Friday, February 25, 2011

Aretha Franklin I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You 1967

Everything has already been written about this amazing record. If you own it, you need to get it out and listen to it again. I did just that last night. I pulled out my 2001 vinyl reissue and let Aretha sing.

After six years at Columbia, trying her, mostly without success, on jazz, pop and cabaret material, Aretha arrived at Atlantic records, and Jerry Wexler knew just how to let Aretha be Aretha, through gospel-infused, Ray Charles rave-up, down South soul music. Aretha and Wexler picked the songs, Aretha plays piano on all the tracks, and the Muscle Shoals rhythm section cooks behind her. The recording is excellent, the sound perfect.

Respect, Drown In My Own Tears, I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You), Soul Serenade, Don't Let Me Lose This Dream, Dr. Feelgood, Good Times, Do Right Woman-Do Right Man, and A Change Is Gonna Come, they're all solid gold deep soul. The two I didn't list aren't filler- they're only half a notch below these classics.

The record has made every top soul albums list ever compiled. If you fancy yourself a soul music fan, if you have even a passing interest in soul music, you must own this music. There are no acceptable excuses. Aretha made quite a few good records, but this one will light up your life every time you listen. If you're not feelin' it, you dead.

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