Song of the Week – You’ve Been In Love Too Long, Bonnie Raitt, and Martha & the Vandellas

Ignored           Obscured            Restored

One of my favorite Bonnie Raitt cuts is the opener on her third album, 1973’s Takin’ My Time – “You’ve Been In Love Too Long.”

The album was produced by John Hall of Orleans, and Raitt was backed by an A-list of musician friends.  “You’ve Been in Love Too Long” features Hall (lead guitar), the late Paul Barrere (rhythm guitar) and Bill Payne (keys) of Little Feat, the great Jim Keltner (drums), and longtime collaborator Freebo (bass).  No wonder the song has such snap, crackle and pop!

“You’ve Been in Love Too Long” is a cover of a 1965 Motown release by Martha and the Vandellas.  The original cracked the Billboard 100 top forty at #36 but wasn’t a “success” by Motown standards – especially as the follow up to “Nowhere to Run” that reached #8 and stayed on the charts for 11 weeks.

I’m usually partial to originals over covers, but not in this case.  Compared to Raitt, Martha Reeves track feels sluggish.  That isn’t an adjective that’s often used to describe a Motown song.  So the credit here goes to Raitt and Co.

Enjoy… until next week.

Song of the Week – Everybody’s Crying Mercy, Bonnie Raitt


Wow! It has been a rough couple of weeks for music lovers. In less than two weeks we’ve lost Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell and Mose Allison.

I planned to write about my favorite Leonard Cohen song, “Famous Blue Raincoat”, but I couldn’t find the time before my last post.

Then Leon Russell passed and I thought I’d write about his work with Marc Benno in the overlooked Asylum Choir. I especially like the Asylum Choir II album and suggest you listen to it on Spotify or YouTube if you’re not familiar with it. I already posted about Leon’s “Delta Lady” some time ago.

This past week has been full of MSM and social media attention to Mose Allison. Much has been duly focused on his own recordings. Other has drawn attention to cover versions such as The Who’s rockin’ take on “Young Man Blues” and the versions of “Parchman Farm” by bands as diverse as Blue Cheer, Cactus, Hot Tuna and Johnny Winter (among others).

So I’m left with few directions to take to pay tribute to these tremendous artists. But I think I’ve found a cut that hasn’t been overexposed that will do the trick. Today’s SotW is Bonnie Raitt’s rendition of Allison’s “Everybody’s Crying Mercy” from her 1973 album Takin’ My Time.

Bonnie’s recording is sultry and bluesy. The subtle harp, guitar licks, piano comps and late night bar bass all complement Raitt’s strong vocal performance.

Elvis Costello also took a run at the song on his covers album, Kojak Variety, from 1995. It’s not bad, but Bonnie’s hits the mark more effectively.

The SotW is all about exposure to songs that have been Ignored, Obscured or Restored. There are enough of those in the catalogs of Cohen, Russell and Allison to last for quite a while. Please treat yourself and go check them out.

Enjoy… until next week.