Bonnie Bramlett

Lady's Choice

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Although Bonnie Bramlett is a good blue-eyed soul singer, and gets backing by top Muscle Shoals session musicians on this 1976 album, you need more than a good singer and a good band to make a good record. You also need interesting material, and while most of the songs presented here are good, they're mostly well-traveled soul and R&B covers. It seemed to be a holding pattern album of sorts, Bramlett opting to record half of the album with guest vocalists, including Gregg Allman, Dobie Gray, Bobby Whitlock, and Mickey Thomas (the last of whom sang lead on Elvin Bishop's huge hit "Fooled Around and Fell in Love" around this time). Any one or two of these songs would have been okay as album filler, but they in fact fill up almost the entire album, and they don't match the originals or come at them from noteworthy angles. An exception, perhaps, is Bob Dylan's "Forever Young," given a full mid-'70s rock-with-horns arrangement; at least it wasn't a composition that was overly familiar or often interpreted. Lady's Choice was combined with Bramlett's previous album, 1974's It's Time, on a single-CD reissue by Raven Records.

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