Latimore – Let’s Straighten It Out

18th August 2023 · 1970s, 1974, Blues, Music, Soul

This song has been covered numerous times by a who’s who of soul singers. This is the original – the first of two versions by bluesman Latimore – from 1974.

Born in Tennessee, he was influenced as much by his Baptist church choir and the country music he heard on the radio as he was by the blues and jazz.

His first major hit, in 1973, came with a jazzy take on T-Bone Walker’s classic Stormy Monday, followed by If You Were My Woman – a role-reversal take on Gladys Knight’s If I Were Your Woman (co-written by Mrs Bolan herself, Gloria Jones).

This five-minute version appeared on his second album, More More More, released at the end of 1974, and he re-recorded it for his eighth album, I’ll Do Anything For You – with a spoken intro – in 1983.

He made a string of blues albums in the ’80s – one of them including a re-recording of this – and worked regularly as a session pianist, playing with fellow veterans like Betty Wright and Timmy Thomas and, more recently, our own Joss Stone. 

Latimore re-recorded this song in 1983 but this is the original version, on which it’s almost two minutes before his impassioned vocal comes in over his piano playing.

The list of esteemed musicians who have covered this song and put their own stamp on it includes O.V. Wright and Gwen McCrae (1978), B.B. King (1989), Millie Jackson (1994), Etta James (2002) and Clarence Carter (2011) – and as a duet between Latimore and Gwen McCrae (2006).

I highly recommend every single one of them. So listen to them all here: