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They Say I'm Different
LP (12" album, 33 rpm), 180 gram
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They Say I'm Different
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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.
Top customer reviews
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.
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.
She is funny, sexy and smart and so are the lyrics. Nothing but music legends contributed to this album. So if you want to get out the matrix of garbage called today's music I suggest you take this red pill.
I hope more people my age take a listen.