretty good.

CeCe Peniston (Anthony Miccio), Tuesday, 29 June 2004 21:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

no way...she's "jeep beats" all the way! pump in the hummer for the summer.

M@tt He1geson (Matt Helgeson), Tuesday, 29 June 2004 21:22 (thirteen years ago) Permalink


amateur!st (amateurist), Tuesday, 29 June 2004 21:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Of course she is. She can still kick some serious ass.

jim wentworth (wench), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 01:28 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

As someone else said, "I Can't Make You Love Me" is a pretty good ballad. It sounds rater dated and of it's time, but the emotion is (here goes) heartfelt and soulful.

mentalist (mentalist), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 03:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I have mixed feelings about Bonnie Raitt. Is being the female Eric Clapton a good thing? Her version of "Love Has No Pride" is pretty devastating.

Sara Sherr, Wednesday, 30 June 2004 04:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I just got a collection of her 70s stuff and was put-off by how Jackson Browne-So California 70's it sounded. The blues are fine but a lot of it just felt very played to me. Maybe it sounded better back then?

57 7th (calstars), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 14:29 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

seriously, listen to 1972's Give It Up before you pass judgment on Bonnie, it's a stone-cold blues-rock classic.

Josh Love (screamapillar), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 14:33 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"too soon to tell" is another great ballad. that El Lay studio style is sort of neutral, IMO: it can be used in an exciting or a desultory manner.

amateur!st (amateurist), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 14:58 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Is there a point where "dadrock" becomes acceptable?

if you're shallow enough to cut out large swaths of the musical landscape for being "dadrock," then i don't know. probably better just to keep the blinders on.

amateur!st (amateurist), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 15:00 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

big ol redheaded dud. blues and roots as freedried terrier attrocity.

i wish i could make a video with dennis quaid.

jack cole (jackcole), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 15:01 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i'm sort of tempted to draw a line in the sand here. i'm not raitt's biggest fan, but i feel like someone who claims to appreciate rock/pop music and finds NOTHING of value in her music has got, as noted above, some serious blinders on.

i mean, yeah, she's white, she went to radcliffe, she sings the bloze, her recent records are slick, she records with El Lay studio dudes, she has boring videos, she's a vh1 staple, all of your friends' parents have her records alongside nanci griffith and those putamayo comps. none of that matters though!

amateur!st (amateurist), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 15:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink


amateur!st (amateurist), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 15:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"Give It Up or Let Me Go" completely invalidates the need to have this discussion.

Josh Love (screamapillar), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 15:06 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

ha, just about the only music my mom listens to is nanci griffith

Josh Love (screamapillar), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 15:06 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

raitt et al:our generation::"classic pop":baby boomers
(see "old world"--modern lovers for ref.)

amateur!st (amateurist), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 15:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

*listening to Bonnie when I go home for lunch*

Josh Love (screamapillar), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 15:08 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I like her playing, but tend to appreciate her music more than I actually dig it. It's something about her singing -- a lazy edge to it that seems like subsitute soul.

briania (briania), Wednesday, 30 June 2004 15:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

eight months pass...
woah, her version of Del Shannon's "Runaway" is pretty hot! big props!! I totally need to buy all her records.

Stormy Davis (diamond), Sunday, 13 March 2005 10:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

love 'Nick of Time'(the song) and 'I can't make you love me', and haven't been privy to/subjected to anything else that would ruin my Raitt vibe, so classic by default

tremendoid (tremendoid), Sunday, 13 March 2005 10:52 (twelve years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
again, so classic

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Wednesday, 4 May 2005 18:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"love has no pride"!!

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Wednesday, 4 May 2005 18:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Not a huge fan, but "Stayed Too Long at the Fair" is a fucking classic. One of these days I'll get some of her '70s stuff. Glad she made her money, don't care about her '80s and '90s music at all.

edd s hurt (ddduncan), Wednesday, 4 May 2005 22:53 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I love her version of the Roy Orbison song "You Got It." And for some reason I've never gotten tired of "Something To Talk About"; it's both classic and dud. She takes this generic song, sings the hell out of it, adds some unexpectedly gritty guitar, and the thing was more subversive than anything on Top 40 radio at the time.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 5 May 2005 00:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Classic for "Angel From Montgomery" alone. Anything else worthwhile is gravy, anything less than worthwhile is pardoned.

rogermexico (rogermexico), Thursday, 5 May 2005 00:04 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Alfred Soto otm, as is frequently the case

gabbneb (gabbneb), Thursday, 5 May 2005 01:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink

So I didn't like Eric Clapton's Tears In Heaven so much, and I wasn't all that excited about the unplugged version of Layla that got flogged to death on the radio. It kind of bothered that Mum told me to turn down my Cream albums as a teen, yet she in turn cranked up EC's Unplugged album in later years. Sick of all that as I am, I can't pronounce him a dud for the simple fact that he's really not. Cheese that your mum likes doesn't cancel out damn fine guitar playing & a hefty back catalog of kickass songs.

(and I reach my point): Nor would I do Bonnie Raitt such a disservice. She has earned the right to be a classic. Bonnie rocks!!!!!

VegemiteGrrl (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 5 May 2005 02:22 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"i can't make you love me" is pretty devastating.

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Thursday, 5 May 2005 05:18 (twelve years ago) Permalink

it kind of makes me sad that anyone could call bonnie's music a dud. even if it's not always the most original, the dedication and simplicity that she brings to her work is comforting, beautiful and timeless.

Surmounter, Friday, 27 February 2009 14:07 (eight years ago) Permalink

the last of the expensive L.A. studio-rock productions

i really like this description, alfred

Surmounter, Friday, 27 February 2009 14:08 (eight years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Stormy Davis, Saturday, 24 April 2010 07:04 (seven years ago) Permalink

Stormy Davis, Saturday, 24 April 2010 07:06 (seven years ago) Permalink

(whole show available on YouTube, onv. so good)

Stormy Davis, Saturday, 24 April 2010 07:10 (seven years ago) Permalink

never heard her 'angel from montgomery" before. kinda hits it good.

underwater, please (bear, bear, bear), Saturday, 24 April 2010 07:21 (seven years ago) Permalink

oh yeah, it does. I like it better than Prine's, actually

Stormy Davis, Saturday, 24 April 2010 07:26 (seven years ago) Permalink

I mean, it kinda needs a female voice! i think even JP probably feels great that she embraced the song

Stormy Davis, Saturday, 24 April 2010 07:27 (seven years ago) Permalink

the other youtube one is even better ... is it 'Old Grey Whistle Test'?

Stormy Davis, Saturday, 24 April 2010 07:28 (seven years ago) Permalink

yeah, it was on the 'Old Grey Whistle Test', but it looks like the You Tube bastards deleted it. the version on there rules so hard, if I had the DVD, i'd just go ahead and re-up right now. oh well, here is Bonnie from the same segment doing Joni

Stormy Davis, Saturday, 24 April 2010 07:33 (seven years ago) Permalink

yeah, between that and hearing megan mullaly's 'far from me' it's been a good week of finding great fem-fronted Prine versions

underwater, please (bear, bear, bear), Saturday, 24 April 2010 07:36 (seven years ago) Permalink

actually ... I'm totally off base .. "Too Long at the Fair" ain't a Joni song at all, it's by some guy i never heard of .. not sure why I thought it was JM (kinda sounds like her!)

Stormy Davis, Saturday, 24 April 2010 07:40 (seven years ago) Permalink

Luck of the Draw is almost a great album; it might have been if she hadn't encased L.A. blooze approximations in amber. The more songs she writes herself, the better the results. "All At Once" brings tears to my eyes.

oh -- Nick of Time's title song really nails middle-age.

Throwing Muses are reuniting for my next orgasm! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 24 April 2010 17:54 (seven years ago) Permalink

"nick of time" is an all-time jam in my opinion & "have a heart" is underrated - that "hey! don't lie to me" opening is great and her "or don't you have a heart?" delivery in the chorus is A+

brad whitford's guitar explorations (underrated aerosmith albums I have loved), Saturday, 24 April 2010 18:07 (seven years ago) Permalink

My problem with "Have a Heart" is the stranded synthesizer.

Throwing Muses are reuniting for my next orgasm! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 24 April 2010 20:16 (seven years ago) Permalink

Homeplate was one of my top ten in the 70s alternative poll thingy earlier this year. She's one of my favorite singers.

that's not my post, Sunday, 25 April 2010 04:48 (seven years ago) Permalink

eight months pass...

She's doing right by me this evening. Not gonna lie.

Sauvignon Blanc Mange (B.L.A.M.), Sunday, 23 January 2011 01:00 (six years ago) Permalink

THIS IS WEIRD. I was going to revive this because I heard "Not the Only One" this morning and remembered, again, what a good example of geezer-rock Luck of the Draw is.

Rich Lolwry (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 23 January 2011 01:07 (six years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

damn she rules

by another name (amateurist), Saturday, 18 June 2011 01:36 (six years ago) Permalink

suck it, hipsters!

by another name (amateurist), Saturday, 18 June 2011 01:36 (six years ago) Permalink

One more vote for Give It Up, one of my personal 10 best from the '70s. Rootsy, bluesy, folky, emotive, and chock full of great songs (some her own, and some covers, including the definitive version of "Love Has No Pride", the album closer).

Later-period hits were good too. I still like it whenever "Something to Talk About" comes on the radio.

Lee626, Saturday, 18 June 2011 04:31 (six years ago) Permalink

"Not the Only One" is a beautiful song.

Clarke B., Saturday, 18 June 2011 15:33 (six years ago) Permalink


bentelec, Saturday, 18 June 2011 15:34 (six years ago) Permalink


by another name (amateurist), Sunday, 19 June 2011 00:43 (six years ago) Permalink

I love Luck of the Draw - an almost perfect studio-rock album.

The Edge of Gloryhole (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 19 June 2011 01:01 (six years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...

The mighty fine Jonathan Bogart killing it with this overview here:

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 19:59 (five years ago) Permalink

yeah good read

some dude, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 20:00 (five years ago) Permalink

Indeed, He's OTM about Froom and "Spit of Love." Raitt's one of those artists whose two albums I own I love passionately but always forget to investigate further.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 10 April 2012 20:08 (five years ago) Permalink

really great job from Jonathan.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 20:08 (five years ago) Permalink

A chunk of her catalog bores me tbh. Not her singing and playing, which are often forceful and declarative in the way Jonathan argues, but the choice of material. But when she's coaxed by the right song she's like a cool aunt. She was by far the highlight at this year's Grammys.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 10 April 2012 20:25 (five years ago) Permalink

That's a good list above, but no "Pride" no credibility.

Hey Jude, don't make it BAD MENTAL HEALTH (Dan Peterson), Tuesday, 10 April 2012 21:34 (five years ago) Permalink

cool article!

this is quite sly i must say: "Modern adult-contemporary musicians like Faith Hill or Neko Case..."

goole, Tuesday, 10 April 2012 21:45 (five years ago) Permalink

Always forget it's Bruce Hornsby playing the majestic organ line in "I Can't Make You Love Me." It even reduces Phil Collins to tears:

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 10 April 2012 23:54 (five years ago) Permalink

So far digging the new album. Here's what I posted on Rolling Country (because we'd been talking about Joe Henry and because I'd just listened to Slipstream twice straight through)
True that xpost Joe Henry can stuff some boredom into tracks, but he does great w with the ones he produces and writes and co-writes on Bonnia Raitt's new Slipstream. The co-write's with Loudon Wainwright, melds with the real good Dylan-written track before it, which he also produced, so Raitt's playing with Bill Frisell and Greg Leiz, no ambient 'llowed, not in the usual elevator sense anyway, just some eloquent picking. She and ex NRBQ/long-time Nashville cat Al Anderson play great elsewhere (she produced most of the set, sounds like she and Al may have co-written some too)They even squeeze and slap some juice out of "On Down The Line," basically a boring-ass yacht rock barnacle. The only other song choice I'd quarrel with so far is one about a Hollywood marriage as run through the evil media blah blah, but some musical diversion there too. So far seems like if you jumped from her 70s peaks to this, you'd be on the same level, or close enough to keep your balance--streaming here for nown

― dow, Wednesday, April 11, 2012 12:32 AM (10 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Player's in the right rail, despite blank in the middle of page.

― dow, Wednesday, April 11, 2012 12:35 AM (9 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

dow, Wednesday, 11 April 2012 15:37 (five years ago) Permalink

Oops, sorry here's the activated link, and w much better sound than the NPR stream, at least on my machine (with ILX headphones star Koss Proplus, available at v non-audiophile prices, be good to your ears and music, brothers and sisters)

dow, Wednesday, 11 April 2012 15:42 (five years ago) Permalink

ILX headphones threads star/frequent choice, that is.

dow, Wednesday, 11 April 2012 15:43 (five years ago) Permalink


"Stripped down both lyrically and structurally, but revved up in energy and dynamics, the Dave Edmunds cover "Me and the Boys" formed the centerpiece of what would be called her "new wave" album, Green Light."

scott seward, Wednesday, 11 April 2012 16:09 (five years ago) Permalink

Cool. Yeah, Green Light's real good, one of her most rocking. For some reason, I stopped keeping up after that, but everything from her first decade of recording is worth checking out.

dow, Wednesday, 11 April 2012 17:28 (five years ago) Permalink

Wouldn't call it "new wave" though, unless "Tumblin' Dice"-type Stones, NRBQ, Rockpile were new wave--even so, no synths, no skinny ties materialize when I listen (more like bike rides along and down Thrill Hill, past the woods and toward the reservoir)

dow, Wednesday, 11 April 2012 17:32 (five years ago) Permalink

Ha, I think Scott was noting the error in calling it a Dave Edmunds cover when it was in fact NRBQ...

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 11 April 2012 17:39 (five years ago) Permalink

Yeah, but her stripped-down version does have kind of a Rockpile thing too, ditto some other stuff on the album, so the tour guide at least made an appropriate mistake.

dow, Wednesday, 11 April 2012 17:49 (five years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Very happy for her that she's scored her biggest hit in years: Starbucks rock that's cool.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 26 April 2012 00:28 (five years ago) Permalink

what hit?

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Thursday, 26 April 2012 01:10 (five years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

goddamn I love the way the chorus hits on this

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 9 May 2013 05:43 (four years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

New album is damn good. I've waited my whole life for a Bonnie Raitt cover of INXS' "Need You Tonight."

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 28 February 2016 20:30 (one year ago) Permalink

Also like the fast Los Lobos cover, more LL please ma'am (wonder what she thinks of the Blasters, also Dave and Phil, solo and together). The prowley blues-rock grooves remind me of Little Feat backing her on "I Feel The Same," and she turned up on some or at least one of their albums, right? There were rumors that she was asked to join the band, before and/or after Lowell George died. I'd request covers of him as well, but might be too many memories involved. Meanwhile, I'm also digging the elements I associate with Philly soul, and the no-b.s. piano ballads, the self-written and the Joe Henry song she credits with luring her back; she'd lived that one too.
Good interview w David Ritz here:

And check YouTube for her Grammys performance of "The Thrill Is Gone" with Gary Clark Jr. and Chris Stapleton.

dow, Monday, 29 February 2016 01:12 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

My playlist.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 23 June 2017 02:56 (six months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

listening to the Streetlights album, feel like it's categorized as singer/songwriter/rock, but really it's a great soul album

niels, Friday, 7 July 2017 16:28 (six months ago) Permalink

five months pass...

I love the progress of this thread. Starts out all "eh" and "meh" and develops into almost unanimous "PRAISE BONNIE" by the end.

For the record, PRAISE BONNIE.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Sunday, 10 December 2017 00:51 (one month ago) Permalink

Nick of Time is one of the best songs ever by anyone

voodoo chili, Sunday, 10 December 2017 01:06 (one month ago) Permalink

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