Aretha Franklin – 1968 – Lady Soul
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The best black female singer of the 20th century.
This is a stunning album. the definitive late 60’s Aretha Franklin, bold, beautiful, vulnerable, earthy, sexy, defiant, spiritual and strong.. Full of great songs.
A seminal session that furthered her deep soul agenda with key backings from Arif Mardin and Tom Dowd! The Sweet Inspirations provide sublime backing vocals behind Franklin’s maturing delivery of the lyrics and the music is by an all-star group of players that includes Spooner Oldham, Bobby Womack, Jimmy Johnson, King Curtis, Tommy Cogbill, Roger Hawkins, and even Eric Clapton!
After all, she is the Queen, the Lady Soul!!
1. Chain Of Fools
2. Money Won’t Change You
3. People Get Ready
4. Niki Hoeky
5. Natural Woman, (You Make Me Feel Like) A
6. Since You’ve Been Gone (Sweet Sweet Baby)
7. Good To Me As I Am To You
8. Come Back Baby
10. Ain’t No Way
11. Chain Of Fools – (unedited version)
12. Natural Woman, (You Make Me Feel Like) A – (mono single version)
13. Since You’ve Been Gone (Sweet Sweet Baby) – (mono single version, )
14. Ain’t No Way – (mono single version)
Ranked #84 in Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time,” Aretha’s position as soul music’s premier female vocalist was consolidated by Lady Soul. Her strident reading of “Chain of Fools” set the tone on which the singer unveiled several stellar original compositions and reinterpreted a batch of classic songs. Franklin’s gospel roots were clearly displayed on “People Get Ready” while her interpretation of “(You Make Me Fell Like A) Natural Woman” showed both her vulnerable and assertive qualities. The album also features the fine soul ballad “Good to Me as I Am to You” with Eric Clapton on guitar. Lady Soul captures a performer at the peak of her power, restating her ability to take material and make it uniquely her own. This 1968 tour de force is one of the absolute pinnacles of the Queen’s incredible artistic legacy.
At a 1968 concert in Chicago, Aretha Franklin was publicly and officially crowned the Queen of Soul in front of her fans by a DJ named Purvis Spann. This body of work shows why Aretha continues to reign supreme. The Queen takes on the Kings of Soul/Rhythm & Blues and pulls no punches as she covers Ray Charles’s “Come Back Baby” and “Be as Good to Me as I Am to You“, James Brown’s “Money Won’t Change You” and Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready“. She’s classical, bluesy, funky, and right-down soulful on every cut. The poet Nikki Giovanni once wrote -“Aretha can sing Money Won’t Change You, but can James Brown sing Respect?” In other words, when the Queen covers a song, it becomes hers and one can easily forget about the original artist. For example, Carol King wrote and recorded “Natural Woman” but that song is and probably will always be associated with Aretha Franklin. Aretha wails and gets right-down funky on cuts like “Chain of Fools” and “Nikki Hokey.” She’s operatically soulful on “Ain’t No Way”–which to this day no female artist, including Whitney Houston, has been able to successfully cover. You have an absolutely classic and indispensable piece of American music history here.
The one and only Aretha Franklin: “Lady Soul”.