The Original Delaney & Bonnie & Friends

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The Original Delaney & Bonnie: Accept No Substitute
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 1969
StudioElektra Sound Recorders Studios, Los Angeles, California
ProducerDelaney Bramlett, assisted by David Anderle
Delaney & Bonnie chronology
The Original Delaney & Bonnie: Accept No Substitute
On Tour with Eric Clapton

The Original Delaney & Bonnie,[2] also known by its subtitle Accept No Substitute,[3] is the second studio album by American recording duo Delaney & Bonnie. It was recorded with many of the "friends" that would form the core of their best-known 1969–70 touring band, including Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle and Rita Coolidge.

The Original Delaney & Bonnie & Friends was released in July 1969 after Delaney & Bonnie had signed to Elektra Records.[4] It charted at only number 175 on the Billboard 200 in August,[5] but it received widespread acclaim from critics.[6]


Upon hearing pre-release mixes of the album, George Harrison offered Delaney and Bonnie a contract with the Beatles' Apple Records label, which they signed despite their prior contractual commitment to Elektra. According to Elektra founder Jac Holzman's book on that label's early history,[7] Apple went so far as to make test pressings of Accept No Substitute based on this contract, which was subsequently voided.[8]

After the album's release, frustrated that no copies of Accept No Substitute were available in his father's home town record store, an apparently drunken Delaney Bramlett phoned Holzman (who was in the UK at the time) saying that he would "come to England and kill" Holzman if the situation was not immediately corrected. Holzman responded by releasing Delaney and Bonnie from their Elektra contract.[9] Coincidentally, the Kinney National Company (now Time Warner), owners of the Bramletts' next label Atco Records, would buy out Elektra in 1970.[citation needed]

One song from this album, "Ghetto," would become a regular feature of Delaney and Bonnie's live shows. The song, co-authored by Bonnie during Delaney and Bonnie's tenure at Stax Records, was later covered by Stax stars The Staple Singers.[citation needed]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Rolling Stone[11]
The Village VoiceA+[12]

The Original Delaney & Bonnie was widely acclaimed by music critics.[6] In a contemporary review for The New York Times, Robert Christgau praised the duo's singing and lyrics of "rich but implicit" sexuality and commonplace truths about love. He was also impressed by how the album appropriates soul music, but asserted that "it is a white album, and for once that's good. No black singers would record anything so eccentric, so unabashedly baroque, in its celebration of black music."[13] In his ballot for Jazz & Pop magazine's annual critics poll, Christgau ranked it as the eighth best album of the year.[14] English guitarist Eric Clapton said he "immediately loved the album", calling it "hardcore R&B, and very soulful, with great guitar playing and a fantastic horn section". He subsequently enlisted Delaney & Bonnie to be support act to his band Blind Faith on their 1969 American tour.[15]

In a retrospective review, music journalist Nick Logan wrote that The Original Delaney & Bonnie & Friends "still stands as a remarkable document – the quintessential fusion of gospel, country and soul influences that was easily the most exciting sound of its time."[16] AllMusic's Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr. said it featured the kind of mixture of soul and rock and roll later present on Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (1970) by Clapton's project Derek & the Dominos, recommending it to listeners unfamiliar with Delaney & Bonnie's other work.[1] Q magazine cited it as one of 1969's "keynote albums",[10] while Rolling Stone called it "a wonderfully earthy mix of blue-eyed soul, gospel and country, brimming with grit and longing".[11]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Get Ourselves Together" (Delaney Bramlett, Bonnie Bramlett, Carl Radle)  – 2:25
  2. "Someday" (Delaney Bramlett, Jerry Allison, Bonnie Bramlett, Doug Gilmore)  – 3:29
  3. "Ghetto" (Delaney Bramlett, Bettye Crutcher, Homer Banks, Bonnie Bramlett)  – 4:55
  4. "When the Battle Is Over" (Mac Rebennack, Jessie Hill)  – 3:32
  5. "Dirty Old Man" (Delaney Bramlett, Mac Davis)  – 2:31
  6. "Love Me a Little Longer" (Delaney Bramlett, Bonnie Bramlett)  – 2:57
  7. "I Can't Take It Much Longer" (Delaney Bramlett, Joey Cooper)  – 3:07
  8. "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" (Dan Penn, Chips Moman)  – 5:23
  9. "Soldiers of the Cross" (Traditional)  – 3:10
  10. "Gift of Love" (Delaney Bramlett, Mac Davis)  – 2:53




  • Delaney Bramlett - producer, arrangements
  • David Anderle - supervising producer
  • Leon Russell - arrangements
  • Jimmie Haskell - string arrangements on "Do Right Woman" and "Ghetto"
  • John Haeny - engineer
  • Barry Feinstein - photography


  1. ^ a b c d Lankford Jr., Ronnie. "Accept No Substitute – Delaney & Bonnie". Allmusic. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  2. ^ "Genesis". Billboard: 60. May 24, 1969. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  3. ^ Holzman & Daws 1998, p. 415.
  4. ^ Rees & Crampton 1991, p. 31.
  5. ^ "Top LP's". Billboard: 108. August 9, 1969. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Clifford 1986, p. 59.
  7. ^ Holzman, Jac; Daws, Gavan (1998). Follow the Music: The Life and High Times of Elektra Records in the Great Years of American Pop Culture. FirstMedia. p. 273. ISBN 0-9661221-1-9.
  8. ^ It is reputed that some promotional copies of Elektra's US release of Accept No Substitute show Apple's assigned UK catalog number for the album, SAPCOR-7, in the LP's runoff matrix grooves, indicating they were made from Apple's master plates. Holzman does not confirm this in his recounting of events, however.
  9. ^ Holzman, Jac and Gavan Daws (1998). Follow the Music – The Life and High Times of Elektra Records in the Great Years of American Pop Culture, p. 275.
  10. ^ a b "Review: Accept No Substitute". Q. London: 124, 126. October 2002.
  11. ^ a b "Review: Accept No Substitute". Rolling Stone. New York: 65. February 6, 2003.
  12. ^ Christgau, Robert (July 10, 1969). "Consumer Guide (1)". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  13. ^ Christgau, Robert (June 22, 1969). "Wholly and Solely About Soul". The New York Times. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  14. ^ Christgau, Robert (1969). "Robert Christgau's 1969 Jazz & Pop Ballot". Jazz & Pop. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  15. ^ Clapton 2007, p. 113.
  16. ^ Logan & Woffinden 1978, p. 65.


External links[edit]