When Betty Everett signed to Fantasy records in 1970, it was a great opportunity for her to demonstrate her diverese vocal abilities. This included, Soul, Blues, R&B, Soul and Funk. This cd captures 18 of these recordings and comes with comprehensive liner notes. Here's an overview of what's in store for you.
1. "I Gotta Tell Somebody" is a funky, soulful midtempo song with great horns arranged by Donny Hathaway and charted #22 US R&B, #96 US.
2. "Danger" is a favorite of mine and peaked at #79 on US R&B. Her strong vocals and the great lyrics makes this song stand out for me, reminding me a little of Margie Joseph.
3. "Why Are You Leaving Me" is a great ballard that screams of pain, passion and a deep love lost.
4. "Be Anything (But Be Mine)" is another great soulful strong ballard by Irving Gordon and was covered by Ruth Brown. It reminds me a little of something Aretha Franklin would sing, it's no wonder that Betty was a contender for the Queen of Soul crown.
5. "Who Will Be The Next Fool" is a blusey type of song that was a hit for Bobby Bland in 1962. Betty puts her mark on it by singing with such conviction that it makes you feel exactly how it is when someone leaves you for another.
6. "Ain't Nothing Gonna Change Me" was her second Fantasy single. This midtempo soulful R&B song charted at #32 US. R&B with happy sounding ipbeat "What Is It" on the B side; both songs produced by Calvin Carter, with D. Hathaway doing the charts.
7. "I'm Your Friend" is what I call "bluesy soul", a sound that was made popular by many artists during the 70's. It may remind you of the great Ann Peebles.
8. "Try It, You'll Like It" was composed by Johnny "Guitar" Watson and David Axlerod. Watson's funky guitar solos are outstanding. This song along with tracks 4, 5 were all part of "Love Rhymes", Betty's first album at Fantasy.
9. "The Things I Say To His Shoulders" is a mellow R&B type of song that reminds me of Barbara Mason. It has great music and tells a little story about something that we have all expereinced sometime in our lives.
10. "Don't Let It End ('Til You Let It Begin)" is a soulful love song that speaks of a pleading love that she doesn't want to end.
11. "As Far As We Can Go" is a strong, heartfelt song with a more pop approach leaves you longing for more. Recorded in 1975 and written by Jim Grady it's unfortunate that it did not chart.
12. "Sweet Dan" produced by Watson and Axlerod can best be descibed as blusey funk and at #38, was betty's last record to chart in the top 40.
13. "I'm Afraid of Losing You" is one of my favorite soul ballards because of the passionate way Betty delivers the song; you believe every word she says.
14. "Bedroom Eyes" by the Gene and Billy Page and "Just A Little Piece of You" by Stevie Wonder and Syreeta Wright, took on a more pop sound which was timely and should have done more on the charts.
15. "Happy Endings" ironically was also the name of Betty's last album at Fantasy
and was an attempt to gear her songs away from the blues oriented sound heard on many of these tracks. It's a nice song, but didn't make the impact that it should have.
This cd is great because you realize that Miss Betty Everett was more than just thethe "Shoop, Shoop Song". She had a wide vocal range with an extensive repetoire and should have had more recording success. Of course you have to remember that at this time there were a lot of other singers out there who could belt and sing a song; making a hit is another story. Thank goodness we get a chance to hear it here on her Fantasy recordings. I recommend this to Betty Evertt fans who enjoyed the pop sound of "Shoop, Shoop (It's In His Kiss)" but want to hear what other types of music this great singer recorded. And though Miss Everett is no longer with us, her music will live on forever.