Properly repackaged for posterity, the former Mrs. Miles gets her nasty-girl groove on
The album-cover images may be pure ’70s soul-power posturing
—a model-thin diva with a mile-high afro, silver space-freak platform boots and hands-on-hips attitude to burn—but the almighty funkadelic roar of the music is nevertheless stone classic. Betty Davis may have only been married to trumpet legend Miles for one year (1968-69; calling her too “young and wild,” Miles suspected an affair with Jimi Hendrix and divorced her), but she inspired him to create the jazz-rock fusion of Bitches Brew
and was later responsible for two of the most knee-wobbling odes to sheer animal sex ever recorded. Her self-titled debut featured greased-up grooves laid down by an all-star cast (Santana-era Neal Schon, Family Stone vets Larry Graham and Greg Errico, members of The Pointer Sisters) and singing that could wake the dead, while her sophomore release proved a more homespun affair that, if anything, was even edgier and more explicit, providing rappers like Ice Cube with sampling fodder and Macy Gray with the basis for her entire oeuvre. These long-lost Davis records are must-have buried funk treasure from the original supa-dupa freak.