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Bettye LaVette releases new single on Calla Records

Bettye Lavette

Let Me Down Easy

Calla Records

Release Date: June 10th, 1965

Words by: Roland Ellis
June 11th, 1965

Listen:

June 10th, 1965 - Calla Records released Bettye LaVette's "Let Me Down Easy".

The song was written by Dee Dee Ford--a singer-songwriter who broke through on the Billboard charts with "I Need Your Lovin" in 1962. No clue as to why Ford didn't record the song herself.

Let's all be thankful, though, that LaVette got the chance to work on "Let Me Down Easy". Her voice bites and soars at all the right moments.

One critic wrote that LaVette's voice boasted "blistering intensity modulated by moments of deep, heartfelt reflection".

Allmusic's Jason Ankeny wrote that "Let Me Down Easy" is LaVette's "masterpiece, a blisteringly poignant requiem for romance gone bad distinguished by its unique, tangolike rhythm and sweeping string arrangement."

Since its release, "Let Me Down Easy" has been covered by the Spencer Davis Group, Inez and Charlie Foxx, Etta James, Mick Hucknall (Simply Red singer), Paloma Faith, and Paolo Nutini.

LaVette revisited the song herself in 1969, releasing a funk version via independent label Karen Records.

Needless to say, none of the alternate versions have come close to matching the original. Even Hucknall's rendition fell short...

Watch below Paulo Nutini's 2014 rendition of "Let Me Down Easy".

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