3.21.2010

Steppin Out In Her I.Miller Shoes


Betty Davis   ***1/2 out of 5


Betty Davis was a funky lady.  Not the famous actress from the 80's cut "Betty Davis Eyes" but the former wife of Miles Davis.  This self titled album is probably most famous for "Anti-Love Song" which is a bass heavy groove that most funk fans will recongnize from many a compilations.  The whole album is a bass heavy funk fest from beginning to end with a raw sound and Betty's scratchy/dirty vocals.  Sample heads, like myself, will recognize "If I'm In Luck, I Just Might Get Picked Up" which was sampled by Ice Cube for "Once Upon A Time In The Projects" from his album "Amerikkkas Most Wanted".  The album continues with fast moving fuzz bass heavy jams like "Steppin' Out In Her I.Miller Shoes" which is about a lady moving to the big city to get eaten up by the entertainment industry.  The song was written about her friend Devon Wilson who was Jimi Hendrix's one time girlfriend and also the subject of Hendrix's "Angel".  After doing some research, I found out the album didn't sell well due to radio stations in 1973 not playing the singles because of the albums suggestive lyrics.  One of the most interesting things about the album is the band she put together to play on it.  Some of the band members are Gregg Errico(sly and the family stone), Larry Graham (sly and the family stone), Willie Sparks (Graham Central Station), Patryce Banks (Graham Central Station) and two of the horn players from Tower Of Power.  The most interesting member is a teenage Neil Schon who would later join Journey on guitar!!??  This album is funky and nasty at the same time!  It was recently reissued on cd with four bonus tracks on Light In The Attic records.  Highly recomended!

UPDATE: "Once Upon A Time In The Projects" by Ice Cube actually sampled "Shoo B Doo and Cop Him" by Betty Davis from her second album "They Say I'm Different".