Funk mistress Betty Davis classic 1976 album Nasty Gal has recently been remastered and re-released. If you’re looking for a funk record, a make-out record, or a diva record – look no further. Nasty Gal is a trifecta of all that.
The title track opens the album, and Davis comes out swinging with her proclamation to an ex-lover that she is a nasty gal, and her ex will now miss her freaky self after she leaves him for spreading lies about her. It’s a fierce vocal performance that instantly lets you know that she wasn’t screwing around in 1976.
As if the opener wasn’t freak enough, the next track is “Talkin’ Trash,” which is all about dirty talk during freaky sex. “Do whatever you want to do to me. Be a freak, I don’t care. Tell me what gets you off,” she sings while an antsy guitar churns behind her.
“Dedicated to the Press” has great slap bass propelling Davis’ takedown on 1976 media. She feels bad that they can’t understand where she’s coming from or that they won’t join her on the ride. “You and I” is a lovely jazz ballad about deciding to leave a lover. “Feelins” has a fast groove that should’ve been the theme to a third Cleopatra Jones film with its “Hey! Hey! Hey!” chants and car chase beats.
“F.U.N.K.” has Davis giving shout-outs to Steve Wonder, Tina Turner, Al Green, Jimi Hendrix, Aretha Franklin, Funkadelic, and others. “Gettin’ Kicked Off, Havin’ Fun” has Davis purring about having a good time and encouraging a lover to not be afraid to get down with her. The organ and bass work on “Shut Off the Light” is outstanding, and Davis’ vocals are downright intimidating as she pretty much demands a sweaty romp before bed.
The groove on “This Is It” makes you feel like a bad ass, but just know that you will never be half the bad ass Betty Davis and her crew were on this record (or any other time, really). The album ends with one of her sexiest tunes ever – “The Lone Ranger.” There’s not much I can write about this song that would do it justice. I can’t guarantee that this song will get you laid, but I’d say playing it will probably improve your chances by at least fifty percent. Davis’ voice moves around you like the hands of a masseuse and her band mixes funk and psychedelia to produce an intoxicating brew. “Is it true that you want to hi ho my silver?” Davis asks. Yes. The answer to that is always “Yes.”
This is the album you wish was the soundtrack to your sex life, even if you won’t admit it.
Keep your mind open.
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