Monday, 19 April 2010

Song Of The Day No.30

Ooh Yea

by Betty Davis (Betty Davis, 1973)

Well known for her one year marriage to Miles Davis, Betty Mabry (her maiden name) was good friends of both Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone and personally introduced them to Davis who would go on to take influence from both artists in developing and experimenting with a more electric sound that culminated in the classic Bitches Brew in 1970. Betty had actually started performing and writing musically before she met Davis, writing 'Uptown' for The Chambers Brothers, but it wasn't until much after splitting up with the legendary jazz musician that she recorded her first album.

All the tracks on Betty Davis were written by the women herself and each combines rock and funk to varying degrees. From the opening bass riff, waka waka guitar sounds and tssking cymbals, 'Ooh Yea' brings imagery of the blaxploitation period streaming to mind. The backing singers give a smooth and rich “Ooh yea, ooh yea” every time Davis asks a, usually innuendo charged, question. A male backing vocal comes in for the odd line in a low baritone, velvet voice that provides even more contrast for Davis' wild, smoking and sparking leads. The song fades out on a base of ooh-yeas with Davis crackling on top.


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