Delaney & Bonnie - The Best of Delaney & Bonnie Album Reviews, Songs & More | AllMusic

The Best of Delaney & Bonnie

Delaney & Bonnie

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The Best of Delaney & Bonnie Review

by Joe Viglione

Bonnie Bramlett released "Groupie," the song she co-wrote with Leon Russell, as an Atlantic single in December of 1969. Almost two years later in September of 1971, Karen Carpenter took it to the top of the pop and adult contemporary charts under the name "Superstar." It may not have been Bramlett's favorite rendition of one of her songs, but it was phenomenal and deserved success for the talented singer/songwriter beyond her appearances on the TV show Roseanne. "Groupie (Superstar)" is the highlight of a simply great collection of musical expression by the underrated and abundantly talented duo known simply as Delaney & Bonnie. Goldmine/Discoveries magazine contributor Joe Tortelli is very detailed in his six-page liner notes/track listing to this 18-song compilation. It includes their two Top 20 hits from 1971, "Never Ending Song of Love" and "Only You Know and I Know"; the excellent double-sided minor hits "Free the People" and "Soul Shake"; three tracks from their Jimmy Miller-produced legendary live Delaney & Bonnie & Friends on Tour With Eric Clapton (and George Harrison); a thrilling rendition of "Piece of My Heart" tracked two years after Janis Joplin but tipping the hat, no doubt, to Aretha's sister, Emma Franklin, who did it before both these gals -- this best-of basically concentrates on the Elektra, Stax, and Atlantic recordings. The pity here is that this isn't a double CD containing the Leon Russell and Jackie DeShannon tapes released on GNP Crescendo as Genesis, some material from their final album on CBS and maybe a version of "Let It Rain," the magnificent song Bonnie Bramlett co-wrote with Eric Clapton for his 1970 solo album produced by Delaney. There are great photographs of the "friends" -- saxophone player Bobby Keyes, horn player Jim Price, bassist Carl Radle, drummer Jim Keltner, and Bobby Whitlock, as well as the singers. This album contains musicianship by all of the above, plus Dave Mason, Gram Parsons, Duane Allman, Alan Estes, and so many others, especially Rita Coolidge, who performed "Superstar" on Mad Dogs & Englishman -- the world's first taste of lovely Coolidge before she became a hit artist herself a half-dozen or so years later. Hearing "Free the People" and its revolutionary sound for rock & roll radio, along with Bonnie Bramlett's extraordinarily passionate "The Love of My Man," one wonders what it takes to get the world to recognize a diamond this polished. The plethora of name musicians aren't here for show, they are all working their tails off, and the result is a true masterpiece of rock/R&B/pop and blues clocking in at 69:39. The downside is that it really should be twice as long, and they have enough legitimate music -- as stated -- to fill a double CD. For now this is a unique time capsule which lives up to the title "Best Of."

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Delaney & Bonnie 02:28 SpotifyAmazon
2 Delaney & Bonnie 03:37 SpotifyAmazon
3 Delaney & Bonnie 04:57 SpotifyAmazon
4 Delaney & Bonnie 04:41 SpotifyAmazon
5 Delaney & Bonnie 03:17 SpotifyAmazon
6 Delaney & Bonnie 02:51 SpotifyAmazon
7 Delaney & Bonnie 04:20 SpotifyAmazon
8 Delaney & Bonnie 05:03 SpotifyAmazon
9 Delaney & Bonnie 04:41 SpotifyAmazon
10 Delaney & Bonnie 05:32 SpotifyAmazon
11 Delaney & Bonnie 03:07 SpotifyAmazon
12 Delaney & Bonnie 02:46 SpotifyAmazon
13 Delaney & Bonnie 04:32 SpotifyAmazon
14 Delaney & Bonnie 02:45 SpotifyAmazon
15 Delaney & Bonnie 03:24 SpotifyAmazon
16 Delaney & Bonnie 05:11 SpotifyAmazon
17 Delaney & Bonnie 03:27 SpotifyAmazon
18 Delaney & Bonnie 02:50 SpotifyAmazon
blue highlight denotes track pick