The husband-and-wife duo of Delaney & Bonnie Bramlett created some of the most distinctive and unique music of the early '70s, but their alchemical sound -- equal parts blue-eyed soul, blues, country, and gospel -- was often marginalized by the attention instead paid to the contributions of their famous "friends," including rock icons like Eric ... Read more in Amazon's Delaney & Bonnie Store
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Anyone who gives this album the once-through will be struck by the spirited delivery, sensuous atmosphere and Bonnie Bramlett's thrilling vocals. In fact, the record serves as a primer for what went on to be called "roots rock" and "blue-eyed soul" and represents the missing link in Eric Clapton's evolutionary tree. So, really, it's a rock masterpiece that ought to be in anyone's collection, right?
Not far wrong. Husband-and-wife team Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett released this, their debut, on the Stax label - then a struggling new imprint - in 1969. Bonnie already had the distinction of being Ike Turner's only white Ike-ette and her full-throated style bears the Tina Turner seal of approval; Delaney had a long pedigree as an in-demand session musician and songwriter: their first album should have gone stellar, especially when it was backed by Booker T & the MGs and the cream of Stax's soul/blues roster.
In fact, it performed only modestly at the time. Why? Hard to imagine, because this creamy confection of countrified soul just breathes effortless class - as well it might, considering who's on board. There was, one gathers, some prejudice at the time towards white musicians trying to appropriate black music. Certainly, their second offering took them in a more rock-orientated direction, a stylistic choice that landed them a supporting gig for Blind Faith, which is how Eric Clapton came to play on tour with them and their sound thoroughly infiltrates Clapton's '70s output. See? There's a lot of rock history condensed, sonnet-style, into this act.
I suspect the commercial indifference was more down to the album's feel-good, deep-in-love ethos, a statement of positive domestic bliss at odds with the increasingly embittered and politicised pop culture of '69 and '70. Take, for example, the album closer, Berns/Rogovoy's awesome "Piece of My Heart". Yes, it was Janis Joplin's version that got all the attention, but for me it's Bonnie who nails the song, in a slow-burning fashion, understated at first and building to an ecstatic climax without any of ol' Pearl's now rather dated histrionics.
Delaney can turn out a nice vocal flourish too, on Booker T's "Everybody Loves a Winner" (with the deathless chorus refrain "but when you lose - you lose alone!") and the romance and infectious sexual chemistry on "My Baby Specializes" and "It's Been a Long Time Coming" is simply irresistable.
I guess this wonderful album illustrates an important law in popular music, that the qualities that can make something a classic are the very features that can get it passed over on first release - its emotional authenticity, unadorned technical brilliance and a disdain for chasing "issues" through music. Think about Abbey Road, released the same year, where the Beatles went back to basics and won immortality, whereas who now listens to In the Court of the Crimson King or even Blind Faith?
There's a whole back catalogue to explore with Delaney & Bonnie and you could build a very respectable music collection of off-and-on the beaten track music from the late '60s and early '70s entirely by sourcing their bandmates and collaborators. But the place to start is "Home".Read more ›
I am very much a latecomer to the delights of the music of Delaney & Bonnie but now am very much a fan. I was aware of their connection with Eric Clapton but had not heard any of their work until 2009 when my local library was having a CDs clearout: I bought 4 for £2 and one of them was a reissue of D & B TOGETHER(1972)- which I soon learned was a sad/ironic title since they split both musically and maritally soon after its original release. I enjoyed the album so bought ON TOUR WITH ERIC CLAPTON - loved it -and subsequently read Jon Rowe's superbly written and comprehensive review of HOME and added it to the collection. This piece is intended as a supplement to what Jon has written since I see no point in going over the same ground.The following might be of interest:
1.Of the 16 tracks,6 are bonus ones and instead of being tacked onto the 10 songs on the original album, the running order has been totally re-sequenced:the bonus tracks appear at 1,5,9,12,13 and 14. The result is a seamless whole and, believe me, the extra songs are just as good as the original 10.
2. This package runs out at 47mins 24 seconds whereas the 10 tracks on the original album clock in at just under 30 minutes.If you bear in mind in 1969 an LP cost about 29 shillings, this is the equivalent in today's money of about £19! Not surprising it didn't sell too well. 3. By the time HOME was originally released by Stax, D&B had left the label after an acrimonious split: there's a lot of splits you'll find in D&B's story.Consequently,they weren't around to promote the album since they'd signed to Electra.To add to that, apparently,the same year, Stax released an avalanche of albums(27 in all?)in a vain bid to make a major impact on that market so it's no surprise HOME got lost somewhere down the line.
4.For me, there's a question mark over what D&B and Stax were aiming at because, according to the sleeve notes, the music was recorded between February 1968 and July 1969 which in those days was an unheard of length of time to "put down a record".Maybe Stax were after singles success and then changed course to release an LP to try and recoup some of their investment?
5.I have given this 4 stars not because of any reservations about the contents - because this is great soul music and deserves to be heard - but my personal view is that ON TOUR WITH ERIC CLAPTON is an absolute 5 star gem and the freedom and the loose feel of the band on it made for a better platform for them and you get that feeling of two singers at the top of their form.
Found this to be a very basic cd .its just so boring ,ithought it be a mixture of southern rock,& blues specialy as its one of Eric Clapton favourate bands the really only good bluesey sounding song on the cd is the old janis joplin track piece of my heart