“Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Al Green, Ann Peebles”. The way Betty Davis lists R&B and funk greats on her track “F.U.N.K” is pure rawness. Davis’ own name needs to be included on the list as the R&B pioneer has influenced everyone from Prince, Outkast, Prince, Erykah Badu, and The Roots.
The track is taken from her 1975 major label debut Nasty Gal that is being reissued early next year on Light in the Attic. The reissue comes at the same time as the release of They Say I'm Different, a documentary on the American funk diva, songwriter, fashion model, and cultural groundbreaker.
Although Nasty Gal, originally released on Just Sunshine and later Island Records, stiffed commercially, there is no question to Davis’ raw vocal power, lyrical frankness and empowered sexuality that hits like a blast of hot steam.
Forty years later, the re-release that includes rare photos and interviews, shows Davis in Hendrix and Sly Stone inspired funk-rock fury.
Light in the Attic have previously reissued Davis’ self-titled debut, 1974’s They Say I’m Different, Is It Love or Desire, and The Columbia Years 1968-1969, which collected sessions between Betty and her then-husband Miles Davis.
Listen to "F.U.N.K." and watch a trailer for They Say I'm Different.
'Nasty Gal' is available Jan 12 on Light in the Attic.