Bonnie Raitt – Home Plate – Our Shootout Winner from 2008

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

This original WB Palm Tree label LP has THE BEST SIDE ONE we have ever heard here at Better Records. “A Triple Plus” sound means you’re probably hearing the album better than they did when they played back the master tape in the control room. (Studio monitors being what they are.) Since this is one of my three favorite Bonnie Raitt albums — the others being Sweet Forgiveness and Nine Lives — and quite possibly the best sounding album she ever made, it goes without saying that this is THE Must Own Bonnie Raitt Hot Stamper Pressing of All Time.

What about the Capitol albums she recorded with Don Was?

Man, they sure don’t sound like this! That stuff is way too digital, overly-processed and modern sounding for my taste, not to mention my delicate hearing.

The first two she did for Capitol are fine albums in their own right, but she was already out of gas by the time she got accepted by the record buying public and the Grammy Award committee. That was 1989; this album is from 1975 when she still had her groove on. You may gain a lot of wisdom as you age from thirty-six to fifty, but you don’t gain a lot of rock and roll energy (or any other kind, for that matter).

Her Best Material

What sets this album apart from others made around this period is the strength of the material. Every song on side one would fit nicely on a greatest hits album, they’re that good. The reason side one has always been a personal favorite is the last on the side, the lovely ballad My First Night Alone Without You. If this one doesn’t hit you hard, something ain’t workin’ right.

Side two has five more top tracks, and perhaps this is the mark of quality that her other WB albums can’t match: consistency. Everything works on this album.

The Big Sound

This a big production, with horns and strings and lots of wonderful sounding instruments thrown into the mix such as tubas, mandolins and autoharps to name just a few. Getting all these sounds onto the vinyl of the day is a tough challenge, but some copies had the goods, and this is one of them.