Interpretations: The... | CD


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Bettye LaVette (Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook) CD


  1. The Word
  2. No Time To Live
  3. Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood
  4. All My Love
  5. Isn’t It A Pity
  6. Wish You Were Here
  7. It Don’t Come Easy
  8. Maybe I’m Amazed
  9. Salt Of The Earth
  10. Nights In White Satin
  11. Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad
  12. Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me
  13. Love Reign O‘er Me (Live from the Kennedy Center Honors)

“She has a depth of emotional understanding that surpasses what many of those singers did in the R&B world back in the ’60s and ’70s. Bettye has brought the old methods of her genre into the modern world in a new way.” – Pete Townshend

Bettye LaVette brings the British Invasion home to its American R&B roots on Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook. Produced by Bettye, Rob Mathes and Michael Stevens, the album is a 13-song journey through compositions by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd among others, concluding right where the very idea for Interpretations started: Bettye’s visceral rendition of The Who’s “Love Reign O’er Me” from the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors, which appears here as a bonus track. That performance – which first brought Bettye together with Stevens (the event’s producer) and Mathes (its musical director) – showcased for an international television audience what her devoted fanbase already knew: Bettye LaVette is without parallel as an interpreter of popular song. As the New York Daily News raved, “Bettye LaVette punched a hole right through her version of Pete Townshend’s ‘Love Reign O’er Me,’ letting all the song’s emotion pour out in a way that its creators never conceived.” Townshend himself came up to Bettye after her performance, took her hands into his and said, “You made me weep.” The success of this performance lead to another astonishing moment on the national stage, her duet of Sam Cooke’s “Change Is Gonna Come” with Jon Bon Jovi at the Obama Inaugural Concert.

Now comes Bettye LaVette’s first release since those extraordinary performances. Finding new excited fans at her shows, Bettye decided to explore more of the repertoire that had brought her all this attention. From the wistful naiveté of The Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin,” which Bettye matures into a deep and unshakeable lament, to the funky workout of Ringo Starr’s “It Don’t Come Easy,” Bettye inhabits these songs, revitalizes them and exposes the humanity that makes these 13 tracks not just pop songs, but enduring works of art.

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