I very clearly remember growing up with the novel Looking For Mr. Goodbar in plain view on the bookcase in my house, and I have to admit, I was fascinated by it. There was just something about that book that screamed 'grown-up', and there was no way I was ever going to be allowed to read that ... not until I had a few more maturity miles under my belt, anyway. But, that didn't stop me from sneaking in a viewing of the 1977 film which featured the song that is today's recipient of a Scenes (Songs) We Love: She's Lonely by the one and only Bill Withers.

Most people know Withers from his classic Lean on Me (a song that I would be happy to never hear again -- it's just that overplayed) but his particular brand of soul has so much more to offer, and She's Lonely is a perfect example of that melancholy approach to getting down. The song first appeared on the album Making Music, Making Friends, but I recommend picking up a copy of the film's original soundtrack if you can because it's chock full of groovy 70's classics from Donna Summer, The Commodores, The O'Jays and fellow Songs We Love nominee, Boz Scaggs.

Looking for Mr. Goodbar was based on the novel by Judith Rossner (which was inspired by the real-life murder of a young NY schoolteacher) and starred Diane Keaton as a lonely woman looking for 'Mr. Right' in a New York bar who then begins to spiral into a destructive lifestyle of drugs and one-night-stands. The movie was considered a cautionary tale for the Swingers set, and there is no doubt that it's a pretty brutal flick (one about as far from the wacky and lovable Annie Hall as Keaton could get). But like so many films made in the '70s, it's a fascinating glimpse back to a time when New York was still dangerous and the sexual revolution had opened up a carnivorous 'swinging singles' culture among jaded urbanites.

After the jump: "Yeah, pretty little girl is lonely"...

Goodbar was written and directed by Richard Brooks (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and In Cold Blood) and even though the sexual politics of this film might be a little dated, Keaton's performance as Theresa (along with an obscenely young Richard Gere) make the movie worth viewing. Even today, critics still argue about whether or not the film was part of a backlash against the women's movement in the earlier part of the decade, but I think it's probably a bit more complicated than that -- and when it comes to sex, it's always complicated. Besides, even if you don't like the movie (or its message) you can't deny that this is one sad (and funky) soul song.




As an added bonus: Richard Gere doing his best Tony Manero...