Throwback Thread: Betty Davis

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Turning husband-for-a-year Miles Davis on to groundbreaking rock fusion acts like Sly & the Family Stone and The Jimi Hendrix Experience was probably her greatest musical achievement -- one that led to classic albums like Bitches Brew.

Hard to top that.

Even so, Betty Davis chalked up some impressive victories herself by translating her sexified, glamorous persona into sultry '70s break-up songs. "Anti Love Song" is about a woman who won't call her emotionally vacant ex-lover because they'll end up having torrid, unabashed intercourse. She knows herself too well, and she can't resist him.

Atop that pulsating, bass-heavy beat are some of the starkest, most tangible metaphors in American music history: "You'd scorch [my heart] like a hot iron and leave me burning alone in the dark." Oh, ouch! Everything on her self-titled 1974 debut smolders, but she never got more honest or alluring than this complicated, heart-torn missive.