I’d Rather Go Blind
In 1969, I heard a single release by the British blues band, Chicken Shack. It was sung by Christine Perfect, who went on to marry John McVie, and become part of Fleetwood Mac. I was entranced by the sadness of the lyrics, the bluesy feel, and the spot-on vocals of Christine. I went straight out and bought it, and listened to it over and over. However, something was niggling at me, and I was sure that I had heard it before, by someone else.
I did some research, not easy before the advent of the Internet. It involved reading Blues magazines and trade papers, until I discovered what I was looking for. Of course, it was Etta James, the diva of Blues, a voice without parallel. She had recorded it two years earlier, but it had enjoyed limited play and release, here in the UK, and had been marketed as a Soul record, not Blues. I knew that I could get it somewhere, and soon managed to source the vinyl single, almost three years after release. This was the genuine article. As much as I liked the Chicken Shack version, this was in another league.
If you have ever been in love, and that love has turned bad, then this is the definitive song for you. Blues, Soul, feeling and emotion, all wrapped up in one short song. This has hardly ever been bettered, despite the decades that separate it from the songs of today. Here are both versions, Etta first. You will get what I mean.