Betty Wright – 1974 – Danger High Voltage

 

Danger! Hi-Voltage is an apt title for Betty Wright’s finest hour. It contains three R&B hits — “Shoorah! Shoorah!“, “Where Is the Love” and “Tonight Is the Night” the original version not the later 8 min, but also features an array of other tasty tracks, including the heart-tugging “That’s When I’ll Stop Loving You“.

It is included in Mojo’s Magazine 100 greatest soul albums of all time.

Tracks
A1 Everybody Was Rockin’ (3:48)
A2 Love Don’t Grow On A Love Tree (3:01)
A3 Show You Girl (2:38)
A4 Come On Up (2:59)
A5 Shoorah! Shoorah! (2:55)
B1 Where Is The Love (4:55)
B2 That’s When I’ll Stop Loving You (3:23)
B3 Don’t Thank Me Baby, Thank Yourself (2:54)
B4 Tonight Is The Night (4:00)

 

Review by Daryl Easlea (BBC)

 

With her incredible combination of innocence and sass (and, allegedly, an IQ of 191), Betty Wright, ‘the queen of Miami soul’, was something of an old-timer by the time she released 1974’s Danger High Voltage at the age of 21. She had been singing in family group Echoes of Joy from the age of three, and released her first single at the age of 12.  Her first hit, Girls Can’t Do What Guys Do, came in 1968. Her signature smash, Clean Up Woman, followed in 1971. Her fourth album’s title was chosen for a reason: it positively crackles with electricity.

Produced by Willie Clarke (who’d discovered Wright when she was 11), Danger High Voltage is a showcase for Henry Stone’s TK label’s stable of artists, with Howie Casey and Richard Finch of KC and the Sunshine Band contributing significantly throughout. From the opening rush of Everybody Was Rockin’ to the sensual dénouement of Tonight Is the Night, Danger High Voltage is akin to one long party – a smouldering confection of southern funk, proto-disco and what was soon to be known popularly as northern soul.

 

 

Of the album’s many standouts, Allen Toussaint’s Shoorah! Shoorah! is an undisputed highlight, one of those fabulous and thoroughly daft bubblegum soul singles. A top 30 UK hit in January 1975, Wright delivers it with zest and passion. Where Is the Love also reached the UK top 30. Its infectious disco gained Wright a Grammy, with little wonder: its horn-loaded, chicken-scratch funk is topped off by Wright’s warm delivery.

The album’s closer was originally released as the flip of Shoorah! Shoorah!, but would become one of her biggest records in the US.  Sensuously soulful, it was written about her first sexual experiences and delivered absolutely straight. It is rare such a tender and potentially gauche subject is handled so directly and non-controversially.

Legacy

Several of Wright’s works have been sampled over the years by hip hop, rock and R&B musicians. The riff from “Clean Up Woman” has been sampled constantly by acts such as Afrika BambaattaaSWVMary J. BligeSublime, and Chance the Rapper. Wright’s first hit, “Girls Can’t Do What Guys Do“, was sampled for Beyoncé‘s “Upgrade U“. In 1992, Wright sued the producers behind Color Me Badd‘s breakthrough hit, “I Wanna Sex You Up“, after claiming they used the sample of her live version without clearance and without permission, and sued for royalties. Wright won her case, winning 35 percent of royalties for writing the song.

 

Buy the AlbumBetty Wright – 1974 – Danger High Voltage

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Conversation for album: Betty Wright – 1974 – Danger High Voltage

15 Comments
  • Anonymous
    Posted at 16:17h, 02 May 2008 Reply

    o

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 16:18h, 02 May 2008 Reply

    track 6 is missing? track 7 uploaded twice

  • David
    Posted at 09:27h, 24 November 2008 Reply

    I’ve been looking for the original version of “Tonight is the Night.” Really been tired of the live version.

    This web site rules!

  • n69n
    Posted at 16:53h, 01 December 2008 Reply

    Betty Wright is my ***NUMBER ONE FAVORITE***!!!

    …coz not only does she groove, she really gives good advice, too!!!

  • Victor
    Posted at 05:03h, 17 March 2009 Reply

    This is a hard album to find online – thanks for sharing.

  • cleffdeadly
    Posted at 10:45h, 23 May 2009 Reply

    to be able to listen to these albums in their original state is amazing. thank you for sharing them…

  • Big Chuck
    Posted at 02:34h, 29 July 2009 Reply

    It’s very, very rare to hear the original version of “Tonight is the Night”, only the live version. Thanks for posting it.

  • Troods
    Posted at 09:43h, 06 August 2009 Reply

    Thank you for Betty’s old albums. I’m so amazed with the work you’ve done. I feel like I’m in a musical time machine, just dippin’ and groovin’. You’re great.

  • Ben
    Posted at 13:52h, 20 August 2009 Reply

    Thanks for the post
    you make a very good blog !

  • omi
    Posted at 02:11h, 12 October 2009 Reply

    I have things to do and can’t off your site!!! Like it should be! thxxxx!

  • Matt Parker
    Posted at 13:37h, 23 October 2009 Reply

    Absolutely awesome!!
    This has to be one the best sites i’ve ever visited.
    Many thanks!

  • lee spencer
    Posted at 02:03h, 11 November 2009 Reply

    fab just bought on e bay, well you have got to treat yourself, vnyly addicted, mwhax

  • Dave
    Posted at 09:48h, 17 July 2011 Reply

    No doubt this girl can sing. I had some of these songs on a vinyl live recording and I sure played the hell out of it. Thank you so much.

  • Hoby
    Posted at 12:18h, 10 May 2013 Reply

    I just firstly want to say I appreciate this blog so very much. I have discovered so many gems through this site and what you guys do is amazing.
    I have come to love Betty Wright, especially the song “Tonight is the Night”. Anyway I was wondering if you could rerecord that song in higher quality, I love it so much but the quality makes it hard to play on loud speakers.

  • Nikos
    Posted at 21:32h, 06 August 2013 Reply

    New links added.

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