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Better Be Good to Me

Tina’s Theme!

Forget about “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” this is the most iconic song on the album.

It was written by Holly Knight, who is the rock talent behind “Love Is a Battlefield” and Tina’s later hit “The Best.” (She also wrote Rod Stewart’s “Love Touch,” that ’80s hit with the video set in a courtroom. And if you think that’s a bad song, keep in mind the stuff he unleashed upon the world in the ’90s. If only he’d stayed with material as harmless as “Love Touch”!)

In “Better Be Good to Me” Tina blows my mind right off the bat. She starts out with an overheated description of a dramatic love affair:

A prisoner of your love / Entangled in your web. / Hot whispers in the night / I’m captured by your spell . . .(whispered) Captured!

It’s that last “captured!” that charms me. It’s like a wink at the ridiculousness of the preceding descriptions. Then Tina adds just a touch of sarcasm to her tone:

Oh yes I’m touched by your show of emotion. / Should I be fractured by your lack of devotion?

After that the song gets real and begins describing what a more sensible relationship would look like, the give and take of a modern romance between equals.

I can’t resist pointing out a discrepancy between the lyric sheet and Tina’s performance. Those little differences always make me imagine the singer changing the meaning to better match their own feelings. Here it is:

As written:

And I think it’s only right / That we don’t meet at night. / We stand face to face / And you present your case.

As sung:

I think it’s oh-so right / That we don’t need to fight. / We stand face to face / And you present your case.

Soon she turns up that bold voice with:

But did you think I’d just accept you in blind faith? / Oh sure, baby! Anything to please you! / But you better be good to me!

She kills me on this song! Women’s liberation! Feminism forever! That’s how it’s got to be now!

I love the little guitar hook that replays throughout this song. Unlike a lot of the instrumentation on this album, it doesn’t sound dated to me at all. It’s a nice counterpoint to the melody of Tina’s singing. Thanks, Jamie West-Oram! The whole thing rocks. When I hear it I’m tempted to get one of those lion wigs.

One Comment

  1. Kelli wrote:

    J~ I love u:) ~K

    Sunday, December 7, 2008 at 1:21 am | Permalink

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