The Money Masters
[engl] A vinyl album featuring 14 of her finest sides for Money Records of Los Angeles.
Bettye Swann scored an R&B hit with ‘Don’t Wait Too Long’, her catchy debut single for Money in 1965. She seemed to have a bright future but her follow-up, the Motownesque ‘The Man That Said No’, did not chart, nor did the tougher-sounding ‘The Heartache Is Gone’. However, Money’s perseverance paid off when the self-written ‘Make Me Yours’ pressed all the right buttons and spent two weeks at the top of the R&B charts in 1967. The song was later covered by Z.Z. Hill and Spencer Wiggins, becoming an established soul classic.
Bettye wrote many of her own songs at Money. Among the few exceptions was an exquisite rendition of Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ from her “Make Me Yours” LP. An earlier album had been scheduled after her first hit but was shelved when the follow-ups failed. That album would have contained ‘The Dance Is Over’ and a faster version of her later single ‘I Think I’m Falling In Love’, both included here.
The momentum from her big hit carried over to ‘Fall In Love With Me’ but the next 45, a cover of the Temptations’ ‘Don’t Look Back’, fared less well. A far better choice for the A-side might have been the melodic flip, ‘You Gave Me Love’, which Bettye co-wrote with Arthur Wright, whose sensitive arrangements contributed so much to the great sound of her Money recordings. Her swansong for the label was the unusual ‘Don’t Take My Mind’ which was not sufficiently far-out to catch on at a time when psychedelic soul was becoming popular.
Bettye’s manager and new husband, George Barton, then took her to Capitol Records where she was assigned a white producer who switched the emphasis from her self-penned material to country and standards. This LP is testament to her superb skills as songwriter and vocalist at her first and most successful label stay.