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They Say I'm Different

4.8 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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They Say I'm Different
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Vinyl, July 19, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Vinyl LP pressing. Beautifully remastered reissue of the 1974 sophomore album from Funk diva Betty Davis (not to be confused with the actress Bette Davis!). In recent years, rappers from Ice Cube to Talib Kweli to Ludacris have rhymed over the intensely strong but sensual funk of Betty Davis. One can hardly imagine the genre-busting, culture-crossing musical magic of Outkast, Prince, Erykah Badu, Rick James, The Roots, or even the early Red Hot Chili Peppers without the influence of this R&B pioneer. In addition to the restoration of the incredible original cover art, the album features compelling and heartbreaking liner notes written by author and respected soul music scholar Oliver Wang (O-Dub/Soul Sides) and include Betty's second interview in decades, making these essential reissues for any soul or funk-rock collection. They Say I'm Different features a worthy-of-framing futuristic cover challenging David Bowie's science fiction funk with real rocking soul-fire, kicked off with the savagely sexual Shoo-B-Doop and Cop Him (later sampled by Ice Cube), following that with classic cuts like Don't Call Her No Tramp and the hilarious, hard, deep funk of He Was A Big Freak. Also available on CD.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Shoo-B-Doop and Cop Him
  2. He Was a Big Freak
  3. Your Mama Wants Ya Back
  4. Don't Call Her No Tramp
  5. Git In There
  6. They Say I'm Different
  7. 70's Blues
  8. Special People


Product Details

  • Vinyl (July 19, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Light In The Attic
  • ASIN: B000VXLBNG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,591 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Betty Davis Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Despite the "freaky" outfit on the cover, Betty Davis' "They Say I'm Different" eschews the space alien/psychedelic/glam/absurdist themes of contemporaries like Parliament & co. If those groups are the Bob Dylans of funk, Betty Davis (one-time wife of Miles Davis) is the Janis Joplin. The music has the simplicity and punchiness of blues, the vocals are screamy and guttural, and the lyrics are choc-a-bloc with sexuality ("He Was a Big Freak"), 70s slang ("Shoo-B-Doop and Cop Him"), and gutsy self-possession ("Don't Call Her No Tramp").

Davis' alternate screaming and cooing is complemented by rich, swampy timbres from the backing band, which does without the brightness of horns - there is a muted trumpet line towards the end of track 1, but that's about it. The rhythm section is instead filled out by guitar, organ, clav, and acoustic piano, riffing and oodling above the bass and drum parts. The groove stays loose through both slow-stewing tracks like "Special People" and more propulsive numbers like "Git In There".

This particular edition (I bought mine from amazon) comes in an attractive digipak and has a generous (30 page) album booklet, and apparently with this CD release, Davis is finally getting the royalties.

This album is truly excellent. For those like myself who have a distaste for lengthy jams and meaningless lyrics, but still enjoy funk's danceability and punchiness, They Say I'm Different is a revelation. And aside from sheer sexual strength, tracks like "70s Blues" and "Don't Call Her No Tramp" have genuine emotional resonance.
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Format: Audio CD
Betty Davis is an artist I've been hearing a lot of hype about for years.'They Say I'm Different' is an album I've been hearing about forever as well.I was almost entirely certain there was no way that this album could possibly live up to the hype.Well when Light In The Attic records decided to put this out on CD,.....well to put it mildly this MORE then lived up to it's longheld mystique and hype.The best way to describe this music is unhinged and unpolished funk.EVERY song on it fits that description.As for Betty Davis's singing,it lays somewhere between the the styles of Tina Turner,Sly Stone and Janis Joplin.All of the songs celebrate her liberated spirit but there's one that just blows you away in less then a second."He Was A Big Freak".......I don't know WHAT MAN she was referring to but she really paints herself as a wild,wild funky diva BIG TIME here;she wails out about her "man" who enjoys being tied up.The Ohio Players did a lot of S&M based album art at the this time but TALKING OPENLY ABOUT IT,A FEMALE FUNK SINGER?And it never seems like a gimmick either because you actually believe she lived a lot of the "wild style" she speaks about.And the grooves on that and every other song here are as raw a funk as you're probably ever going to hear.
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Format: Audio CD
Don't You Call Her No Tramp!!! Ms. Davis took her name fromher whacked-out husband of that time, the late great Miles Davis, andit's obvious some of his jazz-fusoid ways were rubbing off on herfunkadelia. This album kicks butt, and holds up great twenty sevenyears later (it was her 2nd outing, not her debut). "She Do BeDo and Cop Him", "He Was a Big Freak ('I Used to Beat HimWith My Turquoise Chain/He Used to Love It/I Used to Dig it')"and "Don't Call Her No Tramp!" are the vocal and sessionplayer standouts.
This is the LP you put on at the party andeveryone goes wack and tears the roof off the sucker... kind of likethat great album cover depiction on Marvin Gaye's "I WantYou".
Why on earth this was not a number one hit upon itsrelease still astonishes me.
Punk Funk? ... Dance Jazz? BeyondCategorization?
We miss you, Betty. END
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Format: Audio CD
We had never heard funk like that before. And from a lady.
"They Say I'm Different" was the second of three albums that Betty Davis released during the early-mid 1970's, originally on Just Sunshine records. All the songs on this album which Betty produces, were written and arranged by her.
Of particular note is the title cut "They say I'm different"
This song tells the story of Betty's musical journey. and speaks of her many influences; from blues to soul, from Muddy Waters to Sly Stone. She's one of the reasons why Miles Davis (her x) went in the musical direction he did in the early 70's; ie towards a rock jazz style. She had a great influence of Prince, Madonna, Nona Hendrix, Gloria Trevi, and Larry Graham.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
This is an incredibly funky and hard rocking album. As far as comparisons go, Betty Davis is an original. Sure, there are echoes of Sly Stone, reminds me a bit of some of the early Parliament albums too minus the vocal harmonies and horn charts, but she is in a class by herself. Tempo changes and transitions that are unexpected. Lyrics that are funny as all. Vocals, at least on this album, are less about the range and harmonies and more about the attitude. Her backing band is also first rate.

All of her studio albums are worth owning, and listening too, but for an introduction "They Say I'm Different" is a great place to start and my favorite of her albums. This particular version has some great bonus tracks too. Surprised it took me so long to find this album, but I'm glad that I did. Just a great album.
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