Saturday, September 26, 2009
Betty Davis - Is It Love or Desire
Is It Love or Desire is the shelved album from 1976 by Funk Queen Betty Davis. Even the cover image suggests revelation, like she is about to show you something. It beckons you to make the discovery. She is going to show you everything. The album opens with multiple Betty voices all at once, a strong start. Betty brought back something for the lovers "When Romance Says Goodbye," the muthas "Bottom of The Barrel" (anti-disco + pro “real music”) and the fuckers "Whorey Angel" (one of the best song titles!) . Luckily, I have been waiting since only '02 and not the late 70's. I was more excited about this release than any other for the fall season. Heavy rotation is an understatement, to quote the title of track two "It's So Good!" I think she had to know that and now we can too. She literally makes you beg for it in "Let's Get Personal." She sounds a little like Mae West. It sounds like she presses right up to your speaker, you come closer to a one sided conversation. You are put in your place. The album will make you feel dirty. She talks about the rejection of the album in "Stars Starve, You Know." "They won't take what I'm givin', so it’s hard for me and the band to make a livin'." This album did not let me down; it is all over the place in the best way. Betty was incredibly original, creative and had a lot of ideas. It feels like a present. This is something for the Funk Antiques Roadshow and something for now.