- Personnel: Patryce Banks, Kathi McDonald, Anita Pointer, Annie Sampson, Sylvester, The Pointer Sisters (vocals); Douglas Rodrigues, Neal Schon (guitar); Skip Mesquit (saxophone); Jules Broussard (baritone saxophone); Greg Adams (trumpet); Michelle Gillette (trombone); Hershall Kennedy, Merl Saunders, Richard Kermode (Clavinet); Doug Rauch, Larry Graham (bass guitar); Greg Errico (drums); Victor Pantoja (congas); Pete Sears (unknown instrument).
- Audio Remasterer: Dave Cooley.
- Despite an abundance of talent, a crack back-up band (which included most of Graham Central Station), and some of the most stinging funk tracks of the era, it's really not all that surprising that Betty Davis never became a star: the girl was a stone-cold freak, and her self-titled 1973 debut more than illustrates that fact. Second wife to Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix's former girlfriend, Davis is often credited (by Miles himself in fact) with steering Miles toward the sounds that would give rise to his fusion period, and one listen to the acid-tinged wah-drenched guitars on the album's opening track, "If I'm in Luck I Might Get Picked Up," makes it clear that Betty was on a decidedly different trip than almost all of her contemporaries. The album can be quite odd, yet Davis is so unhinged and brimming with such confidence (particularly on the cult fave "Walkin' up the Road") it's impossible not to be amazed. Frustratingly, Davis remains in relative obscurity to this day despite providing the template for the sexually confident female performer that has been used by Lil'Kim, Foxy Brown, and Kelis, among others.
The Wire (p.43) - "Davis gets over on pure attitude alone. The obvious comparisons are to Madonna, Lil' Kim and Kelis....The music on BETTY DAVIS is as loud and nasty as she is..."
CMJ (p.46) - "Every word hisses and slithers out of Betty's chompers like a cobra leering and ready to strike..."
Down Beat (p.62) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he grooves of her music still have power after 30-plus years....This stuff is upside-down funky, and tilts toward the raw side..."
No Depression (p.86) - "She doesn't sing her originals so much as attack them, sometimes like a 300-pound bouncer, other with ninja-like stealth, and always with powerful impact."