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Bonnie Raitt — When the Spell Is Broken
Album: Beat the Retreat
Avg rating:
7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1283








Released: 1994
Length: 4:59
Plays (last 30 days): 1
When the spell is broken
When the spell is broken
How you ever gonna keep her now
You can't cry if you don't know how
When the spell is broken
When the spell is broken
All the joy is gone from her face
Welcome back to the human race
How long can the flame
Of love remain
When you curse and fight
And never see like
Or hear like spoken
When the spell is broken
(Can't cry if you don't know how)
(Can't cry if you don't know how)
When the spell is broken
(Can't cry if you don't know how)
Oh when the spell is broken
All your magic and your ways and schemes
All your lies come and tear at your dreams
When the spell is broken
(Can't cry if you don't know how)
When the spell is broken
Now you're handing her that same old line
It's just straws in the wind this time
When love has died,
There's none starry-eyed
No kiss, no tears,
No farewell souvenirs
Not even a token, when the spell is broken
Don't swear your heart
From the very start
Love letters you wrote
Are pushed back down you throat
And leave you choking, when the spell is broken
(When the spell, When the spell, When the spell is broken)
When the spell is broken
When the spell is broken
(When the spell, When the spell, When the spell is broken)
When the spell is broken
When the spell is broken
(Can't cry if you don't know how)
(Can't cry if you don't know how)
(Can't cry if you don't know how)
(You can't cry if you don't know how)
(Can't cry if you don't know how)
(Can't cry if you don't know how)
(Can't cry if you don't know how)
(Can't cry if you don't know how)
(Can't cry if you don't know how
Comments (165)add comment
 AhhtheMusic wrote:
Who is singing backup with lovely Bonnie?
 
The Blind Boys of Alabama
Who is singing backup with lovely Bonnie?
9 to a 10, for the song and the songwriter ... golden.
Saw her recently, opened for James Taylor. Those guitar licks are hers, she plays lead. And kills doing it! I like her blues stuff a lot more, but this pays the bills...
c.
 Bat wrote:
Completely different take from Richard Thompson's original.

Bonnie sings it with sadness - our love is over and I'm heartbroken and sad.

Richard sings it with bitterness - our love is over and I hope you rot in hell you miserable bitch.

 

times 2
 Bat wrote:
Completely different take from Richard Thompson's original.

Bonnie sings it with sadness - our love is over and I'm heartbroken and sad.

Richard sings it with bitterness - our love is over and I hope you rot in hell you miserable bitch.

 
{#High-five} 
And the Five Blind Boys from Alabama. Nice blend!
I will be seeing her tour this year!!! By the time the spell is broken, I hope spring has sprung!!! ~~~> https://www.bonnieraitt.com/tour

 {#Daisy}123K


Meh I'll give it a generous 3
Holy cow, terrible. Hardly a fitting tribute to the "Great One".
Completely different take from Richard Thompson's original.

Bonnie sings it with sadness - our love is over and I'm heartbroken and sad.

Richard sings it with bitterness - our love is over and I hope you rot in hell you miserable bitch.
And that slidework!  Masterful! 
Nice cover, but not as gut-wrenchingly great as from the one who was feeling it when he wrote it.
This has got to be at least Most Excellent
gotta up my rating to Godlike    Bonnie and the Blind Boys do an outstanding job of this terrific RT tune
The  4 o'clock hour of tunes is the best,
Not a fan of yelling female vocalists (see American Idol) but Bonnie is an exception with her cool grove and great styling. A class act to my ears.
 Bat wrote:


For all practical purposes the band Dinosaur Jr = the man J. Mascis who released a really good CD last year (2014) named "Tied To A Star".

 
Lou Barlow, the other founding member of Dinosaur Jr is has been very active making music as well since then, and still is.  He and Mascis have recorded some new Dinosaur Jr albums of late.
 WonderLizard wrote:

Similarly dated. Whatever happened to Dinosaur Jr., Evan Dando, and Syd Straw?

 

For all practical purposes the band Dinosaur Jr = the man J. Mascis who released a really good CD last year (2014) named "Tied To A Star".
wow, awesome album!   Fabulous Bonnie's voice and guitar are an exquisite pleasure on this bitter cold work day
 Boy_Wonder wrote:

'Beat the Retreat' is actually an album of covers of Richard Thompson songs... an all-star line-up, definitely worth investigating (as are the originals, of course - by one of the most distinctive, inventive musicians)
Shoot out the Lights                           X

Wall of Death                                     R.E.M.

When the Spell Is Broken                   Bonnie Raitt

Turning of the Tide                             Bob Mould

For Shame of Doing Wrong                Evan Dando / Syd Straw

Down Where the Drunkards Roll         Los Lobos

Beat the Retreat                                June Tabor

Genesis Hall                                     June Tabor

I Misunderstood                                Dinosaur Jr.

The Madness of Love                         Graham Parker

Just the Motion                                 David Byrne

Valerie                                             Beausoleil

A Heart Needs a Home                      Shawn Colvin / Loudon Wainwright III

Dimming of the Day                           The Five Blind Boys of Alabama

Farewell, Farewell                              Martin Carthy / Maddy Prior

The Great Valerio                               Martin Carthy / Maddy Prior



 
Similarly dated. Whatever happened to Dinosaur Jr., Evan Dando, and Syd Straw?


Never realized how similar joan osbornes voice is beginninng to resemble bonnie raitt's
 
Is that Vera Hall gate crashing the backing vocals?
"I Put a Spell on You" followed by "When the Spell is Broken"--good one there!
What is better than this?  RT & BR and the BBofA?  The best.

Ms. Raitt & The Blind Boys Of Alabama singing a Richard Thompson anthem. Thanks,{#Sunny} Life is Good!
I have nearly worn out this cd. 


I read the names of all commentors for the last 4 songs and are surprised to find hardly any of the old bunch.

That makes me even sigh a sigh of relief to find my buddy Mr. Riley from the Nottingham front (and Helgi).

Where the hell is the rest? Did I scare them away? All of them?

Once I am not here for 2 month, and already no stone is in his old place!

Kinda sad!


 calypsus_1 wrote:

wow, is similar to my turntable vinyl records .... good memories from this raw and direct sound!

.
DaveInVA wrote:


I like the original also....
 


 

yep, the only thing that sounds sweeter than vynal, is live in person.....
slide it on me now, me bonnie lass .......{#Sunny}{#Heartkiss}

'Beat the Retreat' is actually an album of covers of Richard Thompson songs... an all-star line-up, definitely worth investigating (as are the originals, of course - by one of the most distinctive, inventive musicians)


Shoot out the Lights                           X

Wall of Death                                     R.E.M.

When the Spell Is Broken                   Bonnie Raitt

Turning of the Tide                             Bob Mould

For Shame of Doing Wrong                Evan Dando / Syd Straw

Down Where the Drunkards Roll         Los Lobos

Beat the Retreat                                June Tabor

Genesis Hall                                     June Tabor

I Misunderstood                                Dinosaur Jr.

The Madness of Love                         Graham Parker

Just the Motion                                 David Byrne

Valerie                                             Beausoleil

A Heart Needs a Home                      Shawn Colvin / Loudon Wainwright III

Dimming of the Day                           The Five Blind Boys of Alabama

Farewell, Farewell                              Martin Carthy / Maddy Prior

The Great Valerio                               Martin Carthy / Maddy Prior


First Sophie Hunger bewitched me, then Nina Simone put a spell on me, and finally Bonnie Raitt came along.  It would take a woman like Bonnie to break Dr. Simone's spell.

This set was very nicely done, sir!
all that, and red hair too. {#Guitarist}
 fredriley wrote:
That's quite some captcha on the cover :o). Great rendition of a blues classic, too (at least, I think it's a cover - I sit ready to be corrected). 8 from the toe-tappin' Nottingham jury.


 
Sorry Fred, you are corrected, an RT original from "Across a Crowded Room" - mid 80's 
 SwampYankee wrote:
It's a solid 8; the original by Richard Thompson is a 10.

 
Agreed... RT can do little wrong!
"love letters you wrote well they're pushed back down your throat"  RT can write some songs.
yep, Blind Boys on backup.. i have this know this by heart. I like X's version "Shoot out the Lights"
Bonnie is the master of sad songs.
 mattrettig wrote:
Sounds like Blind Boys of Alabama on backup vox. Anyone know?
 
There is such a duet, but it didn't happen at Red Rocks. See link.

br_bb
Sounds like Blind Boys of Alabama on backup vox. Anyone know?
 coloradojohn wrote:
I count myself blessed for having seen her sing and jam and weave her vocal spells with Stevie Ray at Red Rocks!  Sing, Bonnie, sing!
 
Was at that show. Only entered comments to say the same thing - Bonnie live is exquisite!  (And cj is always ahead of me on these observations) Rock on, brother....
I count myself blessed for having seen her sing and jam and weave her vocal spells with Stevie Ray at Red Rocks!  Sing, Bonnie, sing!
Bonnie's great here - vocals and guitar!
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!
Her backup singers are absolutely KILLER! Of course she's beyond awesome.
Right up there with Brother Ray with that rich note bending voice and ability to make one feel blue.
 SwampYankee wrote:
It's a solid 8; the original by Richard Thompson is a 10.
 
I'd agree with you.
Love it!!

wow, is similar to my turntable vinyl records .... good memories from this raw and direct sound!

.
DaveInVA wrote:


I like the original also....
 

 gatorade wrote:
Bring it on Bonnie! Always just flowing thru the bones of the audiences, bands, and the vibes are soooo good. Thanks Bonnie. True Pedigree. 
 
This ex-Gator agrees with you 100!!
Nice!


I like the original also....
Makes me want to hear the original. Nothing against Bonnie, but the original is much better.
It's a solid 8; the original by Richard Thompson is a 10.
That's quite some captcha on the cover :o). Great rendition of a blues classic, too (at least, I think it's a cover - I sit ready to be corrected). 8 from the toe-tappin' Nottingham jury.

 RideMaine wrote:
First heard/saw Bonnie at the Melody Tent on Cape Cod... and I fell in love. With Bonnie and with the woman who is now my wife and has been for the last 17 years. That was our first date. Happy sigh...
 
Very cool.

I first saw her outdoors at Capitol Park in downtown Hartford.

First heard/saw Bonnie at the Melody Tent on Cape Cod... and I fell in love. With Bonnie and with the woman who is now my wife and has been for the last 17 years. That was our first date. Happy sigh...
 DaveInVA wrote:
Here is the cover art for this LP..
There are many other great cover songs on it also by groups such as REM etc
 
A time capsule of sorts. X no longer exists. And whatever happened to Dinosaur, Jr., Syd Straw, and Evan Dando? Remember when Dando was all over the pop tabloids? Too funny.
 gatorade wrote:
Bring it on Bonnie! Always just flowing thru the bones of the audiences, bands, and the vibes are soooo good. Thanks Bonnie. True Pedigree. 
  And you should see Richard Thompson doing his song live!!! Caught him solo, at WOMAD one time,  AWESOME!!

Bring it on Bonnie! Always just flowing thru the bones of the audiences, bands, and the vibes are soooo good. Thanks Bonnie. True Pedigree. 
 DaveInVA wrote:
Here is the cover art for this LP..
There are many other great cover songs on it also by groups such as REM etc
DITTO

 


good guitar, too, of course.

Nice!!
 NarfU wrote:
Love the song.
Is that the Blind Boys of Alabama backing her up?{#Cool}
 
Oh, yes!  (Thank you, Jesus!)

This is one of those covers where the artist definitely adds something that wasn't there in the original.  Great stuff.  {#Yes}
I like the words to this song—it's a very sing-alongable version here.
Here is the cover art for this LP..
There are many other great cover songs on it also by groups such as REM etc



Bonnie Raitt - "Something To Talk About" Live (1980's)

"Interesting discussion about Br and Adele —who I think is just great. To me Adele's smokey, plaintive voice reminds me .of the late, great Dusty.Springfield. To me, the contemporary singer that you can tell listened to a couple of thousand of Bonnie Raitt tunes is blues powerhouse Susan Tedeschi."  zalman595

 




Bonnie is so awesome!  love the easy soulfullness of her songs   {#Cowboy}
 bokey wrote:
Interesting.Thompson is a great guitarist but fire and passion aren't words I associate with him. Homogenized certainly is. And lifeless?  I can listen to RT with no problem but it doesn't grab me. To each their own.
 
You've probably never seen Richard Thompson perform live (with or without a backing band).  He is extremely passionate and very far from homogenized or lifeless.  But, as you wrote: "to each their own".{#Cool}
I like this version - gave it an 8 - because the guitar and vocals are so nice.  But maybe too nice.  This song should be sung with bitterness, not sadness.
 katyb wrote:
I know this comes from a tribute album but this version is way too anemic; try Richard Thompson's version to hear how this tune should rightly sound.

 

Agree. This is pretty meh, to put it kindly.
I know this comes from a tribute album but this version is way too anemic; try Richard Thompson's version to hear how this tune should rightly sound.


Glockman45 wrote:
her talent is absolutely over rated!

guess that depends on who's rating her, not her best or worst but the woman can play the blues I prefer early Raitt tho her work with John Lee is very good

Love the song.
Is that the Blind Boys of Alabama backing her up?{#Cool}
 robco1 wrote:
Bonnie Raitt - When the Spell Is Broken
Nina Simone - I Put a Spell on You Nice segue!
 
That's the magic of RP {#Clap}
Ignorant of the earlier versions, I am enjoying this one.
 asbellem wrote:
I prefer Richard Thompson's version, but not bad.
  +1...This seems a bit rushed to me.


Please finish!
I prefer Richard Thompson's version, but not bad.
 painter wrote:
Bonnie doesn't have that self destructive substance abuse thing going like Lowell did. You can still hear him in her slide.
 
I am very pleased that she NO LONGER has a self-destructive thing. The only time I saw her (Philadelphia, probably 1974, with Randy Newman), she kept a Bud by her side during her set, kept making hash jokes, and barely even tried to play her guitar. Drunk is a gentle way to describe the state she was in. Simply strummed what seemed to be random chords. Randy sniffed with a coke nose during his set. I guess things had to settle down, for which we should all be grateful.
I can't believe this song isn't rated higher! It's intoxicating. More Bonnie on RP, please.
One goddess following another! Magnificent!
Ulises wrote:
Surely, you jest. Right?
i stand corrected. her career is not over rated cause she surely has been successful but her talent is way over rated! sorry?
Glockman45 wrote:
golly gee, her whole career is sure over rated!
Surely, you jest. Right?
justin_thyme wrote:
Bonnie's vocal control is awesome.
Bonnie IS awesome.
her talent is absolutely over rated!
Bonnie's vocal control is awesome.
cc_rider wrote:
They really make it, don't they? Hey, it's not as odd as Robert Plant and Alison Krause together. c.
thanks, I think they are a natural combo... I just didn't see them in the credits anywhere.
Hey, it's not as odd as Robert Plant and Alison Krause together. Ain't that tha' truth!
Hinkamp wrote:
Bonnie and Blind Boys?
They really make it, don't they? Hey, it's not as odd as Robert Plant and Alison Krause together. c.
Bonnie and Blind Boys?
bokey wrote:
Interesting.Thompson is a great guitarist but fire and passion aren't words I associate with him.Homogenized certainly is. And lifeless?I can listen to RT with no problem but it doesn't grab me. To each their own.
I'm a long time fan of both artists discussed here, but I don't understand at all how you could call Richard Thompson homogenized. And when Bonnie has written as many songs with the fire that his best has then we can talk about a comparison.
Love all the voices here....Bonnie Raitt's heartfelt blues register & BB's smooth & sometimes sharp backing vocals. Really like "Can't cry if you don't know how...."
Ugh. The only song on this RT tribute I can listen to is REM's. Not a Bonnie fan, though.
Bonnie Raitt - When the Spell Is Broken Nina Simone - I Put a Spell on You Nice segue!
Not my favorite by Bonnie, but you just have to love a blues playing guitar woman! Been lovin her for years and years.
bokey wrote:
Interesting.Thompson is a great guitarist but fire and passion aren't words I associate with him.Homogenized certainly is.In a good way,but I think that really describes his entire style. And lifeless?I can listen to RT with no problem but it doesn't reach out grab me by the scruff of the neck the way Bonnies good stuff does. Then again I've never seen him live. To each their own.
Give "Shoot Out the Lights" a listen. Newly divorced, he spins some incredible lyrics behind that guitar.
Pyro wrote:
Same here...been a fan for 36 years! That first album was phenomenal. Just saw Bonnie last Fri night...and was spellbound, as always. The Blind Boys really MAKE this tune work.
I was just going to ask if the Blind Boys were backing her up on this...glad I read first!
woozurdaddy wrote:
This rather homogenized version lacks the fire and passion of the original Richard Thompson track, basically turning it into a somewhat lifeless pop tune. For the real deal, get the 1985 CD "Across A Crowded Room" by Richard Thompson and prepare for goosebumps.
Interesting. Thompson is a great guitarist but fire and passion aren't words I associate with him. Homogenized certainly is. And lifeless?I can listen to RT with no problem but it doesn't grab me. To each their own.
painter wrote:
Bonnie doesn't have that self destructive substance abuse thing going like Lowell did. You can still hear him in her slide.
Whoa daddy. She used to party him(and eevryine) into the dirt.
Damn, that is a sweet version! ...this song suits Bonnie's voice well.
gawd, i love this song.
bokey wrote:
This is one tough old broad.I never thought she was gonna outlast Lowell.
Bonnie doesn't have that self destructive substance abuse thing going like Lowell did. You can still hear him in her slide.
This is one tough old broad. I never thought she was gonna outlast Lowell.
I hear a little "Gypsy Woman" from the 60's
Best Female Blues Singer Ever!
what a tired version...was she doing her nails while she was singing?
... From a broken guitar to a broken spell, what's goin' on here? I'm all broke up! Time to Beat the Retreat before that breaks too? ... :drummer: ...
lnostdal wrote:
Cool set, "John Lee Hooker - Spellbound", "CCR - I Put a Spell on You" ..then.. "Bonnie Raitt - When the Spell is Broken" :cheesygrin:
Agreed!
Cool set, "John Lee Hooker - Spellbound", "CCR - I Put a Spell on You" ..then.. "Bonnie Raitt - When the Spell is Broken" :cheesygrin:
kazuma wrote:
I like Bonnie. However, I'm always disappointed by her cover of this song. It's capable but uninspired, very by-the-numbers, and very flat in comparison to the Richard Thompson original, which I'd much prefer to hear.
Right.
Aud wrote:
I've been a fan of Bonnie's since her first album that she made on Lake M'tonka. I usually love her stuff. This sounds like she's bored or going through the motions.
Same here...been a fan for 36 years! That first album was phenomenal. Just saw Bonnie last Fri night...and was spellbound, as always. The Blind Boys really MAKE this tune work.
kazuma wrote:
I like Bonnie. However, I'm always disappointed by her cover of this song. It's capable but uninspired, very by-the-numbers, and very flat in comparison to the Richard Thompson original, which I'd much prefer to hear.
I've been a fan of Bonnie's since her first album that she made on Lake M'tonka. I usually love her stuff. This sounds like she's bored or going through the motions.
spell spell spell :whistle: you put a spell on me RP!thanks
maxgruv wrote:
Kudos to Bill for a great segue from CCR's "I Put a Spell On You" to this. You rock, sir.
what? i missed 'put a spell on you'? rats!
bonnie was better before she got "clean" and became the darling of the 'dockers/birckenstock' crowd. but i guess she wanted to live longer and make more dough.
don't i know it. 8.
I like Bonnie. However, I'm always disappointed by her cover of this song. It's capable but uninspired, very by-the-numbers, and very flat in comparison to the Richard Thompson original, which I'd much prefer to hear.
Great track from one of my favorite tribute CD's. And timely too as I'll be catching Richard Thompson this Saturday in concert.