“I’d Rather Go Blind” was included on Etta James eighth studio album “Tell Mama” from Cadet Records. Recorded at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama in 1967 & released in 1968 as the B-side of the ‘Tell Mama’ single. This song basically takes EVERY recorded song of lost love and heartache, lights them on fire and stomps them all to death in just under two and a half minutes.
While James was in a brief intermission from her heroin addiction, she went to visit to her friend, Detroit singer Ellington “Fugi” Jordan (who was incarcerated in prison at the time). Jordan had already come up with the outline to the song and he and James finished writing it. James gave the songwriting credit to Billy Foster (her partner at the time) for tax reasons but it was a decision that she came to regret.
According to James’ autobiography Rage To Survive, the lyrics were about being blind in her love life and addictions.
Etta James- “I’d Rather Go Blind” (Cadet- 1968)