Music: Nasty Gal; Is It Love or Desire

The reissue of two albums by funky ’70s siren Betty Davis.

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Funky siren Betty Davis should have been a ’70s superstar: She projected an aggressively sexual persona that made Tina Turner seem timid and set the stage for Prince. The reissue of Nasty Gal, first released in ’75, features the romantic ballad “You and I,” written with her ex-husband, jazz immortal Miles Davis. (Although the two were only married for a year, Betty had a lasting impact on Miles—she introduced him to Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone.) Recorded in ’76, the previously unreleased Is It Love or Desire finds Davis mixing raunchy jams like “Whorey Angel” with the surprisingly tender “When Romance Says Goodbye.” Alas, conflicts with her record company kept the LP out of stores until now, and for unknown reasons Davis hasn’t released another album since, though she did contribute her insights to the extensive liner notes.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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