Betty Wright

Hard to Stop

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While Hard to Stop lacked a big classic hit on the order of "Clean Up Woman," it was a very solid and varied platter of early-'70s soul. Distinguished by the tight, lean Miami funk-soul of the backup players (particularly guitarist Willie "Little Beaver" Hale), it did offer a couple of pretty big R&B hits with the jittery rhythms of "The Babysitter" and "It's Hard to Stop (Doing Something When It's Good to You)," which was about as bluesy as soul got in 1973. A far more off-the-wall highlight was the radical reinterpretation of Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman," which changed it from a hokey pop tune into something that sounded far more grittily proud and defiant. However, it's a pretty consistent record throughout, with other cuts of note including "We the Two of Us," which has a great effervescent Miami organ, and "If You Think You've Got Soul," which weaves in and out of a quasi-tropical groove. The "Clean Up Woman" guitar rhythm is reprised on "Gimme Back My Man," though to less memorable effect than on the hit single.

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