Nine Lives (Bonnie Raitt album)

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Nine Lives
Bonnie Raitt - Nine Lives.jpg
Studio album by
LabelWarner Bros.
ProducerRob Fraboni, Russ Kunkel, Bill Payne, Steve Tyrell, George Massenburg.
Bonnie Raitt chronology
Green Light
Nine Lives
Nick of Time
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars [1]
Entertainment WeeklyD [2]
Robert ChristgauC+ [3]
Rolling Stone(mixed) [4]

Nine Lives is the ninth album by Bonnie Raitt, released in 1986. It was Raitt's most difficult release, due to the poor sales, negative reviews, and general circumstances surrounding its release.


"In 1983 there was a corporate sweep at Warner's, coming from upstairs, and they needed to trim the fat," Raitt recalled in 1990. "I just had completed an album called Tongue & Groove, which was produced by Rob Fraboni, who had also done Green Light. And I don't think they maliciously said, 'Let's let her finish her album and get the tour all lined up and print the covers and hire the people to do the video and then drop her.' You know, ha, ha, ha. But that's what they did. It was literally the day after I had finished mastering it. I had already finished the album once, and [Warner's claimed] the Jerry Williams tune would be more commercial if it didn't have quite as reggae a beat. Or something like that. So I went in and redid it. I thought if I cooperated a little more, maybe they'd promote the album more. But instead they dropped me and pulled the rug out from under my tour. I thought the way they did it was real crummy. They sent a letter. I think I suffered from not having a relationship with the A&R department there, because I had an independent production deal..."

Raitt could have purchased the master tapes and released the album elsewhere, but Warner's asking price was considered too high. "They told me I can take the tapes and shop them around," said Raitt, "but they wanted about $500,000 for them, and nobody wanted to pay that much..."

The material for Tongue & Groove was shelved until two years later when "Warner's suddenly said they were going to put the record out," Raitt recalled. "I said it wasn't really fair. I think at this point they felt kind of bad. I mean, I was out there touring on my savings to keep my name up, and my ability to draw was less and less. So they agreed to let me go in and recut half of it." The result was Nine Lives, which was finally released in 1986.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "No Way to Treat a Lady" (Bryan Adams, Jim Vallance) – 3:51
  2. "Runnin' Back to Me" (Karla Bonoff, Ira Ingber) – 4:14
  3. "Who But a Fool (Thief into Paradise)" (Nan O'Byrne, Tom Snow) – 4:26
  4. "Crime of Passion" (Danny Ironstone, Mary Unobsky) – 4:20
  5. "All Day, All Night" (James "Hutch" Hutchinson, Ronald Jones, Ivan Neville) – 4:03
  6. "Stand Up to the Night" (Will Jennings, Richard Kerr, J.A.C. Redford) – 4:43
  7. "Excited" (Jerry Lynn Williams) – 3:12
  8. "Freezin' (For a Little Human Love)" (Michael Smotherman) – 4:58
  9. "True Love Is Hard to Find" (Frederick Hibbert) – 4:34
  10. "Angel" (Eric Kaz) – 4:00



  • Producers – George Massenburg and Bill Payne (Tracks 1-5); Russ Kunkel (Track 3); Steve Tyrell (Track 6); Rob Fraboni (Tracks 7-10).
  • Engineers – George Massenburg (Tracks 1-5); David Kitay (Track 6); Terry Becker and Rob Fraboni (Tracks 7-10).
  • Assistant Engineers – Sharon Rice, John X. Volaitis and Billy Youdelman.
  • Mixing – George Massenburg (Tracks 1-5); David Tickle (Tracks 7-10).
  • Mastered by Doug Sax at The Mastering Lab (Los Angeles, CA).
  • Project Coordinator – Jo Motta
  • Production Coordination – Ivy Skoff
  • Art Direction and Design – Laura LiPuma
  • Cover Illustration – Lindsey Loch
  • Photography – Jim Shea
  • Wardrobe – Margie Kent
  • Make-up – Denise Pauly
  • Management – Danny Goldberg and Ron Stone


Album - Billboard (America)

Year Chart Position
1986 The Billboard 200 138

Singles - Billboard (America)

Year Single Chart Position
1986 "No Way to Treat a Lady" Mainstream Rock Tracks 15