Thursday, January 9, 2014

17 of 1001 Songs: Bessie Smith's Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl

Bessie Smith has one of the strongest voices you'll hear in music, and she is a woman highly associated as the voice of blues. If there is a reason to listen to blues it can be defined by Bessie Smith. Need a Little Sugar In My Bowl is a highly sexy song straight the 30's, and even though it never directly refers to the act there I can only assume what a bowl and the roll to the hot dog is.

History: Bessie Smith had just made a hit with St. Louis Blues, but she was still an undiscovered herself. She wouldn't get her break till the 30's when she would burst into the swing era. But Smith would fit more into the blues sound, which was where she ended up landing. She was a hit with her music, and Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl is apart of hits from the time. Her influence has been noted by other blues artists like Billie Holiday.

Vocals: I love Smith's vocals, because not only is she singing, but she is expressing how she feels. She makes it sound like she really feeling the mood of the tune. Of course, with the passion she has this will translate over to listener's who feel the exact same emotions. That may result in feeling very sexy or seductive. That is also what I love about music from this era. It wasn't so distorted through machines or electronics that it looses the rawness of the voice. The voice still has all this emotion and talent in it as if the person is singing because they love it.

Instrumentals: I also love the blues sound of the song. You have the dramatic beat of the instrumental arrangement, and the brass just sounds amazing in the song. I like the way it matches the tone you're already getting from the vocalist and the lyrics as well. It sways and moves with the other elements of the song, so I liked the way it came together to create the vibe that the song does.

Lyrics: The lyrics are very sexy and I don't think most people imagine music that is in your face at the time like this one. Of course what the song is about is concealed in food imagery, so you'll never quite know at least upon listening what the song is about if you want to stay naive. I like the way the lyrics are written though, because there is something way more seductive about the imagery that is created instead of being right in your face about what the song is talking about. Music nowadays gets really vulgar and it takes away from it being sexy or whatever.

Bessie Smith is staple music from the 30's if you're looking for music from that era to enjoy. It has a great arrangement of instrumentals and vocals that give the song a cohesive element. The lyrics are also well written and more creative than most anything you'll hear today. It also puts you into the vibe of the time it was written in where things weren't talked about openly, but they did exist.

Rating 9.5 of 10

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