Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums – Week 6

For the decade of the 2020’s, I plan on listening to approximately one album per week from Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. I will be posting my brief thoughts on each album here.

#495 – Give It Up by Bonnie Raitt

Warner Bros., 1972

Although I’m not very far into this large list, I’m certainly amused by the list’s seeming fixation thus far on debuts and blues. Everything since Outkast has fit into one or both of those categories, which continues on Bonnie Raitt’s bluesy, soul-funk classic Give It Up. This is technically her second album, but it’s the first album where she started getting serious attention for her considerable talents as a singer, a songwriter, and a steel guitarist.

Raitt would prove to be a lifer in the music business, releasing albums even now to this day, but this 1972 album is considerably different from the only two albums from her that I was already familiar with. It’s almost hard to believe that the albums I know came out nearly two decades later: 1989’s Nick of Time and 1991’s Luck of the Draw. And while I personally prefer the songs and style of those later records, her talents are almost undeniably evident on this early work. Preferences aside, it’s also hard not to get caught up in the sheer fun of numbers such as “If You Gotta Make a Fool of Someone” or the cover of Jackson Browne’s “Under the Falling Sky.” The album also sounds fantastic, helping it to rise above the bias I often have against older music. I’d be shocked to not see more of Bonnie as this journey continues, and I’m certainly looking forward to it.

Author’s Note: The reason I created this website and write these articles stems from my belief that artists should support other artists, in the same way that art inspires art. My debut album Unfall is out now, and I’d love for you to hear it.

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