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Takin' My Time

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Takin' My Time
The album cover for Takin' My Time. It features a photograph of Raitt standing underneath an archway at a train station. Two children sit on a bench to the right of the archway.
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 1973
RecordedJune–July 1973
StudioSunset Sound, Los Angeles
Genre
Length37:37
LabelWarner Bros.
ProducerJohn Hall
Bonnie Raitt chronology
Give It Up
(1972)
Takin' My Time
(1973)
Streetlights
(1974)

Takin' My Time is the third studio album by American musician Bonnie Raitt. It was released in 1973 by Warner Bros. Records. The album is an amalgamation of several different genres, including blues, folk, jazz, New Orleans rhythm and blues, and calypso. The 10 tracks on the album are covers, ranging from soft sentimental ballads to upbeat, rhythmic-heavy tracks. Lowell George was originally hired to handle the production, but was ultimately replaced by John Hall when Raitt became unhappy with his production.

Takin' My Time received positive reviews from music critics, and reached number 87 on the US Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart. Retrospective reviews have also been positive, with critics praising the eclecticism, as well as Raitt's attempts to broaden her musical horizon. Vik Iyengar of AllMusic believes Takin' My Time was Raitt's last consistent album before her comeback in the 1980s. Raitt went on an accompanying tour of the United States.

Background and composition[edit]

In 1973, Raitt moved to Los Angeles, and became friends with members of American rock band Little Feat. After the release of their album Dixie Chicken (1973), Raitt hired frontman and guitarist Lowell George to produce her upcoming album. Raitt was unhappy with George's production, which she said was due to a lack of objectivity. According to Raitt: "It became too emotional. It's hard having a strong woman telling the man her ideas when, in fact, the man wants to take over the situation." American musician John Hall was then brought in for production to replace George. Under the direction of Hall, Takin' My Time was recorded from June to July 1973 at Sunset Sound Recorders in Los Angeles.[1]

Takin' My Time combines many different music genres, including blues, folk, jazz, New Orleans rhythm and blues, and calypso.[2][3] Takin' My Time is similar to Raitt's previous studio album Give It Up (1972), as both albums feature a mix of soft sentimental ballads and upbeat, rhythmic-heavy tracks.[2][4][5] The sentimental ballads focus on romance and heartache, and possess a "late night, bluesy intimacy," according to No Depression.[1][6] The upbeat tracks vary in genre; "Wah She Go Do" is a calypso and reggae-inspired track, while "Let Me In" is a dance track, inspired by polka and ragtime.[1][5] All 10 tracks on the album are covers of songs from musicians like Jackson Browne, Randy Newman and Calypso Rose.[2][7]

Release and reception[edit]

Retrospective professional reviews
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[2]
Christgau's Record GuideA–[7]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[5]
MusicHound Rock3.5/5[8]
The New Rolling Stone Record Guide[4]

Takin' My Time was released in October 1973, through Warner Bros. Records.[9] It reached number 87 on the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart,[10] and number 91 on the Record World album chart.[11] Raitt supported the album with an incessant touring schedule across the United States;[9] biographer Mark Bego described Raitt's approach to touring as a "perform-pack-unpack-perform lifestyle."[12]

Takin' My Time was met with positive reviews from music critics. The staff of Billboard described the album as "a top mix of blues and ballads such as 'I Gave My Love a Candle' from one of poo's [sic] most underrated female vocalists."[13] A critic for Record World highlighted Hall's production, and wrote: "Bonnie's beautiful voice and super blues guitar playing grace a collection of wonderful songs."[14] Tony Glover of Rolling Stone felt that despite the large amount of musical variety, Takin' My Time was Raitt's most cohesive album. Glover commended the musicianship between Raitt and the backup musicians, with him writing that "it's evident a lot of her soul went into this one, and that makes it worth hearing."[15]

Retrospective reviews of Takin' My Time from critics have also been positive. In his book Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies, Robert Christgau commended Raitt's attempt to broaden her musical scope with more eclectic tracks such as "You've Been in Love Too Long" and "Wah She Go Do". Christgau wrote more negatively towards some of the folk-inspired tracks, which he called "too pretty, too ordinary."[7] Robert Gordon of Entertainment Weekly praised the wide musical variety on Takin' My Time, with him saying: "Raitt sounds comfortable singing rhythmic rockers, slow songs, and a swinging New Orleans tune, 'Let Me In.' The lighthearted calypso 'Wah She Go Do' may be just a lark, but it's definitely fun."[5] Vik Iyengar of AllMusic felt Raitt had done a good job at choosing and interpreting the 10 cover tracks, and called Takin' My Time an "underrated gem."[2] Iyengar believed Takin' My Time was Raitt's last consistent album until her comeback in the 1980s.[2]

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from Bonnie Raitt's official website.[16]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."You've Been in Love Too Long"3:43
2."I Gave My Love a Candle"Joel Zoss4:20
3."Let Me In"Yvonne Baker3:38
4."Everybody's Cryin' Mercy"Mose Allison3:29
5."Cry Like a Rainstorm"Eric Kaz3:55
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Wah She Go Do"Calypso Rose3:12
2."I Feel the Same"Chris Smither4:40
3."I Thought I Was a Child"Jackson Browne3:49
4."Write Me a Few of Your Lines/Kokomo Blues"Mississippi Fred McDowell3:36
5."Guilty"Randy Newman2:58

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Bonnie Raitt's official website.[16]

Production

  • John Hall – producer
  • John Haeny – engineer
  • Richard Heenan – mixing
  • Arnie Acosta – mastering
  • Doug Sax – mastering
  • Ed Cherney – remastering supervisor
  • Lee Herschberg – remastering
  • Jo Motta – project coordinator
  • H George Bohanon – horn arrangements
  • Kirby Johnson – horn arrangements
  • Tom Gamache – art direction, design
  • Sandy Kroopf – art direction, design, photography, back cover
  • Michael Dobo – photography, cover photo

Charts[edit]

Chart performance for Takin' My Time
Chart (1973) Peak
position
US Billboard Top LPs & Tapes[10] 87
US Record World 100[11] 91

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Bego 1995, pp. 45–47.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Iyengar, Vik (n.d.). "Bonnie Raitt - Takin' My Time". AllMusic. Archived from the original on March 3, 2017. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  3. ^ Lee, Peter (2004). The Blues Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. p. 805. ISBN 978-1-1359-5832-9.
  4. ^ a b Testa, Bart (1983). Marsh, Dave; Swenson, John (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Record Guide (2nd ed.). Random House/Rolling Stone Press. p. 410. ISBN 978-0-3947-2107-1.
  5. ^ a b c d Gordon, Robert (August 23, 1991). "Bonnie Raitt on the record". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on July 8, 2018. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
  6. ^ "Bonnie Raitt – Give It Up". No Depression. May 1, 2002. Archived from the original on October 8, 2020. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
  7. ^ a b c Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: R". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor and Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Archived from the original on October 7, 2020. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  8. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide (2 ed.). Visible Ink Press. p. 918. ISBN 978-1-5785-9061-2.
  9. ^ a b Bego 1995, p. 48.
  10. ^ a b "Bonnie Raitt Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. n.d. Archived from the original on May 13, 2020. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  11. ^ a b "The Album Chart: Artists Cross Reference". Record World. Vol. 29, no. 1378. November 17, 1973. p. 34.
  12. ^ Bego 1995, p. 49.
  13. ^ "Top Album Picks". Billboard. Vol. 85, no. 43. October 27, 1973. p. 64.
  14. ^ "Album Picks". Record World. Vol. 29, no. 1375. October 27, 1973. p. 18.
  15. ^ Glover, Tony (December 6, 1973). "Takin' My Time". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on March 28, 2020. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  16. ^ a b "Liner Notes - Takin' My Time". Bonnie Raitt Official Website. n.d. Archived from the original on February 24, 2020. Retrieved August 11, 2020.

Book sources