Robert Gordon

Bonnie Raitt on the record

Bonnie Raitt’s best work sounds warm and alluring, but dares you to cross her. She’s the neighbor who’d gladly lend you a cup of sugar if you’ve got guts enough to cross the pack of growling dogs in her yard. Her five best albums — those graded A or better below-capture this duality. They’re the essential Bonnie Raitt, not The Bonnie Raitt Collection, a ”best of”compilation released last year, which unfortunately stops before her Nick of Time comeback and includes two passionless selections from Raitt’s lean years in the ’80s.

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