“Give It Up” by Bonnie Raitt (1972)
Release Date: September 1972
Produced by Michael Cuscuna
Chart Positions: #138 (US)
Certifications: Gold (US)
Singles: “Too Long At The Fair”
“Give It Up” was the second album release for the 22-year-old Bonnie Raitt. Her first album, a straight up blues affair titled “Bonnie Raitt,” released in 1971 failed to chart but managed to capture the attention of several music luminaries of the time.
Transitioning to her second album Raitt strengthened her recognizable style. When she went into the studio to record “Give It Up” Raitt had a new advantage from the attention she garnered with her first album. She hired producer Michael Cuscuna, a musician with a strong background in jazz. Along with recording Bonnie Raitt, Cuscuna’s also produced several albums throughout the 70s for jazz musician Dave Brubeck. Cuscuna’s brought in notable musicians such as Paul Butterfield (Butterfield Blues Band), Eric Kaz (songwriter of “Love Has No Pride” and several other hits), and Dave Holland (prolific jazz musician).
“Give It Up” maintained Raitt’s R&B and blues background melding it with a contemporary Californian soft-rock and folk sound.
“Too Long At The Fair” was released as a promo single in the US, Canada and the UK to promote the album. Early in the 1970s Bonnie Raitt's manager, Dick Waterman, dropped into Passim (Club 47) in Cambridge, attempting to get a booking for Raitt. While Waterman and the club owner were discussing the booking, he heard Joel Zoss sing "Too Long at the Fair." After the show Waterman introduced himself and asked for a tape of the song to play for Raitt. Raitt recorded the song along with another Zoss composition “I Gave My Love A Candle” which appeared on her 1973 album “Takin’ My Time.”
The title track, “Give It Up or Let Me Go,” written by Bonnie Raitt, opens with Raiit’s blues filled acoustic guitar and quickly works into a New Orleans Dixieleand Jazz celebration.
"Give It Up Or Let Me Go"
Eric Kaz’s “Love Has No Pride” closes the album. Raitt’s somber folksy blues rendition gave life to a song which was recorded a year later by Linda Ronstadt for her 1973 album “Don’t Cry Now.” Ronstadt released the song as a single and achieved minor chart success with it.