Yvonne Fair ‎– 1975 – The Bitch Is Black

Yvonne Fair - The Bitch Is Black front

Heavy heavy funk from the mighty Yvonne Fair – a 70s bad soul sister that we’d rank right up there with Betty Davis! Yvonne got her start working with James Brown in a sweeter mode, but by the time of this mid 70s debut, she’d hit a really hard-wailing sort of style – one that had the righteous vocal lead of singers like Davis, Maxayn, or a rare few others – and which gets support here from some really full, rich production from Norman Whitfield! Whitfield brings in bits of strings alongside the heavier bass, drums, and keyboards – and makes for a unique mix that almost goes a bit southern soul, while still staying in the hipper styles of 70s Motown – letting Yvonne get a bit personal on a few tear-jerking numbers, and come wailing back with full force on the funkier ones.

Tracks
A1 Funky Music Sho Nuff Turns Me On 3.05
A2 It Should Have Been Me 3.34
A3 Stay a Little Longer 3.30
A4 It’s Bad for Me to See You 3.31
A5 Tell Me Something Good 3.31
B1 Let Your Hair Down 4.23
B2 Love Ain’t No Toy 3.23
B3 I Know (You Don’t Love Me No More) 3.18
B4 Walk Out the Door If You Wanna 2.17
B5 You Can’t Judge a Book by It’s Cover 2.17

Yvonne Fair - The Bitch Is Black back

By Rose Banks

This is one of my top two favourite Motown albums from the `70’s and I’m thrilled that it’s now been recognised for the classic that it is. The music is timeless earth shaking soul delivered in Yvonne’s own inimitable style. She weaves her magic spell covering songs like `Tell Me Something Good‘, `Funky Music Sho Nuff Turns Me On‘ with an non-credited Marvin Gaye & `Let Your Hair Down‘ making them sound like they were written just for her. No one could ignore Yvonne’s plea to `Stay A Little Longer‘. I love all 10 tracks but if I had to pick just one it would have be the gut wrenching `It’s Bad For Me To See You‘ which never fails to reduce me to tears as it’s a song with which I can personally identify.


`The Bitch Is Black’ has been a part of my life since Yvonne’s definitive version of `It Should Have Been Me‘ started its journey up the UK charts in ’76 where it peaked at #5. As a result of that hit I bought the album and fell in love with Yvonne’s voice and longed for her to release a follow up which sadly never happened. However `The Bitch Is Black’ has become her enduring legacy and now with this release on Reel Music I’m sure that Yvonne will gain many more fans.

Yvonne Fair - The Bitch Is Black label 1

As Alice Clark‘s eponymous 1972 epic on Bob Shad’s Mainstream Records label is a thing of beauty deserving a wider audience, so is Norman Whitfield’s 1975 supervision of Yvonne Fair entitled The Bitch Is Black. A title that shocked and grabbed attention upon its release, it may also have played a part in not revealing the majestic voice and soul-stirring ballads within. If you can’t tell a book by its cover, be careful if the title throws you off base as well. Sure, Harvey Fuqua’s “Stay a Little Longer” has some gutsy vocals reflecting that title — and stunning production by Fuqua as Whitfield had collaborators in that department on this disc — Pam Sawyer, Gloria Jones, and Clay McMurray also chipping in, but this is Yvonne Fair’s moment in the sun and her big U.K. hit, “It Should Have Been Me“, should have been a monster in the U.S. as well. There’s a hilarious parody of it on YouTube under the name Vicar of Dibley, a British TV sitcom with a comedienne, Dawn French, doing the lip sync to Fair’s popular rendition. Stevie Wonder’s “Tell Me Something Good“, a Top Three hit for Chaka Khan in the summer of 1974, is absolutely grand here, with bubbling guitar and sweet horns that give it an entirely different perspective. A cover of Barbara George’s 1962 hit “I Know (You Don’t Love Me No More)” moves with authority, and is a great selection on one of those albums that not only doesn’t have a bad track, it’s one that you wish would just keep on going.

 

Buy the AlbumYvonne Fair ‎– 1975 – The Bitch Is Black

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Conversation for album: Yvonne Fair ‎– 1975 – The Bitch Is Black

24 Comments
  • Neil
    Posted at 21:51h, 09 December 2015 Reply

    Wow! This is a real nice record. Wish I had that one in my shelf too!

  • Kirk
    Posted at 10:24h, 10 December 2015 Reply

    Not the romantic motown of the 60’s but a hell of an album.

  • Alabor
    Posted at 10:31h, 10 December 2015 Reply

    Well Kirk. It’s still the great Norman Whitfield on production. Superb.

  • Dama
    Posted at 10:35h, 11 December 2015 Reply

    Big ups… Thanks for this one.

  • Sergio
    Posted at 10:42h, 11 December 2015 Reply

    Absolutely wonderful.Thanks for posting it.

  • Darman
    Posted at 11:46h, 11 December 2015 Reply

    Killer. Yvonne’s voice is exceptional. Thanks man.

  • Florence
    Posted at 11:53h, 11 December 2015 Reply

    Nice one magic man love you:)

  • Ahyin
    Posted at 14:34h, 11 December 2015 Reply

    Tres, Tres Bien!! J’ taime!!!

  • Dean
    Posted at 02:21h, 12 December 2015 Reply

    Just brilliant.

  • Suede
    Posted at 02:30h, 12 December 2015 Reply

    Timeless

  • Emirates33
    Posted at 17:40h, 12 December 2015 Reply

    “It’s Bad For Me To See You” is amazing. The whole LP rocks. Thank you.

  • Anubis
    Posted at 13:22h, 13 December 2015 Reply

    Yvonne’s voice kicks some serious a………….ss!
    Thank you for the beautiful render.

  • Frances
    Posted at 10:20h, 14 December 2015 Reply

    Killer. Happy holidays guys.

  • Lemi0
    Posted at 12:44h, 14 December 2015 Reply

    Many thanks. I knew ”It’s Bad For Me To See You“, but never heard the rest of the album. It’s simply brilliant.

  • H02
    Posted at 12:54h, 14 December 2015 Reply

    First class. Thank u.

  • Rob
    Posted at 01:13h, 15 December 2015 Reply

    I`ve been loving this since my early youth. Great Great Great…

  • Nadine
    Posted at 01:16h, 15 December 2015 Reply

    Thanks, these utube songs are awesome., indeed a great album.

  • London44
    Posted at 01:42h, 15 December 2015 Reply

    Totally awesome. Killer albums. Your blog is the best. Thanks!

  • Philipp
    Posted at 14:49h, 15 December 2015 Reply

    Many many thanks for this amazing block,
    links are all fresh, some rare unknow soul music. I love music,
    Thank you so much, Philipp

  • Sly
    Posted at 01:18h, 17 December 2015 Reply

    Got this on vinyl, it was a solid investment.

  • Mobbyy
    Posted at 02:08h, 19 December 2015 Reply

    What an artist- totally awsome!

  • MRM
    Posted at 16:22h, 19 December 2015 Reply

    Uno de mis mejores albumes desde que tenia 16 años

  • Mark
    Posted at 11:54h, 27 December 2015 Reply

    Grown folks music right here

  • Cream Of Beats
    Posted at 15:55h, 15 February 2020 Reply

    Lawd gawd! This album needs a reup!
    …and the 45 King used “let your hair down” on a Biz Markie joint.

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