In '86, Bonnie Raitt was dropped by her label, Warner Brother's Records, following the completion of her ninth album. She had recorded for Warner since her debut in '71. And while her brand of Country/Blues - Rock found critical acclaim and praise from fellow musicians, it never really connected with the general public . The closest thing Raitt had to a hit was a cover of Del Shannon's "Runaway." She also had an alcohol problem. It looked like her career was over. And for the time being, it was.
Raitt checked into a rehab program in '87. The following year she signed a contract with Capitol Records. Her first assignments were recording songs for a Disney tribute and a children's album. It wouldn't be worth mentioning except that these projects put her in touch with producer Don Was.
Was guided Raitt's recording of the "Nick Of Time" CD. While the title track, a mid-tempo song about aging was a huge hit, the CD's highlight was a cover, John Haitt's "Thing Called Love." The song featured, among other things, some great slide guitar work by Raitt.
Was returned for Raitt's second Capitol effort "Luck Of The Draw" with the smoldering "Something To Talk About." "Longing In Their Hearts" rolled out in '94 with the title track and the sassy "Love Sneakin' Up On You" as the standouts.
A live album "Road Tested" and a relatively laid-back "Fundamental" CD rounded out the decade. Raitt continued recording resulting in '02's "Silver Lining" and, three years later, "Souls Alike," which she co-produced.
It seems as performers get older, the time between albums is greater. But Raitt had ample reason to check-out for awhile. First, her parents died in quick succession, then she took care of her brother who was suffering from brain cancer. He passed away in '09.
Raitt's long relationship Capitol also ended. So she started her own label, Redwing. It was on that imprint she released her '12 album "Slipstream." The big difference was the guitar solos that usually got shortened in the Capitol era were left intact.
1971 Bonnie Raitt
1972 Give It Up
1973 Takin' My Time
1975 Home Plate
1977 Sweet Forgiveness
1979 The Glow
1982 Green Light
1986 Nine Lives
1989 Nick Of Time
1991 Luck Of The Draw
1994 Longing in Their Hearts
2002 Silver Lining
2005 Souls Alike
Compilation & Live Albums:
1990 The Bonnie Raitt Collection
1995 Road Tested
2003 The Best Of Bonnie Raitt On Capitol 1989-2003
2006 Bonnie Raitt And Friends
Like a talented running back with a trick knee Bonnie Raitt could break into the open then stumble and fall without warning.
While the late '80s and early '90s were Raitt's most commercially successful period her '70s material shouldn't be overlooked. "Give It Up" is the best album with a blistering "Give It Up Or Let Me Go." "Sweet Forgiveness" has "Runaway."
Warner's "The Bonnie Raitt Collection" does a great job of compiling her '70s career. "Nick of Time" is her best and most commercially successful album. "Luck Of The Draw" is next. '05 release "Souls Alike" has Raitt returning to her "Nick Of Time" era. For everyone who loved that album, this is as good as a remake.
It's been said that you never know what you've got until it's gone. "Slipstream" shows that sometimes you don't realize how much you've missed someone until they return. Raitt's take on Blues-Rock is both unique and timeless. Set opener, "Used To The World," is a solid choice. How can Raitt go wrong with a big organ and horns? She sources the Rolling Stones' for "Down To You" while "Ain't Gonna Let You Go" is a sassy cut with a tart slide guitar. The Hammond organ returns for the fuzzed out "Split Decision."
Bob Dylan's "Million Miles" is turned into a Blues shuffle and Gerry Rafferty's "Right Down The Line" leans Reggae. They are more updated interpretations than faithful covers.