Wright, Betty

Band members               Related acts

- Betty Wright - vocals




- none known





Genre: soul

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Betty Wright Live

Company: Alston

Catalog: AL-4408

Year: 1978

Country/State: Miami, Florida

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: still in shrink wrap (opened and torn) 

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5903

Price: $8.00


Yeah, 1978's "Betty Wright Live" was billed as a live set, but there was no way this one was an in-concert performance.  The performances were simply too smooth and anyone listening to the audience sounds would recognize them as being overdubbed.  It may have been recorded live in the studio, but it sure wasn't in front of a concert hall crowd.  That 'false advertising' didn't necessary destroy the set. Even thought she sounded kind of lame surrounded by the faked applause, Wright had such a good voice that she managed to salvage about a quarter of the collection.   


- Wright had a wonderful old school soul voice so it was a disappointment hearing her waste it on a quasi-dance number like 'Love Is Really My Game'.  The fact she roared through the song at hyper-speed made you wonder if it was a song she thought all that much about.   rating: ** stars

- Wright's extended opening biographical vamp was kind of funny, but it seemed to go on forever so that by the time she actually started singing 'Tonight Is the Night' you'd lost a big chunk of  interest.  Easy to see why her mom was appalled by this one ...    rating: ** stars

- A bluesy ballad that allowed her to stretch out a little, 'A Song for You' simply never managed to get into gear.  The fact the song was over seven minutes long made for a pretty lengthy gap in the proceedings.    rating: ** stars

- 'Clean Up Woman' may not have been her best song, but it was the one she's mostly widely known for.  There was no denying it was a classic slice of '70s soul, but Wright all but ignored it with her weird 11 minute medley.  Instead of showcasing the song, she spent most of the performance doing a series of impersonations - Sylvia, Chaka Kahn, Maria Muldaur, Billy Paul, The O'Jays, and Al Green.  Strange ...   rating: ** stars

- 'Co-written by Wright and Willie Clarke, You Can't See for Lookin' ' was another ballad that didn't reallay kick into gear until it hit the chorus.   rating: ** stars  

- Closing the album with the disco-ish 'Where Is the Love' didn't do a great deal to garner favor in my book.   rating: ** stars  


- 1978's 'Tonight Is the Night (Parts 1 and 2) (Alston catalog number 3740) # 11 R&B


All told it made for a strange marketing move that was hardly one of her standout releases.


"Betty Wright Live" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Love Is Really My Game   (Bobby Womack - Woods) - 5:18

2.) Tonight Is the Night   (Betty Wright - Willie Clarke) - 8:07

3.) A Song for You   (Leon Russell) - 7:25

(side 2)
1.) Clean Up Woman   (Clarence Reid - Willie Clarke) - 11:37

2.) Medley

    i.) Pillow Talk   (Michael Burton - Sylvia Robinson) 

    ii.) You Got the Love   (Chaka Kahn - Ray Parker)

    iii.) Mr. Melody   (Marvin Yancey)

    iv.) Midnight At the Oasis   (David Mitchum)

    v.) Me and Mrs. Jones   (Kenny Gamble - Leon Huff)

    vi.) You Are My Sunshine   (Jim Davis)

    vii.) Let's Get Married Today   (Al Green) 

    vii.) You Can't See for Lookin'   (Betty Wright - Willie Clarke) 

    viii.) Where Is the Love   (Howard Wayne Casey - R. Finch - Betty Wright - Willie Clarke) - 




Genre: soul

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Travelin' In the Right Circle

Company: Alston

Catalog: ALS-4410

Year: 1979

Country/State: Miami, Florida

Grade (cover/record): NM / NM

Comments: was sealed; shrink wrap opened and LP played once

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4332

Price: $8.00

Cost: $66.00


I'll readily admit to being a Betty Wright fan, but this self-produced 1979 album doesn't do much for me.  Wright's voice remains in fine form, but most of "Travelin' In the Wright Circle" sounds bland and unenthusiastic.  The fact there are a couple of discofied numbers ('Open the Door to Your Heart' and 'Listen to the Music (Dance)' doesn't exactly help the proceedings.  That said, Wright's simply too talented to turn in a set without at least a couple of redeeming numbers.  In this case 'Child of the Man' has a nice old school feel to it, while excluding the needless vamp the pretty ballad 'My Love Is' is probably the standout track.  Also in Wright's defense, part of the problem may have stemmed from her increasingly unfriendly business relationship with Henry Stone and Alston Records - in fact this would be her final studio release for the company.  

"Travelin' In the Wright Circle" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) I'm Telling You Now   (Betty Wright - J. McCray) - 4:44
2.) Child of the Man
   (R. Webb - B. Kendrick - Better Wright) - 4:24
3.) You're Just What I Need
   (G. Greene Betty Wright) - 4:05
4.) My Love Is   (J. McCray - Betty Wright) - 5:48

(side 2)
Open the Door to Your Heart  (Darrell Banks) / Love Train   (Kenny Gamble - Leon Huff) - 5:18
2.) I Believe It's Love   (Betty Wright - J. McCray) - 4:04
3.) Thank You for the Many Things You've Done   (Betty Wright - F. Fergeson) - 5:52
4.) Listen to the Music (Dance)  (R. Kendrick - Betty Wright) - 5:10



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