Golden Classics: Clean Up Woman

Betty Wright

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Golden Classics: Clean Up Woman Review

by Stephen Cook

Even though it only contains half of the selections found on Betty Wright's more democratic Rhino retrospective, Golden Classics: Clean Up Woman is nevertheless a worthwhile collection. This is especially true if you are more interested in Wright's soul-driven '70s material than her glossier, more subdued '80s output. Along with fellow Southern soul chanteuses Denise LaSalle and Millie Jackson, Wright favored a Stax-inspired, horn/guitar-heavy sound on her early sides, sidestepping the slicker and more popular Philadelphia sound of the Stylistics and O'Jays. Above the gritty mix, Wright shows off her vocal flexibility using a smooth, Dionne Warwick-inspired delivery on the decidedly non-feminist hit "Girls Can't Do What the Guys Do" and a more raspy tone on "Outside Woman." If you want a thorough overview of Wright's work, get the Rhino collection, but if you are just curious, this is a great introduction.

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